Have you inherited land without a clear title or documented legal ownership? The Heirs’ Property Relending Program (HPRP) can help you resolve heirs’ land ownership and succession issues on agricultural land.
Heirs’ property issues have long been a barrier for many producers and landowners to access USDA programs and services, and this relending program provides access to capital to help producers find a resolution. The program’s benefits go far beyond its participants. It will also keep farmland in farming, protect family farm legacies and support economic viability.
Heirs’ property is a legal term that refers to family land inherited without a will or legal documentation of ownership. It has historically been challenging for heirs to benefit from USDA programs because of the belief that they cannot get a farm number without proof of ownership or control of land. Learn more about heirs’ property and how USDA can help establish a farm number.
This program works differently than other USDA programs. Rather than USDA providing the loan directly to producers, the loan is provided to intermediary lenders, who then relend the funds to producers like you.
1. USDA provides loans to eligible lenders
Intermediary lenders (cooperatives, credit unions, nonprofit organizations who have worked with socially disadvantaged, limited resource, or beginning farmers) can apply for loans up to $5 million at 1% interest.
Farm Service Agency (FSA) will select and announce lenders.
2. Heirs apply directly to lenders
Heirs can apply directly to lenders for loans and assistance.
Heirs and lenders will need to repay the loan as directed by the 2018 Farm Bill. Heirs will repay the loan to lenders at the interest rate set by the intermediary lender. Intermediary lenders will repay USDA at the 1% interest rate.
3. Heirs resolve title issues
Heirs may use the loans to resolve title issues by financing the purchase or consolidation of property interests and financing costs associated with a succession plan.
4. Heirs obtain legal title
Once heirs obtain legal title, they can apply for USDA programs, loans, grants and services. They can also apply for other U.S. government resources, such as FEMA.
Intermediary lenders will make loans to heirs who:
- Are individuals or legal entities with authority to incur the debt and to resolve ownership and succession of a farm owned by multiple owners
- Are a family member or heir-at-law related by blood or marriage to the previous owner of the property
- Agree to complete a succession plan
If you’re an heir, you may use the loans to resolve title issues by financing the purchase or consolidation of property interests and financing costs associated with a succession plan.
This may also include costs of buying out fractional interests of other heirs to clear the title, which includes closing costs, appraisals, title searches, surveys, preparing documents, mediation, and legal services.
Intermediary lenders must:
- Be certified as a community development financial institution
- Have experience and capability in making and servicing agricultural and commercial loans that are similar in nature.
Eligible intermediary lenders can apply using:
FSA – 2637: Heirs Property Relending Program Application for Loan (PDF) – this form is for eligible intermediary lenders. It provides FSA information for the analysis and loan determination process.
The application package should be sent via:
Attention: Heirs' Property Relending Program
Office Deputy Administrator for Farm Loan Programs
FSA, U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue SW, Stop 0522
Washington, DC 20250-0522
Those applicants with at least 10 years or more of experience with socially disadvantaged farmers that are located in states that have adopted a statute consisting of enactment or adoption of the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act (UPHPA) will receive first preference.
- States include: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Texas, South Carolina, Virginia and the Virgin Islands.
Additional information can be found in the HPRP Final Rule in the Federal Register (link available below).
Heirs should contact lenders for more information on applying. The first three lenders approved or conditionally approved include:
- Service Area: Nationwide, targeting Indian Country.
- Contact: Skya Ducheneaux, 605-964-8081
- Service Area: Producers in rural areas (as designated by USDA) of the 14 counties, in whole or in part, encompassing the Cherokee Nation Reservation. Borrower(s) must reside in the Service Area and land must be agricultural land located in the Service Area.
- Contacts: Stephen Highers, 918-207-3955; and Brian Wagman, 918-453-5531
- Service Area: Producers in the states of: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina.
HPRP loans may not be used for any land improvement, development purpose, acquisition or repair of buildings, acquisition of personal property, payment of operating costs, payment of finders’ fees, or similar costs. FSA can provide additional assistance through the farmer ownership and operating loan programs to assist heirs in financing other credit needs in conjunction with the Heirs’ Property loan provided by the intermediary.
- HPRP: 6 Tips for Working with Lenders
- USDA Assistance for Heirs’ Property Landowners
- Video: FSA Talks with the Experts - Episode 1- Short Version (10 mins)
- View the full version here: Episode 1- Long Version (23 mins)
- Heirs’ Property Relending Program "How it Works" infographic
- Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about HPRP
- HPRP Final Rule in the Federal Register
- Certified Mediation Program
- Translated Resources for HPRP: 中文 (Chinese), Español (Spanish), ไทย (Thai)
- Learn more about Heirs’ Property Landowners including factsheets and other resources
- August 18, 2022 News Release: USDA Announces First Three Lenders for Heirs’ Property Relending Program
- August 30, 2021 News Release: Lenders Can Now Apply for New Heirs’ Property Relending Program
- August 9, 2021 HPRP Final Rule in the Federal Register
- August 3, 2021 Webinar: An Overview of FSA's Heirs Property Relending Program
- July 29, 2021 News Release: Biden Administration to Invest $67 Million to Help Heirs Resolve Land Ownership and Succession Issues