(a) As used in this chapter:

Terms Used In 7 USC 1991

  • Appeal: A request made after a trial, asking another court (usually the court of appeals) to decide whether the trial was conducted properly. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." One who appeals is called the appellant.
  • Bankruptcy: Refers to statutes and judicial proceedings involving persons or businesses that cannot pay their debts and seek the assistance of the court in getting a fresh start. Under the protection of the bankruptcy court, debtors may discharge their debts, perhaps by paying a portion of each debt. Bankruptcy judges preside over these proceedings.
  • borrower: means any farm borrower who has outstanding obligations to the Secretary under any farmer program loan, without regard to whether the loan has been accelerated, but does not include any farm borrower all of whose loans and accounts have been foreclosed on or liquidated, voluntarily or otherwise. See 7 USC 1991
  • Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
  • county: includes a parish, or any other equivalent subdivision of a State or Territory of the United States. See 1 USC 2
  • farmer: includes a person who is engaged in, or who, with assistance afforded under this chapter, intends to engage in, fish farming. See 7 USC 1991
  • farmer program loan: means a farm ownership loan (FO) under section 1923 of this title, operating loan (OL) under section 1942 of this title, soil and water loan (SW) under section 1924 of this title, emergency loan (EM) under section 1961 of this title, economic emergency loan (EE) under section 202 of the Emergency Agricultural Credit Adjustment Act (title II of Public Law 95-334), economic opportunity loan (EO) under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1961 (42 U. See 7 USC 1991
  • farming: shall be deemed to include fish farming. See 7 USC 1991
  • Fee simple: Absolute title to property with no limitations or restrictions regarding the person who may inherit it.
  • individual: shall include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development. See 1 USC 8
  • Interest rate: The amount paid by a borrower to a lender in exchange for the use of the lender's money for a certain period of time. Interest is paid on loans or on debt instruments, such as notes or bonds, either at regular intervals or as part of a lump sum payment when the issue matures. Source: OCC
  • joint operation: means a joint farming operation in which two or more farmers work together sharing equally or unequally land, labor, equipment, expenses, and income. See 7 USC 1991
  • loan service program: means , with respect to a farmer program borrower, a primary loan service program or a preservation loan service program. See 7 USC 1991
  • marriage: means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word "spouse" refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife. See 1 USC 7
  • Partnership: A voluntary contract between two or more persons to pool some or all of their assets into a business, with the agreement that there will be a proportional sharing of profits and losses.
  • preservation loan service program: means homestead retention as authorized under section 2000 of this title. See 7 USC 1991
  • Public law: A public bill or joint resolution that has passed both chambers and been enacted into law. Public laws have general applicability nationwide.
  • Real property: Land, and all immovable fixtures erected on, growing on, or affixed to the land.
  • State: shall include each of the several States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands of the United States, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and, to the extent the Secretary determines it to be feasible and appropriate, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. See 7 USC 1991
  • writing: includes printing and typewriting and reproductions of visual symbols by photographing, multigraphing, mimeographing, manifolding, or otherwise. See 1 USC 1

(1) The term “farmer” includes a person who is engaged in, or who, with assistance afforded under this chapter, intends to engage in, fish farming.

(2) The term “farming” shall be deemed to include fish farming.

(3) The term “owner-operator” shall include in the State of Hawaii the lessee-operator of real property in any case in which the Secretary determines that such real property cannot be acquired in fee simple by such lessee-operator, that adequate security is provided for the loan with respect to such real property for which such lessee-operator applies under this chapter, and that there is a reasonable probability of accomplishing the objectives and repayment of such loan.

(4) The word “insure” as used in this chapter includes guarantee, which means to guarantee the payment of a loan originated, held, and serviced by a private financial agency or other lender approved by the Secretary.

(5) The term “contract of insurance” includes a contract of guarantee.

(6) The terms “United States” and “State” shall include each of the several States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands of the United States, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and, to the extent the Secretary determines it to be feasible and appropriate, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.

(7) The term “joint operation” means a joint farming operation in which two or more farmers work together sharing equally or unequally land, labor, equipment, expenses, and income.

(8) The term “beginning farmer or rancher” means such term as defined by the Secretary.

(9) The term “direct loan” means a loan made or insured from funds in the account created by section 1929 of this title.

(10) The term “farmer program loan” means a farm ownership loan (FO) under section 1923 of this title, operating loan (OL) under section 1942 of this title, soil and water loan (SW) under section 1924 of this title, emergency loan (EM) under section 1961 of this title, economic emergency loan (EE) under section 202 of the Emergency Agricultural Credit Adjustment Act (title II of Public Law 95-334), economic opportunity loan (EO) under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1961 (42 U.S.C. 2942), softwood timber loan (ST) under section 1254 of the Food Security Act of 1985, or rural housing loan for farm service buildings (RHF) under section 1472 of title 42.

(11) The term “qualified beginning farmer or rancher” means an applicant, regardless of whether the applicant is participating in a program under section 1935 of this title–

(A) who is eligible for assistance under this chapter;

(B) who has not operated a farm or ranch, or who has operated a farm or ranch for not more than 10 years;

(C) in the case of a cooperative, corporation, partnership, joint operation, or such other legal entity as the Secretary considers appropriate, who has members, stockholders, partners, joint operator,1 or owners who are all related to one another by blood or marriage;

(D)(i) in the case of an owner and operator of a farm or ranch, who–

(I) in the case of a loan made to an individual, individually or with the immediate family of the applicant–

(aa) materially and substantially participates in the operation of the farm or ranch; and

(bb) provides substantial day-to-day labor and management of the farm or ranch, consistent with the practices in the State or county in which the farm or ranch is located; or


(II)(aa) in the case of a loan made to a cooperative, corporation, partnership, joint operation, or such other legal entity as the Secretary considers appropriate, has members, stockholders, partners, joint operators, or owners, materially and substantially participate in the operation of the farm or ranch; and

(bb) in the case of a loan made to a cooperative, corporation, partnership, joint operation, or other such legal entity as the Secretary considers appropriate, has members, stockholders, partners, or joint operators, all of whom are qualified beginning farmers or ranchers; and


(ii) in the case of an applicant seeking to own and operate a farm or ranch, who–

(I) in the case of a loan made to an individual, individually or with the immediate family of the applicant, will–

(aa) materially and substantially participate in the operation of the farm or ranch; and

(bb) provide substantial day-to-day labor and management of the farm or ranch, consistent with the practices in the State or county in which the farm or ranch is located; or


(II)(aa) in the case of a loan made to a cooperative, corporation, partnership, joint operation, or such other legal entity as the Secretary considers appropriate, will have members, stockholders, partners, joint operators, or owners, materially and substantially participate in the operation of the farm or ranch; and

(bb) in the case of a loan made to a cooperative, corporation, partnership, joint operation, or other such legal entity as the Secretary considers appropriate, has members, stockholders, partners, or joint operators, all of whom are qualified beginning farmers or ranchers;


(E) who agrees to participate in such loan assessment, borrower training, and financial management programs as the Secretary may require;

(F) who does not own land or who, directly or through interests in family farm corporations, owns land, the aggregate acreage of which does not exceed 30 percent of the average acreage of the farms or ranches, as the case may be, in the county in which the farm or ranch operations of the applicant are located, as reported in the most recent census of agriculture, except that this subparagraph shall not apply to a loan made or guaranteed under subchapter II; and

(G) who demonstrates that the available resources of the applicant and spouse (if any) of the applicant are not sufficient to enable the applicant to continue farming or ranching on a viable scale.


(12) Debt forgiveness.–

(A) In general.–Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the term “debt forgiveness” means reducing or terminating a farmer program loan made or guaranteed under this chapter, in a manner that results in a loss to the Secretary, through–

(i) writing down or writing off a loan under section 2001 of this title;

(ii) compromising, adjusting, reducing, or charging-off a debt or claim under section 1981 of this title;

(iii) paying a loss on a guaranteed loan under section 2005 of this title; or

(iv) discharging a debt as a result of bankruptcy.


(B) Exceptions.–The term “debt forgiveness” does not include–

(i) consolidation, rescheduling, reamortization, or deferral of a loan; or

(ii) any write-down provided as part of a resolution of a discrimination complaint against the Secretary.


(13) Rural and rural area.–

(A) In general.–Subject to subparagraphs (B) through (I), the terms “rural” and “rural area” mean any area other than–

(i) a city or town that has a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants; and

(ii) any urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to a city or town described in clause (i).


(B) Water and waste disposal grants and direct loans.–For the purpose of water and waste disposal grants and direct loans provided under paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 1926(a) of this title, the terms “rural” and “rural area” mean a city, town, or unincorporated area that has a population of no more than 10,000 inhabitants.

(C) Community facility loans and grants.–For the purpose of community facility direct loans and grants under paragraphs (1), (19), (20), and (21) of section 1926(a) of this title, the terms “rural” and “rural area” mean any area other than a city, town, or unincorporated area that has a population of greater than 20,000 inhabitants.

(D) Areas rural in character.–

(i) Application.–This subparagraph applies to–

(I) an urbanized area described in subparagraphs (A)(ii) and (F) that–

(aa) has 2 points on its boundary that are at least 40 miles apart; and

(bb) is not contiguous or adjacent to a city or town that has a population of greater than 150,000 inhabitants or an urbanized area of such city or town; and


(II) an area within an urbanized area described in subparagraphs (A)(ii) and (F) that is within ¼-mile of a rural area described in subparagraph (A).


(ii) Determination.–Notwithstanding any other provision of this paragraph, on the petition of a unit of local government in an area described in clause (i) or on the initiative of the Under Secretary for Rural Development, the Under Secretary may determine that a part of an area described in clause (i) is a rural area for the purposes of this paragraph, if the Under Secretary finds that the part is rural in character, as determined by the Under Secretary.

(iii) Administration.–In carrying out this subparagraph, the Under Secretary for Rural Development shall–

(I) not delegate the authority to carry out this subparagraph;

(II) consult with the applicable rural development State or regional director of the Department of Agriculture and the governor of the respective State;

(III) provide to the petitioner an opportunity to appeal to the Under Secretary a determination made under this subparagraph;

(IV) release to the public notice of a petition filed or initiative of the Under Secretary under this subparagraph not later than 30 days after receipt of the petition or the commencement of the initiative, as appropriate;

(V) make a determination under this subparagraph not less than 15 days, and not more than 60 days, after the release of the notice under subclause (IV);

(VI) submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate an annual report on actions taken to carry out this subparagraph; and

(VII) terminate a determination under this subparagraph that part of an area is a rural area on the date that data is available for the next decennial census conducted under section 141(a) of title 13.


(E) Exclusions.–Notwithstanding any other provision of this paragraph, in determining which census blocks in an urbanized area are not in a rural area (as defined in this paragraph), the Secretary shall exclude any cluster of census blocks that would otherwise be considered not in a rural area only because the cluster is adjacent to not more than 2 census blocks that are otherwise considered not in a rural area under this paragraph.

(F) Urban area growth.–

(i) Application.–This subparagraph applies to–

(I) any area that–

(aa) is a collection of census blocks that are contiguous to each other;

(bb) has a housing density that the Secretary estimates is greater than 200 housing units per square mile; and

(cc) is contiguous or adjacent to an existing boundary of a rural area; and


(II) any urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to a city or town described in subparagraph (A)(i).


(ii) Adjustments.–The Secretary may, by regulation only, consider–

(I) an area described in clause (i)(I) not to be a rural area for purposes of subparagraphs (A) and (C); and

(II) an area described in clause (i)(II) not to be a rural area for purposes of subparagraph (C).


(iii) Appeals.–A program applicant may appeal an estimate made under clause (i)(I) based on appropriate data for an area, as determined by the Secretary.


(G) Hawaii and puerto rico.–Notwithstanding any other provision of this paragraph, within the areas of the County of Honolulu, Hawaii, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Secretary may designate any part of the areas as a rural area if the Secretary determines that the part is not urban in character, other than any area included in the Honolulu Census Designated Place or the San Juan Census Designated Place.

(H) Exclusion of incarcerated populations.–Populations of individuals incarcerated on a long-term or regional basis shall not be included in determining whether an area is “rural” or a “rural area”.

(I) Limited exclusion of military base populations.–The first 1,500 individuals who reside in housing located on a military base shall not be included in determining whether an area is “rural” or a “rural area”.


(b) As used in sections 1927(d), 1981d, 1985(e) and (f), 1988(b), 2000(b) and (c), 2001, and 2005 of this title:

(1) The term “borrower” means any farm borrower who has outstanding obligations to the Secretary under any farmer program loan, without regard to whether the loan has been accelerated, but does not include any farm borrower all of whose loans and accounts have been foreclosed on or liquidated, voluntarily or otherwise.

(2) The term “loan service program” means, with respect to a farmer program borrower, a primary loan service program or a preservation loan service program.

(3) The term “primary loan service program” means–

(A) loan consolidation, rescheduling, or reamortization;

(B) interest rate reduction, including the use of the limited resource program;

(C) loan restructuring, including deferral, set aside, or writing down of the principal or accumulated interest charges, or both, of the loan; or

(D) any combination of actions described in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C).


(4) Preservation loan service program.–The term “preservation loan service program” means homestead retention as authorized under section 2000 of this title.