Farming as a profession has experienced more drastic changes to economic standing in the U.S. during the past 50 years than almost any other types of industry. In the 1970s, farming in Minnesota and across the U.S. was reaching an all-time high, with the value of land meeting higher heights than ever before. Export of goods increased, and farmers were able to get more credit with goals to grow their operations.
Unfortunately, the farm crisis in the 1980s quickly led to a downfall of many Minnesota farms and a spike in agriculture bankruptcies. This farm depression is still affecting family farmers and fishers even 20 to 30 years later, and Minnesota’s agricultural industry is walking a difficult road, especially given the ongoing trade dispute with China. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy as a family farmer or fisher, Behm Law Group, Ltd. can help you build a strong case for Chapter 12 bankruptcy in Mankato, MN.
Chapter 12 bankruptcy is a process designed specifically for family farmers and fishers (those who earn over 50% of their gross income from their agricultural operations) who are in debt but maintain a steady income. This bankruptcy process works as a reorganization of debts into a manageable repayment plan suited to your income and expenses lasting three to five years.
Though the process of bankruptcy for farms has changed slightly since the 1980s farm crisis, the concept is the same, and Chapter 12 bankruptcy has helped many individuals find debt relief when desperately needed. However, the effect of that crisis is still on the table for a wide majority of farmers. During the time of the crisis, land values dropped an average of 50% towards the end of the 80s, equipment costs rose almost 25%, and the U.S. dollar value weakened considerably.
In 1986, Chapter 12 was added to the bankruptcy code under the Family Farmer Bankruptcy Act. By 1999 over 9,550 farms across the U.S. filed for Chapter 12 bankruptcy. Despite this, by 1987, the government issued subsidies to Minnesota farms with a total of just over $712 million.
In addition to these changes, the price of milk, wheat, corn, and soy fell gradually over the next decade, adding to the difficulties family farming operations face even now. In 1978, Minnesota was home to about 98,600 family-owned farms. Today, those numbers barely meet 75,000, despite the growth in population and crop demands.
The residual effects of the 1980s farm crisis still impact Minnesota farmers today, and the debt relief and long-term security that Chapter 12 bankruptcy provides is a valuable option to many famers. The help of an expert attorney when filing can make all the difference. To get started on your case today, contact Behm Law Group, Ltd. at (507) 387-7200 and begin your petition for Chapter 12 bankruptcy in Mankato, MN.