The Agriculture Department on Friday will begin notifying 13,000 farmers that they must seek to restructure overdue loans or face foreclosure, department officials said Wednesday.
The notices will be sent to farmers who since January have been delinquent repaying government loans, many of which were made in the early 1980s under a special program for farmers unable to pay their bills.
The loans have since become a massive burden to farmers and the government, and about half are delinquent.
"This is going to be an annual sort of thing. However, we would expect the numbers to reduce as we clean up the portfolio," said Keith Smalley of the Farmers Home Administration.