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Survey shows bankers’ efforts result in no increase in foreclosures for agriculture customers
(MADISON) The majority of Wisconsin agricultural bankers have seen no increase in the number of foreclosures filed on their ag customers in 2009 according to the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA). More than 83 percent of the 95 banks responding to a recent WBA survey indicated this positive trend. Showcasing a willingness to work with customers, 75 percent of the bankers surveyed said their bank increased the number of loan restructures done in 2009 compared to 2008 for their ag customers.
“Wisconsin bankers always go the extra mile serving their customers and communities and these numbers highlight the positive effects of their efforts in the agricultural sector during these difficult economic times,” said Kurt Bauer, WBA president/CEO. “Bankers work with farmers on a daily basis and truly are partners with them.”
While no increase in foreclosures for 2009 doesn’t mean there have been no foreclosures, bankers continue to work diligently with their customers to keep the foreclosure number relatively low. One hundred percent of the ag bankers surveyed said their bank filed just five or fewer foreclosures on their ag customers in the past year.
Among the ways Wisconsin banks assisted their ag customers was converting monthly payments to interest only, for periods up to 12 months. Others indicated that understanding farming is a cyclical business and how to compensate for that in a down economy is key in assisting the agricultural industry.