United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Jun 10, 2023

§ 1981.
Farmers Home Administration
Appointment and compensation of Administrator; transfer of powers, duties, and assets pertaining to agricultural credit

In accordance with section 2006a of this title, for purposes of this chapter, and for the administration of assets under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to the Farmers Home Administration Act of 1946, as amended, the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act, as amended, the Act of August 28, 1937, as amended, the Act of April 6, 1949, as amended, the Act of August 31, 1954, as amended, and the powers and duties of the Secretary under any other Act authorizing agricultural credit, the Secretary may assign and transfer such powers, duties, and assets to such officers or agencies of the Department of Agriculture as the Secretary considers appropriate.

Powers of Secretary of Agriculture
The Secretary may—
administer his powers and duties through such national, area, State, or local offices and employees in the United States as he determines to be necessary and may authorize an office to serve the area composed of two or more States if he determines that the volume of business in the area is not sufficient to justify separate State offices, and until January 1, 1975, make contracts for services incident to making, insuring, collecting, and servicing loans and property as determined by the Secretary to be necessary for carrying out the purposes of this chapter; (and the Secretary shall prior to June 30, 1974, report to the Congress through the President on the experience in using such contracts, together with recommendations for such legislation as he may see fit);
accept and utilize voluntary and uncompensated services, and, with the consent of the agency concerned, utilize the officers, employees, equipment, and information of any agency of the Federal Government, or of any State, territory, or political subdivision;
within the limits of appropriations made therefor, make necessary expenditures for purchase or hire of passenger vehicles, and such other facilities and services as he may from time to time find necessary for the proper administration of this chapter;
compromise, adjust, reduce, or charge-off debts or claims (including debts and claims arising from loan guarantees), and adjust, modify, subordinate, or release the terms of security instruments, leases, contracts, and agreements entered into or administered by the Consolidated Farm Service Agency,1
 See Change of Name note below.
Rural Utilities Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, or a successor agency, or the Rural Development Administration, except for activities under the Housing Act of 1949 [42 U.S.C. 1441 et seq.]. In the case of a security instrument entered into under the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 901 et seq.), the Secretary shall notify the Attorney General of the intent of the Secretary to exercise the authority of the Secretary under this paragraph. The Secretary may not require liquidation of property securing any farmer program loan or acceleration of any payment required under any farmer program loan as a prerequisite to initiating an action authorized under this subsection. After consultation with a local or area county committee, the Secretary may release borrowers or others obligated on a debt, except for debt incurred under the Housing Act of 1949, from personal liability with or without payment of any consideration at the time of the compromise, adjustment, reduction, or charge-off of any claim, except that no compromise, adjustment, reduction, or charge-off of any claim may be made or carried out after the claim has been referred to the Attorney General, unless the Attorney General approves;
except for activities conducted under the Housing Act of 1949 [42 U.S.C. 1441 et seq.], collect all claims and obligations administered by the Farmers Home Administration, or under any mortgage, lease, contract, or agreement entered into or administered by the Farmers Home Administration and, if in his judgment necessary and advisable, pursue the same to final collection in any court having jurisdiction;
release mortgage and other contract liens if it appears that they have no present or prospective value or that their enforcement likely would be ineffectual or uneconomical;
obtain fidelity bonds protecting the Government against fraud and dishonesty of officers and employees of the Farmers Home Administration in lieu of faithful performance of duties bonds under section 14 2
 See References in Text note below.
of title 6, and regulations issued pursuant thereto, but otherwise in accordance with the provisions thereof;
consent to (A) long-term leases of facilities financed under this subchapter notwithstanding the failure of the lessee to meet any of the requirements of this subchapter if such long-term leases are necessary to ensure the continuation of services for which financing was extended to the lessor, and (B) the transfer of property securing any loan or financed by any loan or grant made, insured, or held by the Secretary under this chapter, or the provisions of any other law administered by the Rural Development Administration under this chapter or by the Farmers Home Administration, upon such terms as he deems necessary to carry out the purpose of the loan or grant or to protect the financial interest of the Government, and shall document the consent of the Secretary for the transfer of the property of a borrower in the file of the borrower; and
notwithstanding that an area ceases, or has ceased, to be “rural”, in a “rural area”, or an eligible area, make loans and grants, and approve transfers and assumptions, under this chapter on the same basis as though the area still was rural in connection with property securing any loan made, insured, or held by the Secretary under this chapter or in connection with any property held by the Secretary under this chapter.
Delinquent claims and obligations

The Secretary may use for the prosecution or defense of any claim or obligation described in subsection (b)(5) the Attorney General, the General Counsel of the Department of Agriculture, or a private attorney who has entered into a contract with the Secretary.

Rural college coordinated strategy
In general

The Secretary shall develop a coordinated strategy across the relevant programs within the Rural Development mission areas to serve the specific, local needs of rural communities when making investments in rural community colleges and technical colleges through other authorities in effect on February 7, 2014.


In developing a coordinated strategy, the Secretary shall consult with groups representing rural-serving community colleges and technical colleges to coordinate critical investments in rural community colleges and technical colleges involved in workforce training.


Nothing in this subsection provides a priority for funding under authorities in effect on February 7, 2014.


The Secretary shall use the coordinated strategy and information developed for the strategy to more effectively serve rural communities with respect to investments in community colleges and technical colleges.

Development of rural broadband infrastructure
Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Secretary may allow a recipient of a grant, loan, or loan guarantee provided by the Office of Rural Development under this chapter to use not more than 10 percent of the amount so provided—
for any activity for which assistance may be provided under section 601 of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 [7 U.S.C. 950bb]; or
to construct other broadband infrastructure.
Paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not apply to a recipient who is seeking to provide retail broadband service in any area where retail broadband service is available at the minimum broadband speeds, as defined under section 601(e) of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 [7 U.S.C. 950bb(e)].
The Secretary shall not provide funding under paragraph (1) if the funding would result in competitive harm to any grant, loan, or loan guarantee provided under the Rural Electrification Act of 1936.
Access to information to verify income for participants in certain rural housing programs

The Secretary and the designees of the Secretary are hereby granted the same access to information and subject to the same requirements applicable to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development as provided in section 653 of title 42 and section 6103(l)(7)(D)(ix) of title 26 to verify income for individuals participating in sections 502, 504, 521, and 542 of the Housing Act of 1949 (42 U.S.C. 1472, 1474, 1490a, and 1490r), notwithstanding section 653(l) of title 42.

(Pub. L. 87–128, title III, § 331, Aug. 8, 1961, 75 Stat. 312; Pub. L. 90–488, § 11, Aug. 15, 1968, 82 Stat. 771; Pub. L. 92–419, title I, § 124, Aug. 30, 1972, 86 Stat. 665; Pub. L. 95–334, title I, § 121, Aug. 4, 1978, 92 Stat. 427; Pub. L. 97–98, title XVI, § 1603, Dec. 22, 1981, 95 Stat. 1346; Pub. L. 99–198, title XIII, § 1309, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1523; Pub. L. 100–233, title VI, § 615(c), Jan. 6, 1988, 101 Stat. 1682; Pub. L. 101–624, title XVIII, §§ 1805, 1806, title XXIII, §§ 2303(a), 2388(d)(1), Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3819, 3981, 4052; Pub. L. 102–237, title V, § 501(c), title VII, § 701(h)(1)(E), Dec. 13, 1991, 105 Stat. 1866, 1880; Pub. L. 103–248, § 2, May 11, 1994, 108 Stat. 619; Pub. L. 103–354, title II, § 226(h), Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3216; Pub. L. 104–127, title VI, §§ 631, 632, title VII, § 748, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1092, 1128; Pub. L. 107–171, title V, §§ 5303, 5304(a), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 345; Pub. L. 113–79, title VI, § 6018, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 846; Pub. L. 115–334, title VI, §§ 6210(a), 6417, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4743, 4763.)
cite as: 7 USC 1981