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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8, 2002

Loan Guarantees to Help Farmers Harmed by Ty-Walk Failure

SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. George H. Ryan announced today that financial assistance is available to Illinois farmers adversely affected by the failure of the Ty-Walk Liquid Sales, Inc. grain elevator.

“I have asked the Illinois Farm Development Authority (IFDA) to target its Debt Restructuring Loan Guarantee Program toward farmers who have suffered financially because of this grain elevator failure,” said Governor Ryan. "Under the Guarantee program, loans are made by local lenders and guaranteed by the state. State revenue is not required to provide this assistance."

Farmers can work with their local lenders to refinance debts related to the elevator failure as well as any other existing agricultural debts, under the terms of the Debt Restructuring Guaranteed Loan Program. To be eligible, a farmer must have a debt to asset ratio between 40% and 65% and have sufficient collateral and cash flow.

“Farmers who have been harmed by the Ty-Walk failure need help now because many of them are securing financing for their 2002 crop. The loan guarantees will improve farmers’ balance sheets, provide security and restore lenders’ confidence as they make financing decisions,” said David Wirth, Executive Director of IFDA. Typical losses include reductions in grain inventories, losses of prepaid fertilizer and chemicals and losses in grain marketing accounts.

By participating in this program, farmers benefit from improved financial structure, lower interest rates and increased liquidity. Lenders receive an 85% guarantee on the restructured loans. The Debt Restructuring Loan Guarantee Program will remain available for all Illinois farmers, although priority will be given to those adversely affected by the failure of Ty-Walk Liquid Sales, Inc.

Since 1986, more than 1200 Illinois farmers have used the Debt Restructuring Guaranteed Loan program to refinance nearly $250 million of debt. In 1999, the program was specifically targeted by the Governor to assist Illinois hog producers who had suffered precipitous declines in hog prices. IFDA loan guarantees are fully backed by the state of Illinois. They are exempt from national and state banks’ legal lending limits.

Complete information and loan applications are available from the Illinois Farm Development Authority at 800/406-4332 or 217/782-5792. Detailed information and loan applications are available online at www.state.il.us/ifda.



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