In order to foreclose farmland in Saskatchewan The Saskatchewan Farm Security Act requires the creditor to serve the farmer, and the Farm Land Security Board a Notice of Intention to Foreclose. Service of the Notice initiates a 150-day period during which financial review, mediation and court reporting may occur.
A field consultant from the Board will:
- Contact the farmer to review the farm financial situation and assist in preparing an accurate financial statement as the basis of settlement proposals;
- Review with the farm family their goals and objectives;
- Instruct the farmer on his rights and obligations;
- Discuss the family obtaining legal advice;
- Assist with proposals to achieve a reasonable settlement;
- Attend the mediation meeting in support of the farmer;
- 60 days is allowed for the financial review unless it is mutually extended by the parties.
Mediation is managed by The Dispute Resolution Office from the Ministry of Justice, which is independent from the Farm Land Security Board. The 45 day mediation period can be extended by agreement of all parties.
Once the farmer agrees to attend mediation, the consultant will arrange a mediation date suitable to all parties. At the meeting the parties will sign an agreement which sets out how mediation will be conducted and the expectations the mediator has of both parties. Mediation cannot occur if either party will not sign the agreement to mediate.
The farmer and the creditor will each meet separately with the mediator to discuss their understanding of the matter and how to resolve it. If agreeable, the mediator will bring all parties together to discuss solutions and help them work toward an agreement. At the end of the meeting, or shortly thereafter, the mediator will provide the parties a summary of what was concluded. The mediator and consultant will continue to work with the parties as long as progress is being made.
Both parties to the mortgage must attend. Either party may bring any representative they wish. The consultant and the mediator also attend.
The Act allows up to 45 days for mediation efforts. The mediator may close mediation prior to Day 45 if an agreement is reached or if the mediator decides no progress is being made. The mediator officially closes mediation with a letter to the DRO stating whether mediation was successful or not. DRO then informs the parties and the Board.
The creditor can ask the mediator to close mediation at any time; however it is solely the mediator’s decision to close mediation prior to the 45 days allowed in the Act.
For more detailed information about mediation contact the Dispute Resolution Office at 306 787-5747.
Report to the Court
If mediation fails to reach a settlement; or, does not occur, the creditor may ask the Board for its report to the court.
The report advises the court whether it would be just and equitable to proceed into foreclosure. The Board may report on any matter it considers relevant. The report must comment on the farmer’s reasonable possibility of meeting the mortgage obligations, and how reasonable are the farmer’s efforts to meet the mortgage obligations. The Board may interview the lender and the farmer for its report.
The court must give the Board’s report primary consideration. However, the final decision whether to proceed into foreclosure rests with the court.