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Volume 7 - Number 26

December 19, 2014

USDA Implements New Definition of ‘Rural’ Area

The Department of Agriculture’s Rural Housing Service (RHS) has issued a final rule implementing a new statutory definition of “rural” or “rural area” that could mean increased origination of rural home loans with a USDA guarantee. The Agricultural Act of 2014, also known as the 2014 Farm Bill, mandated the change. Being a statutory requirement, no public comment was sought for the final rule. According to the statute, an area that has a population of more than 10,000 but not exceeding 35,000, and is rural in character and seriously lacks mortgage credit is a “rural area.” The new definition applies to areas deemed rural before Oct. 1, 1990, and later determined not to be rural after the 1990, 2000 or 2010 census and any area deemed rural anytime between Jan. 1, 2000, and Dec. 31, 2010. They will retain eligibility until the receipt of the ...

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