The Mediation Process
Mediation is independent of other Rural Development procedures. A trained, impartial, neutral person (the mediator) works with the customer and the Rural Development representative to discuss the reasons for an adverse decision, helps to identify and consider options, and assists in finding a voluntary solution. The mediator has no authoritative decision-making power.
Any mutually agreed to resolution, which has been signed by both parties, is considered a binding contract supported by both State and Federal law.
When the Rural Development program area issues an adverse decision concerning the use of a program resource (loan, grant or technical assistance), mediation is an option to clarify and resolve a dispute with the customer. Adverse decisions include:
There may be a cost associated with mediation. Any costs are shared equally between the customer and Rural Development. In most cases, the cost for both parties is less than $100. Complex cases will cost more. Most mediators will be able to estimate the costs before mediation begins.
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