A $1.25 billion settlement with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) was recently approved by the United States District Court in the District of Columbia. This Settlement will pay cash and provide farm loan forgiveness to those who qualify.
The original Pigford Settlement in 1999 provided benefits to certain African Americans who farmed or attempted to farm but experienced farm loan discrimination by the USDA. But many eligible people did not file claims until after the original claims deadline. The current settlement provides benefits to some of those late filers including African American who:
1) Experienced farm loan discrimination by the USDA between 1981 and 1996; and
2) Whose late claim or request to participate in the original Pigford case was denied or never considered because it was submitted after October 12, 1999, the late claims deadline.
Heirs or kin of someone who died who fits this description may be included.
The Court has granted final approval to the settlement. People who are included should seek help from the lawyers the court has approved as Class Counsel to assist them free of charge in completing a claim form. These lawyers will be holding meetings throughout the country to provide information and to assist in preparing claims forms. For more information about these meetings, people should call 1-877-810-8110 or visit www.BlackFarmerCase.com. The claims deadline is May 11, 2012, and claims take time to complete, so those who are included should begin the claims-preparation process immediately.
You are not eligible for a payment under this settlement if you did not submit a request to participate in the original Pigford case between October 13, 1999 and June 18, 2008 or if you received a payment or a final decision in that case.