If you believe you were discriminated against by the USDA in applying for a loan or loan servicing because you are female or Hispanic, you may be eligible for up to $250,000 plus debt and tax relief in a new administrative settlement with the United States.
In a new voluntary administrative claims process, the United States is establishing a method for farmers who submit timely claims alleging discrimination by USDA, due to their being Hispanic or female, in responding to their applications for farm loans or loan servicing from 1981 to 2000 to collect up to $250,000.
There claims process involves differing levels of awards, called tiers.
For Tier 2 Claimants:
• Prevailing claimants will receive a $50,000 cash award, plus tax relief, and debt relief on eligible farm loans.
• Claimants who fail to prove their Tier 2 claims will automatically be reviewed under Tier 1(a).
For Tier 1(a) Claimants:
• Prevailing claimants will receive a cash award of up to $50,000, plus tax relief, and debt relief on eligible farm loans.
For Tier 1(b) Claimants:
• Prevailing claimants will receive a cash award of up to $250,000 for proven actual damages, plus debt relief on eligible farm loans. No tax relief is available.
Further, a total of $160 million in debt relief will be made available by USDA to successful claimants for debts on eligible farm loan program loans.
A note to those participating in the In Re Black Farmers Discrimination Settlement: The Claims Administrator will not accept your claim if you, your spouse, or anyone on your behalf participated in any of the following cases or settlements: Pigford v. Glickman, Nos. 97-1978, 98-1693 (D.D.C.) (“Pigford”); In re Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation, No. 08-0511 (D.D.C.) (“Pigford II”); Keepseagle v. Vilsack, No. 99-3119 (D.D.C.) (“Keepseagle”).
Claimants only have until March 25, 2013 to make a claim, and the form is fairly lengthy.
See if you are eligible here.
And don’t forget to look at all the new settlements, updated daily.