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Update on Black Farmer Lawsuit Payments
Published:
7/20/2013 3:51:20 PM


EPES, ALABAMA - In a telephone conference call last week with leaders of the Network of Black Farm Groups and Advocates, lead class counsel attorneys said farmers in the "In Re Black Farmers" case (better known as Pigford II) should receive decision letters by the first part of August or sooner.

Attorneys Hank Sanders of Selma, Alabama and Greg Francis of Orlando, Florida said on the call that the "neutrals", the judges who reviewed the claims, had made decisions on almost all of the 33,000 non-duplicate claims they received. The Claims Administrator in Portland, Oregon will be sending out decision letters by the beginning of next month or possibly sooner.

Sanders said that 17,800 of the Track "A" claimants had been successful and another 800 claims were still being reviewed to see if they were duplicates or multiple claims filed on the same farmland. The remaining claims were unsuccessful. Sanders said no Track "B" claims, for higher monetary damages, had been approved.

Because of the $1.25 billion dollars, approved by Congress to pay claims in the case, all of the Track "A" successful claimants will receive the full damage payment of $50,000. This includes both 'late' and 'late-late' filers. A payment will be made to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of $12,500 on behalf of each successful claimant to cover his or her Federal income tax liability for the damage award. This is a total award of $62,500 for each successful claimant.

For successful claimants seeking debt relief for loans from USDA agencies, their claims are also still under review to determine the specific amount of farm debt to be forgiven under the settlement.

Farmers will receive a letter in the next few weeks informing them if they have a favorable or unfavorable decision on their claims. Successful farmers will be given instructions on applying for their funds. Unsuccessful claimants will receive a checklist showing the reason(s) their claim was denied. These decisions are final and there will be no appeals.

Claimants filing on behalf of a deceased relative will have to go through the probate process to designate a family member as the "legal representative of the estate". This person will be eligible to apply for and receive the payment made out to the estate and distribute the proceeds to the other heirs after payment of expenses and taxes due on the estate.

Based on the data given by the lawyers, about 55% of the claimants in the Pigford II case whose claims were reviewed by the judges were successful in the case. This is slightly less than the 63% who prevailed in Pigford I after all appeals were completed.

Ralph Paige, Executive Director of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives and leading member of the Network of Black Farm Groups thanked class counsel for their help and representation. "We and the farmers are cautiously awaiting these decision letters to see the results of this long process. We will continue to assist and support farmers in the process of claiming their payments," said Paige. 


Visitor Comments
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Submitted By: Julius C Parker, JrSubmitted: 8/1/2013
To : The claims track-B Neutral- I don't think you use good judgment on determination on my Tract-B claim , If I do not meet the required qualifications I don't know who. Thanks Julius


Submitted By: Julius C Parker, JrSubmitted: 8/1/2013
To : The claims track-B Neutral- I don't think you use good judgment on determination on my Tract-B claim , If I do not meet the required qualifications I don't know who. Thanks Julius


Submitted By: Priscilla MossSubmitted: 9/7/2013
I was denied for my mom that was ill at the time of her claim. My mother had stomach cancer I am sadden that I was chosen to help with the lawyers going back to court, this is unfair to my deceased mom that asked me to fight on her behalf. I need some closure. Sincerely tracking#35256.


Submitted By: Submitted: 9/8/2013
What did they go by because I do not agree with the decision. People got approve that lied and the ones that told the truth got denied. The decision wasn't fair and it needs to be reviewed again.


Submitted By: Submitted: 9/8/2013
What did they go by because I do not agree with the decision. People got approve that lied and the ones that told the truth got denied. The decision wasn't fair and it needs to be reviewed again.


Submitted By: Submitted: 9/8/2013
What did they go by because I do not agree with the decision. People got approve that lied and the ones that told the truth got denied. The decision wasn't fair and it needs to be reviewed again.


Submitted By: Submitted: 9/18/2013
I filed on behalf of my deceased father, who, along with my mother, were really entitled to these benefits. This was denied stating it had not been proven that a prior decision was not made on their behalf. I think we should have been allowed the opportunity to clear up the misunderstanding, before finalizing the claim. It is so unfair for my mother to see her family and friends be approved and she is denied. Thanks for any assistance you may be able to give.


Submitted By: Lois Ann densonSubmitted: 10/21/2013


Submitted By: CareySubmitted: 10/23/2013
My father is deceased. How long ago years do they go back . Meaning if he died n 1958! Is they egible


Submitted By: Cynthia Baker-ShipmonSubmitted: 11/4/2013
I failed a claims on behalf of my dad who ill from heart failure, and I would like to know what I can do to get his settlement, please e-mail me to let me know how you can help solve this problem. Because of the way the lawyers made contact with me I was sure he would receive his settlement. Thanking you in advance for this matter. Cynthia


Submitted By: Submitted: 2/12/2014
I filed a claim on behalf of my Father who is deceased and my Mother .


Submitted By: Submitted: 2/12/2014
I filed a claim on behalf of my Father who is deceased and my Mother .


 
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