The United States Government has established a Claims Process to make available up to $1.33 billion or more to farmers who alleged discrimination by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) based on being female, or based on being Hispanic, in making or servicing farm loans during certain periods between 1981 and 2000. Claimants who qualify and who submit a timely claim could receive an award of up to $50,000 or up to $250,000 in cash, depending on the evidence submitted. USDA will also provide a total of up to $160 million in debt relief to successful Claimants who currently owe USDA money for eligible farm loans. In addition, successful Claimants may also receive an additional amount, equal to 25% of the combined cash award plus the principal amount of debt relief, to help pay federal taxes that may be owed.
26 NovAttorneys Sought To Assist Claimants in USDA Hispanic and Women Farmers and Ranchers Claims Process
Farmers Legal Action Group, Inc. (FLAG) and the National Agricultural Law Center (NALC) are assisting in the development of a legal assistance network of attorneys to assist claimants in the completion of the official Claims Form for the USDA Hispanic and Women Farmers and Ranchers Claims Process. The Legal Assistance Network will be publicly available on the National Agricultural Law Center website here so that claimants and others can easily access the information and make contact. For background information on the USDA HWFRCP, please see the information below and/or visit the official Claims Process website at www.farmerclaims.gov.
Please note, however, that a claimant is not required to be assisted by an attorney in order to complete and submit the official USDA HWFRCP Claim Form. In addition, the attorney need not be listed in the legal assistance network in order to assist a claimant.
For an attorney to be listed in the Legal Assistance Network, he or she must provide via email to firstname.lastname@example.org items of information:
(1) a statement from the attorney that he or she has viewed the attorney training video, which is available upon request made to email@example.com;
(2) a statement indicating the state(s) in which the attorney is licensed to practice along with the corresponding bar number(s) for those states; and
(3) appropriate contact information. Once this information is received, the attorney’s name, contact information, and state(s) in which he or she is licensed to practice will be included on the legal assistance network list published on the National Agricultural Law Center website.
Once listed in the network an attorney can be removed at any time upon request.
If you are an attorney interested in being listed in the Legal Assistance Network, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org indicates the state(s) in which you are licensed to practice along with the corresponding bar number(s) for those states, along with a request for a copy of the training video.
The Farmers Legal Action Group, Inc. and the National Agricultural Law Center will also be available to respond to your questions regarding the Claims Form and the USDA Loan and Loan Servicing Programs that may arise while you are providing assistance to potential claimants. You may contact contact either with your questions by email at HWFRCP@flaginc.orgor email@example.com, or by phone to Lynn Hayes at (651) 223-5400 or Harrison Pittman at (479) 575-7640.
USDA HWFRCP Background Information: