The United States Government is establishing 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.
If you qualify and submit a timely claim, you could receive an award of up to $50,000 or up to $250,000 in cash, depending on the evidence that you submit. 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. 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.
In providing debt relief to successful claimants, USDA will not make any monetary payments. Rather, to the extent the $160 million cap on debt relief allows, USDA will provide such relief by administratively canceling the entire debt or part of the debt for eligible loans obligated within the Relevant Period, including the principal amount, accrued interest, and any cost items associated with the program loan.
Debt relief will be applied to accounts only after all claims have been adjudicated. If USDA determines that it is necessary to reduce the amounts of debt relief on eligible debt due to the $160 million total cap, USDA will attempt to fully cancel as many eligible debts as possible for claimants who have more than one debt eligible for relief. If USDA is unable to fully cancel all such debts because the debt relief awarded exceeds the cap, USDA may, in its discretion, partially cancel eligible debts, or service and/or restructure such debts. Claimants will remain responsible for continuing timely payments on any remaining debts.
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