Cresskill, NJ: Relief will soon be available to the tens of thousands of Black American farmers who have still not received the funds due them through the Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation settlement. Many of these farmers, who face severe financial hardship and even foreclosure, may have to wait months, if not years, to receive their award after the settlement is finalized by the courts.
RD Legal Funding, LLC (“RD Legal”) will be providing post-settlement funding to the plaintiffs to help them stave off financial disaster as soon as their settlement amount is confirmed.
From 1988 through 1999 the USDA refused loans to black farmers while awarding greater loans to white farmers of equal standing, causing many black farmers to lose their farms or operate on a smaller scale. This systematic discrimination against Black American farmers, combined with the current financial crisis, is a significant part of the crisis facing Black American farming today:
• Black American farmers are losing their land at five times the rate of white farmers.
• In 1920, 14% of all American agricultural producers were black; in 2010, only 1% of American agricultural producers were black.
• Today only 1 in 100 farms are owned by Black American farmers representing a land loss of over 10 million acres from 1920 to 2010.
• The average age of a black farmer is 63.
“The settlement came long after I thought it would… For the average black farmer, this settlement could be night and day,” says John Boyd Jr., Founder of the National Black Farmers Association.
“Farmers could be waiting many more years before they ever see a dime from this settlement. With our legal funding services, plaintiffs can get compensated within days, not months or years," said Joe Genovesi, Senior Vice President of New Business Development.
The settlements due to Black American farmers were the result of two original class action lawsuits (Pigford v. Glickman and Brewington v. Glickman) which asserted that between 1988 and 1999, the U.S. Department of Agriculture had systematically discriminated against African-American farmers on the basis of race. The cases were consolidated then settled in 1999 with the USDA agreeing to pay $50,000 to each black farmer who participated in the lawsuit.
This represented the largest civil rights settlement in history. Over 40,000 farmers with documented claims, who had been unable to meet the original deadline, joined the suit. In November 2010, Congress approved, and President Barack Obama signed an order appropriating an additional $1.15 billion in settlements.
Plaintiffs in the Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation, and their attorneys, should contact RD Legal Funding at 1-800-565-5177 for more information about settlement financing.
Founded in 1997, RD Legal has established itself as one of the nation's leading providers of legal funding to attorneys and plaintiffs. For more information about RD Legal, please visit http://www.legalfunding.com.