Update on Farmer Discrimination Compensation

By Osborne & Francis
May 22, 2024
For those who have filed claims for Discrimination Financial Assistance under the Inflation Reduction Act with our firm and are curious as to when checks will be mailed, the latest update we have received is that it may be this summer, starting in June through August 2024. If you have questions about your claim unrelated to when the check will arrive, please contact us.

The USDA has been accused by farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners of perpetuating discriminatory practices during the loan process, effectively robbing them of financial stability and jeopardizing their ability to hold onto their land. While the USDA has a formal anti-discrimination policy, plaintiffs in the farmer discrimination claims say that they were unfairly denied loans on the basis of characteristics like race, gender, and sexuality.

Currently, the civil rights attorneys of Osborne & Francis are representing farmers, ranchers, and landowners who are pursuing compensation from the fund established by Congress to acknowledge the damage that discrimination has inflicted on them. Our team is available to schedule a free consultation when you contact us at (561) 678-0156 or reach out to our offices in Boca Raton or Orlando. We can walk you through the process of filing a claim, explain the qualifications in greater detail, and help estimate what your farmer discrimination claim may be worth.

Farmers May Be Compensated for Loan Discrimination

Decades of discriminatory application of agency policies have culminated in a massive claim for damages. Farmers, ranchers, and landowners across the U.S. say that they have been treated unfairly during the loan process based on characteristics like their race, disability status, and gender. For example, this may look like a loan officer insisting that a Black farmer provide excessive collateral to secure a loan as compared to what would be asked of a white farmer in a similar financial situation.

The USDA has a proven history of discriminating against Black farmers in particular, and their efforts to hold the USDA accountable have laid the legal groundwork for today’s claims. President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law in August 2022 to provide financial relief to people who have been affected by this discriminatory treatment. The IRA has acknowledged the discrimination that many minority and female farmers have experienced and sought to provide a path to financial compensation for those affected.

Next Steps for the Farmer Discrimination Claims

The IRA directed the USDA to set up a network with non-governmental agencies to evaluate claims and distribute compensation. Creating this structure is the next step in the process for the farmer discrimination claims. To that end, USDA has committed to selecting the national administrator and four directors to lead the regional hubs in the spring of 2023. The USDA will also cultivate relationships with local organizations, called cooperators, to reach potential plaintiffs.

The USDA has set an ambitious timeline for distributing the 2.2 billion dollars set aside by Congress in the Inflation Reduction Act to compensate farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners for the discrimination they have experienced. By the end of 2023, they hope to have compensated qualified claimants for their damages.

In what many view as a response to the accusations of racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination, the USDA has created a permanent position for the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. Moving forward, the USDA hopes to “take steps to rebuild trust with communities, and create a better and stronger U.S. agriculture that is more diverse and resilient”, according to a recent press release.

Understanding Eligibility for the Discrimination Financial Assistance 

Based on the conditions outlined by the Inflation Reduction Act and the general standards for a personal injury claim, the following must apply for you to be eligible to seek compensation in the form of Discrimination Financial Assistance:

  • You are a farmer, rancher, or forest landowner 
  • The discrimination happened before January 1st, 2021
  • There is evidence of discrimination, such as a loan being illegitimately denied
  • The discrimination occurred on the basis of a qualifying characteristic, such as gender
  • The discrimination inflicted damages, economic or non-economic
  • The discrimination occurred in relation to the Direct FSA farm loan program, or the FSA discriminated against you when you applied for a guaranteed farm loan

Why Should I Choose Osborne & Francis to Represent Me?

Attorney Greg Francis was lead counsel in a historic win for Black farmers who had faced discrimination at the hands of the USDA. In the case of Pigford v. Glickman, the plaintiffs walked away with 1.25 billion dollars in compensation in the largest civil rights settlement in U.S. history. This invaluable experience gives our team the advantage in negotiating the new wave of farmer discrimination claims.

During our time as personal injury lawyers, we have been committed to proving each client’s case with the attention it deserves. Our dedicated attitude and solid work ethic have led to a history of impressive case results. You can rest assured that our team of tenacious negotiators will exhibit the same level of commitment to your case in pursuit of the compensation that you deserve.

Contact Osborne & Francis for Information About the Farmer Discrimination Claims

Farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners who have been subjected to discrimination while pursuing a Direct FSA farm loan or an FSA-guaranteed farm loan may be entitled to recover compensation through the Inflation Reduction Act. The civil rights attorneys of Osborne & Francis are familiar with this specific area of law and are considered highly effective litigators in the personal injury law community. We work hard to earn this reputation every day, with every case.

You can depend on our team to unapologetically pursue a fair settlement for the damages you have sustained. We understand that facing discrimination while trying to secure a loan may have compromised your operation for years to come, and we are prepared to stand with you as you seek compensation for being treated unfairly. The civil rights lawyers of Osborne & Francis have ample trial experience and a unique history with this topic, making us the best choice to represent you as you make a claim under the Inflation Reduction Act.

Our team is available to schedule a free consultation when you contact us at (561) 678-0156 or reach out to our offices in Boca Raton or Orlando. The skilled personal injury attorneys of Osborne & Francis are equipped to provide you with the advice, resources, and credibility you need to maximize your compensation in a farmer discrimination lawsuit.

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