Friday, March 14, 2008

Pigford Class Hopefuls BEWARE OF SCAMS!



Based on information gathered at the 10th National Black Land Loss Summit, the more than 60,000 Late Claims for the historic Black Farmers Class Action – Pigford vs. Glickman, farmers, their decendents and heirs who are looking forward to becoming part of the lawsuit should be cautioned about signing “legal papers and retaining attorneys” before the US Congress and President George W. Bush pass and sign the 2007 Farm Bill. As in the past, there are always those lurking to see, once again, how they can profit from the struggles and catastrophes of others. What needs to be known:

1. How much money will be allocated by Congress?
2. What will be the process for people to have their cases evaluated?
3. What requirements will one have to meet?
4. Does being admitted for evaluation mean I will be successful in the Class?
5. What legal fees will be paid by the government and what legal fees will the claimant be responsible for?
6. How much is a lawyer charging for his/her services?
7. Can anyone other than lawyers file papers for you?

Then you must also consider JUST HOW MUCH PROOF do you have to prove discrimination. It has been the position of BFAA since Attorney Al Pires and the USDA agreed on this “Consent Decree,” that the government would find as many ways as possible to prevent those who have experienced the USDA’s discrimination to simply stall and hold off until the farmer is no longer willing to undergo the torture, is in such a state of ill health that real facts can no longer be recalled or may have died. Decendents trying to carry the case forward may not have all the facts, papers and other pieces needed to be successful in the process.

BFAA cautions on this issue based on the fact that almost 40% of the original claimants were denied and 10 years after Pigford successful claimants are still trying to collect.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact the BFAA office at 252-826-2800 or

The 10th National Black Land Loss Summit was held February 15-17, 2008, held in the Historic Communities of the Tillery Resettlement Farm and the Franklinton Center at Bricks, with 13 states represented and speakers from the Pigford Monitor’s Office, the USDA Office of Civil Rights, Researchers, Activists and farmers and landowners, all who are dealing with the Pigford Class Action.

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