PEMBROKE - Farmers who belong to the Lumbee Indian Tribe have begun filing claims now that a nationwide discrimination case involving the federal government has been settled.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has settled a $680 million lawsuit on behalf of American Indian farmers who said they were denied loans over several decades because of discrimination. Lawyers handling claims are operating out of a converted barn on a Lumbee farmer's property in Pembroke. Depending on their documentation, farmers can get up to either $50,000 or $250,000 from the settlement, plus debt forgiveness.
USDA officials say there's no way to know how many farmers are eligible for the payouts.