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Lumbee farmers file claims in discrimination case

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PEMBROKE, NC (AP) -- 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.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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