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ALLEN REED
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The deadline is approaching for North Carolinians to join in a class action lawsuit that alleges the US Department of Agriculture unfairly denied loans to black farmers in the 1980s and 1990s.

Friday is the deadline for those who are seeking part of the settlement.

The government settled the lawsuit in 2010. Advocates involved in the case think 90,000 black farmers are eligible to claim about $1.2 billion under a bill signed by President Barack Obama.

About 4,000 black farmers in North Carolina may be eligible for the payouts of up to $250,000. The larger payouts require farmers, or their families, to prove actual damages related to racial discrimination from the USDA.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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