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Welcome to the Information Website for the Keepseagle v. Vilsack Settlement.

Meetings Scheduled to Address Distribution of Unclaimed Settlement Funds

Following completion of the claims process and payment of all successful claims pursuant to the Settlement Agreement, there is approximately $380 million remaining in the settlement fund. Pursuant to the Settlement Agreement, those funds may only be given to non-profit organizations which provide services to current Native American farmers and ranchers and Native Americans seeking to become farmers and ranchers. Additional information about this “cy pres” distribution, including the schedule of public meetings, is available here.

The claim filing deadline for the Keepseagle settlement was December 27, 2011. All determinations on claims have been issued at this time. For important tax information for successful claimants, please click here.

A $760 million Settlement with the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) has been reached in the Keepseagle v. Vilsack class action lawsuit. The lawsuit claimed the USDA discriminated against Native Americans by denying them equal access to credit in the USDA Farm Loan Program.

The lawsuit claims that the USDA denied thousands of Native American farmers and ranchers the same opportunities to get farm loans or loan servicing that were given to white farmers and ranchers. Plaintiffs also claim that the USDA did not do outreach to Native American farmers and ranchers or provide them with the technical assistance they needed to prepare applications for loans and loan servicing.

The Class includes all Native American farmers and ranchers who:

  • Farmed or ranched or attempted to farm or ranch between January 1, 1981 and November 24, 1999; and
  • Sought, or attempted to seek, a farm loan from the USDA during that period; and
  • Complained about discrimination to the USDA orally or in writing on their own or through a representative, such as a tribal government, during the same time period.

Excluded are claims of Class Members who either:

  • Experienced discrimination only between January 1 and November 23, 1997; or
  • Complained of discrimination only between July 1 and November 23, 1997.

You may be eligible for a payment of up to $50,000 or more and forgiveness of some or all outstanding USDA loans if you qualify as a class member.

The Court in charge of this case has approved the Settlement. Once the time has passed for any appeals, the claims process will begin. Please be patient. A schedule of meetings that will be held to assist class members with submitting Track A claims will be posted shortly. At this time, you may view the full Notice of the proposed Settlement. A copy is available for you to download by clicking here.

This website will be updated as more information becomes available. Please check back periodically for important updates regarding the Settlement.