UPDATE FROM CLASS COUNSEL

The Department of Interior has informed us that it expects to provide the data for the Trust Administration Class (TAC) distributions to GCG in time for payments to begin in early Fall. It is taking Interior longer to correct some of the land records than Interior had anticipated and they have advised Class Counsel that the calculations should be ready by August 30, 2014.

Assuming Interior meets the August 30 date, Class Counsel will immediately seek the final approval needed from the Court and GCG will make preparations to begin sending out the TAC checks. The Court has always been extremely prompt in considering such requests and GCG will need only 2 – 3 weeks to begin sending out checks.

As a result, if Interior meets its predicted date, TAC payments should be able to begin early Fall. Since neither Class Counsel nor GCG control when Interior will be able to provide the corrected data, we cannot guarantee that TAC payments will be issued in this this timeframe, but will do everything within our power to try to make that happen.

We have asked the Special Master to help and he has held several status conferences to closely monitor Interior’s progress. We know these TAC payments are important to you and will continue to focus our efforts on getting them to you as soon as we can. As reliable updated information becomes available, we will let you know.

On July 14, 2014, Class Counsel filed an updated Status Report with the Court regarding the timing of Trust Administration Class payments. Also, The United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs held an oversight hearing on July 16, 2014 and Jennifer Keough of GCG testified. A copy of her written testimony and Class Counsel’s status report are under the “Court Documents” tab on this page.

David Smith and Bill Dorris

MEETINGS REGARDING COBELL SETTLEMENT

Representatives of GCG, the Claims Administrator for the Settlement, will be holding meetings in Harlem, MT on August 19, 2014 and in Browning, MT on August 20, 2014. (Click here to view details about the meetings).

Informational Meetings

Representatives of GCG, the Claims Administrator for Cobell v. Jewell (formerly Cobell v. Salazar) lawsuit, will be holding meetings in Harlem, MT on August 19, 2014 and in Browning, MT on August 20, 2014. (Click here to view details about the meetings)

Upcoming Events in Cobell v. Salazar

As we get closer to the disbursement of the Trust Administration Class payments, we wanted to provide you an update on matters that have already occurred during the month of May and will occur over the following few weeks. (click here to read the update)

A Letter from Class Counsel

Please be assured that the Court, the Claims Administrator and Class Counsel are taking all measures necessary to make sure that Trust Administration payments are distributed as quickly as possible consistent with the terms of the settlement. (click here to read a recent letter from Class Counsel)

Interior Announces First Transfer from Land Buy-Back Program to Cobell Education Fund

Initial transfer of nearly $580,000 will fund scholarship opportunities for American Indian and Alaska Native students


Read the Press Release


For information about the Cobell Scholarship Program, how to apply for a scholarship, or to provide comment about disbursement polices for the Cobell Board of Trustees, go to www.collegefund.org/Cobell.

Fraud Alert: Individuals Asking for Bank Account Information

Individuals have represented themselves as part of the Cobell Settlement and contacted one or more class members to obtain bank account information. Please be advised that these individuals are not acting on behalf of the Cobell Settlement. No one associated with the Cobell Settlement will ever request your bank account information.

If you receive a call requesting such information or you are concerned about a call you receive, please write down the phone number and contact the Garden City Group at 1-800-961-6109 or David Smith and Bill Dorris, Class Counsel, at 1-866-383-6554.

Heirs to Estates: Documents Needed

If you establish a decedent is a class member you need to provide documentation which directs distribution of the funds. The Court has ordered that the following documents are acceptable:
  • A state or tribal probate order identifying the heirs to the estate;
  • Documentation showing the appointment of an Executor, Administrator, or Personal Representative of the Estate;
  • A last will and testament that has been approved through a probate order;
  • A valid small estate document from an approved state;
  • A federal probate order that directs distribution of trust funds or trust lands.
For more information click here

Update Your Contact Information

If your address has changed or if it changes in the future, it is important you update your information with the Claims Administrator. If you wish to update your mailing address or your email address on record with the Claims Administrator, please choose one of the options below:

Scholarship Fund Information Affidavit of Small Estate Land Buy Back Program
The settlement authorizes over $60 million dollars in scholarships for Indian students. Get the Facts and learn how you may benefit. To allow for expedited payments to estate heirs the Special Master has approved small estate affidavits. The rules differ from state to state. Find out more here. Part of the Settlement will be used for purchase of fractionated land interests. For more information on the Department of the Interior's Land Buy Back, click here.