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Change in Bilateral Settlement Agreement Creates Opportunity for Americans to File Claims Against Albania

WASHINGTON –The Albanian government accepted a proposal made by the United States government to amend the 1995 claims settlement agreement between the two countries, Chairman Mauricio Tamargo announced today.

The Foreign Claims Settlement Commission will notify all claimants with claims against Albania that the Albanian government accepted the proposed amendment on April 27, 2006, and that claimants are no longer required to establish that they were residing in the United States on any specific date. Claimants must still establish that the claimed property was owned by a United States citizen at the time it was confiscated.

Chairman Tamargo noted that the Commission has received and adjudicated a total of 335 claims in its Albanian claims program, and that of these, approximately 50 had been denied because of the residency requirement. These claims will now be eligible for re-opening and re-evaluation as a result of this amendment of the settlement agreement. In addition, the Commission will accept any new claims that claimants may wish to submit. The Chairman said that approximately $1 million still remains in the settlement fund established under the 1995 agreement, and although it is difficult to estimate the value of the claims now eligible for reconsideration, he believes the remaining monies should be sufficient to cover those claims in full, without a pro rata reduction.

All inquiries concerning the filing of a claim should be forwarded directly to the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission of the United States at 600 E Street N.W., Suite 6002, Washington, D.C. 20579, Phone: (202) 616-6975, Fax: (202) 616-6993.

The Foreign Claims Settlement Commission of the United States is a quasi-judicial, independent agency within the Justice Department which adjudicates claims of U.S. nationals against foreign governments. More information about the Commission is available at