NJP News | Volume 2 | Issue 4
Used Car Dealer to Pay for Consumer Violations, Discrimination Against Latinos

Used Cars
Latino consumers will no longer face abusive,
discriminatory practices by a large used car dealer in Washington. NJP-CLEAR and the King County Debt Clinic contacted the Wing Luke Civil Rights Unit at the WA Attorney General's Office after seeing a pattern of abuse in used car sales involving primarily Spanish speaking car buyers across the state. Abuse of low-income individuals in used car sales is widespread with serious consequences for low-income families seeking reliable transportation for work, and also dangerous conditions when warranties are not honored and cars repaired.

The AG's investigation found that Zein Automobiles Inc./ZAG Auto Group, which operates Best Bet Auto Sales and Independence Auto Center, targeted Spanish
-speakers, orally offering one set of terms, but including different terms in documents written in English. Zein's employees misrepresented loan terms, interest rates, title branding issues and warranties in violation of the Washington Law Against Discrimination and the state Consumer Protection Act. The Wing Luke Civil Rights Unit entered into a consent decree that requires Zein Automobiles to pay $250,000 in restitution; to make Spanish-language contracts available whenever it advertises in Spanish and provide them to customers when the sales transaction is conducted in Spanish; to honor all warranties promised in its advertisements, including six-month and one-year warranties; and cease any deceptive or misleading practices. See: AG web site - Press release (English); Boletí­n de Prensa (Español); Claim Forms / Formulario de Reclamo
Barbara's Children Avoid Foster Care and Face a Better Future

two boys walking
Foster care placement of two young children was recently avoided thanks to an exciting partnership between the Center for Children and Youth (CCYJ) and NJP. Barbara*, a former foster child, found herself struggling and facing the prospect of her 8 and 10 year-old children being placed in foster care. CCYJ's innovative Family Advocacy Center provides a holistic, team approach to avoid or reduce foster placements through essential social supports and services. Importantly, CCYJ also contracts with NJP to provide an attorney as part of the team. With a lawyer by her side, Barbara was able to negotiate a protective parenting plan that ended the state's year-long dependency action without a foster placement, avoiding the adverse effects of foster placements for Barbara's children and society.
Disabled, 70-Year Old Veteran Can Live In Peace As Affordable Home Protected

Bob*, a disabled veteran, has lived in his double-wide mobile home in a quiet ocean-front community for more than 12 years. Since buying the mobile home, he has put in a deck, a front porch, and a lot of time and work to make it an enjoyable, comfortable place. He was shocked when he recently received a less than two-month notice terminating his tenancy and threatening to cut off his water because the land was being sold. The notice also demanded that he sign over title to his mobile home, without compensation, when he vacated.  Bob called NJP's CLEAR-Senior line for help. CLEAR-Senior quickly determined the property appeared to be operating as a mobile home park and identified numerous violations of the Manufactured/Mobile Home Landlord-Tenant Act (MHLTA). When the owner's attorney took the position the owner was not bound by the MHLTA, NJP's Aberdeen office stepped in to represent Bob. After extensive negotiations, the new owners amicably agreed to maintain the rent for Bob's lot affordable, and to drill a new well to ensure water service to the home. Lastly, the owner agreed to pay fair value for the client's home if he decides to move in the future.  Bob can now enjoy his home and community without fear of displacement.
Steve Fredrickson
Preserve the Legacy: Support the Steve Fredrickson Fellowship

The Steve Fredrickson Fellowship was established by NJP in 2015 to honor and carry forward Steve's 45-year civil legal aid legacy in Washington. The Fellowship supports innovative advocacy projects to effectively address the housing and consumer needs of low-income persons in Washington.
Please join Steve Fredrickson, his colleagues and friends, and Rachel Collins, the 2015 Inaugural Steve Fredrickson Fellow on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 5:30 to 7:30 PM at the Impact Hub Seattle, 220 2nd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104. Hors d'oeuvres and refreshments provided by Northwest Justice Project.

There is no cost to attend this event. Guests will be invited to honor Steve Fredrickson with a contribution to support the Steve Fredrickson Fellowship. RSVP Here. Learn more about the  Steve Fredrickson Fellowship.
To learn more about our work contact Bryan Baker, Director of Development, like us on Facebook, and visit our website where you can access our annual reports and explore more of NJP. Also, please share NJP News with your friends and colleagues so they can join NJP in helping make equal justice a reality in Washington State.
César E. Torres
Executive Director
* to protect confidentiality real names not used.
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