Posted On: March 6, 2014 by Nancy Barron

Court Certifies Class Action Against Sacramento Car Dealer In Hmong Community

The United States Federal District Court for the Eastern District of California has certified a class of 253 car buyers who bought cars from Yia Yang dba Yia's Auto Sales, financed by the owner-affiliated Yia Yang dba Plantinum Financial. See, Pha, et al, v Yia Yang, et al, Case No. 2:1-cv-01580-TLN-DAD.

In a lucrative scheme, which the representative plaintiffs Bor Pha and Nou Lee allege was a deceptive practice, Yia Yang falsely stated the interest rate as 12% on the conditional sales contracts, when in fact it was 20% or more. Failure to comply with the truth-in-lending provisions of the Rees Levering Automotive Sale Finance Act allowed the true cost of credit to be concealed among other contract terms.The plaintiffs allege that misstating the interest rate in such a way was not an isolated incident, but a pattern of practice that Yia Yang engaged in systematically over a number of years.

In a disturbing twist on the scheme, Yia Yang admitted that the majority of his sales,or approximately 125 identified customers, were from his local ethnic Hmong community. The Court certified this group as a subclass. The subclass may be entitled to additional remedies under a civil rights claim made separately on their behalf in the lawsuit.

Class notice will be mailed shortly to class members identified in the defendant's records. A trial date has not been scheduled, but may occur as early as later this year. In its class certification order, the Court appointed the law firm Kemnitzer, Barron & Krieg LLP as Class Counsel. Any inquiries concerning the case should be made to senior associate, Amy Tay.