Mr. V is a Spanish-speaking immigrant who was defrauded by a local car dealership. When Mr. V came to the Law Center the finance company had already obtained a default judgement against him in the amount of $12,186. The Law Center successfully moved to have the default judgement set aside based on improper service. The Center helped Mr. V to not only have the case against him dismissed, but to obtain a settlement of over $4,000 from the dealer.
Debt Collection Harassment
Mrs. Q. was contacted by a law firm attempting to collect a time-barred debt. A representative from the debt collector harassed Mrs. Q. and committed various violations of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The Law Center filed a complaint on behalf of the client and negotiated a favorable settlement of $2,000.00.
Ms. E approached a paralegal for help with a bankruptcy petition, and paid him $700. The paralegal informed her that the documents would be completed within 90 days. Ms. E did not hear from the paralegal for 8 months, despite many attempts to contact him. Ms. E came to the Center for help. The Center aided Ms. E in filing a claim in small claims court, and she won a judgment. The paralegal appealed. A Center student successfully represented Ms. E at the appeal and the judgment was upheld. The paralegal then refused to pay. After the Center student prepared and served an Order of Examination on the paralegal, he finally paid the $1000 he owed. (3/01)
Telemarketing/Door-to-Door Sales Fraud
Mr. D and his wife purchased a computer system from a door-to-door salesman after a high-pressure sales pitch in their home. The finance company provided a monthly payment figure but failed to disclose that Mr. D and his wife would have to pay over $1,000 in interest over the life of the loan. The Law Center filed a class action suit against the computer company and the finance company. Mr. D and his wife received $5,000 and the class received $690,000 in cash and over a million dollars in debt relief. The Law Center also obtained an injunction against the computer company.
Ms. L, a 59-year-old domestic worker with excellent credit history, was victimized by identity theft. An imposter forged a credit card check for over $4,000 under her name. Ms. L was sued, damaging her credit history and causing her to be unable to sleep or stop crying for days afterward. The Center succeeded in having the suit dismissed and all negative credit information removed.
Credit Card Fraud
Ms. O noticed some unauthorized purchases on her credit card bill. She initiated a dispute with the credit card company, who provided her with receipts with signatures not resembling her own. Ms. O continued to dispute the charges, but the creditor rejected her dispute and continued to send collection letters. Ms. O came to the Law Center for assistance. The Center sent a demand letter pointing out that the signature on the receipts bare no resemblance to that of Ms. O. The creditor then admitted that fraud was involved. It removed the disputed charges and had all negative credit information deleted from Ms. O’s account. (6/01)
Miscellaneous Consumer Cases
Ms. V is an immigrant and survivor of domestic violence. When her former husband defaulted on their car loan, the finance company failed to provide Ms. V with a disclosure of her right to take over the payments at her last know address, even though Ms. V had provided the address of the women’s shelter. The finance company filed suit, but the Center’s aggressive defense convinced the finance company to dismiss, saving Ms. V over $6,000.
Ms. G, a 71 year-old immigrant recently widowed filed for bankruptcy after the loss of her husband’s Social Security income made it impossible for her to pay her debts. One of her creditors sued to have the debt declared non-dischargeable in Bankruptcy, alleging Ms. G incurred the debt fraudulently. The Law Center’s aggressive defense led to the dismissal of the action, saving Ms. G $4,650.
Mr. S, an African man, was imprisoned by his government and tortured for over a year on account of his religious beliefs and practices. Thanks to the diligent work of the KGACLC law student assigned to his case, an Immigration Judge granted political asylum to the client, as well as his minor daughter. Mr. S will be able to bring his wife and other children to the United States, where the family can practice their beliefs without fear of persecution.
A KGACLC student worked tirelessly during several semesters to interview, document, and file an application for a T Visa on behalf of Ms. N, a victim of human trafficking. Ms. N was drugged and brought into the United States unconscious, forced to work long days for her traffickers, and tortured to prevent her from escaping. Because Ms. N is deaf, the law student spent many hours working through interpreters to understand her client’s experiences, which spanned several years. Thanks the student’s dedication, Ms. N was granted a T Visa with work authorization, and the possibility of applying for permanent residence in the United States within three years.
Wage and Hour Clients
Mr. F., A 17-year old from Central America, was employed as a construction laborer to work on a home remodel. Initially, the employer, an unlicensed contractor, paid him in cash on a regular basis. However, as time went by, he was paid only part of his earnings and sometimes nothing at all. He sought the assistance of the Community Law Center in collecting his unpaid wages. Law students at the KGACLC interviewed Mr. F. They then prepared and filed a claim with the Labor Commission for unpaid wages, overtime, and penalties. During the hearing, the Hearing Officer recommended that the homeowner and the unlicensed contractor consider resolving the claim by settlement. The KGACLC law students were then able to negotiate a settlement of $4,000, which represents all of Mr. F’s unpaid wages and most of the penalties. Moreover, should the employer fail to pay the settlement as agreed, a judgment for the full amount of the wages and penalties will issue without additional litigation.
Ms. M was employed by a large electronics corporation in Silicon Valley for 36 years. Her position brought her into contact with numerous chemicals and required her to routinely lift 40-pound containers. Unfortunately, in March of 2006 Ms. M was diagnosed with breast cancer. After receiving treatment, she was cleared by her doctor to return to work with restrictions, including light lifting and no work with chemicals. Her employer refused to return her to work. Ms. M filed a claim of discrimination with the EEOC alleging that the employer failed to reasonably accommodate her disability. In June 2007, a law student at the KGACLC undertook Ms. M’s representation in mediation with the employer. Through the assistance of the EEOC mediator, the KGACLC law student was able to resolve the claim for Ms. M, obtaining approximately $14,000 in cash, in addition to other benefits.