Monday, July 18, 2005

New workshops will arm Hispanics against consumer fraud

The Tennessean reports that the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs and the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (NAHCC)* are teaming up to steer Hispanic consumers away from consumer fraud and to help victims find relief.

"The joint effort will include workshops for Hispanic consumers to help them be on guard against misleading business deals. The division is working on translating related educational materials into the Spanish language by this fall. Workshops could begin as early as next month, officials said."

"Some immigrants are not aware of their consumer protection rights or who to call for help, said Mary Clement, director of the state's division of consumer affairs, part of the State Department of Commerce and Insurance."

"After a consumer files a complaint, the division tries to mediate the dispute. If a business is uncooperative, it can be listed on the division's buyer beware list, Clement said."

NAHCC President Yuri Cunza said that "his group intends to make that list available online at the chamber's Web site — — and distribute it to the Spanish-language newspaper La Noticia and radio station WHEW 1380-AM 'La Ley.'"

"The most common complaints Cunza hears deal with predatory lenders and questionable car or home purchase contracts, he said."

NewsChannel5 also published this report.

*There are two Hispanic chambers of commerce in Nashville: the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

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