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Celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month with Us! 150 150 Tenny Minassian

Celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month with Us!

June is Immigrant Heritage Month and we’re celebrating by sharing stories from our staff!

L.A. County is home to more than 10 million residents, with 140 cultures and over 224 languages represented. One in three Angelenos is an immigrant.

We’re also one of eight California counties with the largest population of refugees. We’ve partnered with the Department of Public Social Services to share these inspiring stories for Refugee Awareness Month and Refugee Awareness Day on June 18.

Join us by taking a selfie or video and posting your immigrant or refugee story using #WeAreLosAngeles.

Make sure to tag us @LAC4Immigrants on Twitter and Facebook and tag @LACountyDCBA on Instagram.

We’re here to help you! Contact us at (800) 593-8222 to get connected to resources for immigrants.

Share your story! take a selfie or video and post using hashtag we are los angeles

Many Immigrants Eligible to Apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program 150 150 dcba

Many Immigrants Eligible to Apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program

If a loved one has died this year because of COVID-19—even if the deceased was undocumented—you might be eligible to receive financial help for their funeral expenses.

Los Angeles County residents can now apply through FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program. To be eligible for funeral assistance, LA County residents must meet all of these FEMA established conditions:

  • The death must have occurred in the United States.
  • The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.
  • The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or a qualified non-citizen who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.

LA County encourages eligible applicants to call FEMA’s Funeral Assistance Line at 844-684-6333 between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m, or visit FEMA.gov for additional information.

FEMA COVID Funeral info in EnglishFEMA COVID Funeral info in SpanishFEMA COVID Funeral info in KoreanFEMA COVID Funeral info in Chinese

DCBA Investigation Leads to $10.5 Million Settlement for Latino Immigrant Consumers Harmed by Major Retailer 150 150 dcba

DCBA Investigation Leads to $10.5 Million Settlement for Latino Immigrant Consumers Harmed by Major Retailer

From March 9, 2021

Extensive, years-long investigative work by the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) assisting the Office of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has resulted in a $10.5 million partial settlement against Los Angeles-based retailer Curacao for business practices that unlawfully harmed primarily Spanish-speaking immigrant consumers and their families.

The settlement resolves multiple allegations included in a 2017 lawsuit filed by the Attorney General against Adir International, the parent company of Curacao, and its owner Ron Azarkman. The lawsuit alleged that Curacao lured in customers by advertising low prices and easy credit, then informed those consumers they could only buy at the advertised price after purchasing ancillary accessories, warranties, or installation services. In other cases, Curacao added items to payment contracts without the customers’ knowledge.

DCBA investigators spent hundreds of hours interviewing dozens of Curacao’s affected customers, nearly all of whom are Latino immigrants with low incomes who communicate primarily in Spanish, to collect and provide crucial evidence to support the Attorney General’s lawsuit and eventual settlement.

“Immigrants in Los Angeles County, particularly those whose primary language is something other than English, face significant challenges every day. The least they can expect is to be treated fairly and lawfully by businesses that serve and market to them in their preferred language,” said DCBA Director Rafael Carbajal. “We are pleased that the Attorney General has secured relief for consumers who need it most, and that we were able to play our part to help keep the marketplace fair for both consumers and businesses which properly follow the law.”

If you believe you’ve been a victim of unlawful practices by any business, please contact DCBA at (800) 593-8222 or file a complaint online at dcba.lacounty.gov. DCBA provides free, one-on-one support for all residents of Los Angeles County and customers of Los Angeles County businesses.

As part of the Attorney General’s announcement, Curacao must provide $10 million in debt relief for consumers who were harmed by their conduct. The settlement also includes additional debt forgiveness for customers who are still paying Curacao for unlawful small claims judgments, plus $500,000 in civil penalties. The settlement also includes injunctive terms requiring Curacao to comply with California law and treat its customers fairly and ethically. Those terms include:

  • Curacao stores will prominently display a consumers’ bill of rights;
  • Curacao must sell items as they are advertised, and must provide additional disclosures in its advertising;
  • Senior management will review Curacao’s advertising for compliance with the court judgment;
  • Curacao must fully disclose all material contract terms before asking customers to sign contracts;
  • Curacao must provide customers with a contract in their language before asking them to sign;
  • Debt collection efforts will be limited to one phone communication per day with delinquent consumers;
  • Curacao will stop debt collection activities against, and clear the credit records for, consumers who had default judgments entered against them in unlawful small claims actions;
  • A corporate ethics expert will help Curacao create and maintain an effective sales incentive, compliance, and ethics program that incentivizes lawful behavior, and that includes annual ethical culture surveys and assessments; and
  • Curacao will regularly report its compliance to the Attorney General for several years and provide access to its records for review.

The settlement is a stipulated judgment that resolves part of the state’s lawsuit against Curacao. Unresolved claims related to Curacao’s illegal payment protection plans and insurance practices will be tried in Los Angeles Superior Court.

 

Investigación de DCBA concluye en un acuerdo de $ 10.5 millones para consumidores inmigrantes latinos perjudicados por un comerciante popular

El Fiscal General de California Llega a un Acuerdo Parcial Con Curacao en Una Demanda Alegando Múltiples Prácticas Comerciales Ilegales

Una investigación extensa, tras años de trabajo del Departamento de Servicios para Consumidores y Negocios del Condado de Los Ángeles (DCBA) asistiendo a la Oficina del Fiscal General de California, Xavier Becerra, ha dado como resultado un acuerdo parcial de $ 10.5 millones. contra Curacao, una cadena de tiendas basado en Los Ángeles, por las prácticas comerciales ilegales que principalmente dañaron a los consumidores inmigrantes hispanohablantes y a sus familias.

El acuerdo resuelve múltiples acusaciones incluidas en una demanda presentada en el 2017 por el Fiscal General contra Adir International, la empresa matriz de Curacao, y su propietario Ron Azarkman. La demanda alega que Curacao atrajo a los clientes anunciando precios bajos y crédito fácil, y luego informando a esos consumidores que solo podían comprar al precio anunciado después de comprar accesorios auxiliares, garantías o servicios de instalación. En otros casos, Curacao agregó artículos a los contratos de pago sin el conocimiento del consumidor.

Los investigadores de DCBA pasaron cientos de horas entrevistando a docenas de clientes afectados por Curacao, la mayoría de ellos siendo inmigrantes latinos de bajos ingresos que se comunican principalmente en español, para coleccionar y proporcionar evidencia crucial para respaldar la demanda del Fiscal General e informo el acuerdo eventual.

“Los inmigrantes en el Condado de Los Ángeles, particularmente aquellos cuyo idioma principal no es inglés, enfrentan retos significantes diariamente. Lo mínimo que deberían esperar es ser tratados de manera justa y legal por las empresas que los sirven y hacen llegar anuncios en su idioma preferido,” dijo Rafael Carbajal, el director del Departamento de Servicios para Consumidores Y Negocios del Condado de Los Ángeles. “Estamos contentos de que el Fiscal General haya asegurado compensación para los consumidores que más lo necesitan, y que pudimos desempeñar nuestro papel para ayudar a mantener un mercado justo tanto para los consumidores como para las empresas que cumplen debidamente con la ley.”

Si cree que ha sido víctima de prácticas ilegales por parte de cualquier empresa, por favor comuníquese con DCBA al (800) 593-8222 o presente una queja en línea en dcba.lacounty.gov. DCBA brinda asistencia personalizada y gratuita para todos los residentes y consumidores del condado de Los Ángeles, independientemente de su estado migratorio.

Según el anuncio del Fiscal General, Curacao debe proporcionar $10 millones en alivio de la deuda para los consumidores que resultaron perjudicados por la conducta de la compañía. El acuerdo también incluye el perdón de deudas adicionales para los clientes que todavía están haciendo pagos a Curacao por juicios de reclamos menores obtenidos ilegalmente, más $500,000 en multas civiles. El acuerdo también incluye medidas cautelares que requieren que Curacao cumpla con la ley de California y trate a sus clientes de manera justa y ética. Esos términos incluyen:

  • Las tiendas de Curacao exhibirán de manera prominente una declaración de derechos de los consumidores;
  • Curacao debe vender los artículos tal como se anuncian y debe proporcionar divulgaciones adicionales en su publicidad;
  • La alta gerencia revisará la publicidad de Curacao para verificar el cumplimiento de la sentencia judicial;
  • Curacao debe revelar completamente todos los términos materiales del contrato antes de pedir a los clientes que firmen contratos;
  • Curacao debe proporcionar a los clientes un contrato en su idioma antes de pedirles que lo firmen;
  • Los esfuerzos de cobranza de deudas se limitarán a una comunicación telefónica por día con los consumidores morosos;
  • Curacao detendrá las actividades de cobro de deudas y limpiará los registros de crédito de los consumidores a los que se les haya dictado sentencias por incumplimiento en acciones ilegales de reclamos menores;
  • Un experto en ética corporativa ayudará a Curacao a crear y mantener un programa eficaz de incentivos de ventas, cumplimiento y ética que fomente el comportamiento legal y que incluya encuestas y evaluaciones anuales de cultura ética; y
  • Curacao informará periódicamente su cumplimiento al Fiscal General a lo largo varios años y proporcionará acceso a sus registros para su revisión.

El acuerdo es un juicio estipulado que resuelve parte de la demanda del Estado contra Curacao. Los reclamos no resueltos relacionados con los planes de protección de pagos ilegales y las prácticas de seguros de Curacao serán juzgados en el Tribunal Superior de Los Ángeles.

El acuerdo de hoy se documenta en un juicio parcial estipulado que está disponible aquí.

OIA Statement: Supporting LA County’s AAPI Communities 150 150 dcba

OIA Statement: Supporting LA County’s AAPI Communities

 

Friday, March 19, 2021

Office of Immigrant Affairs Supports LA County’s AAPI Communities and Calls on Angelenos to Unite Against Hate 

The Los Angeles County Office of Immigrant Affairs is saddened by the violence that occurred in Atlanta this week and mourns the tragic loss of eight lives, including six women of Asian ethnicity. This heartbreaking loss of life is compounded by the anti-Asian bigotry, hate, and misogyny that underlies the violence and many other incidents over recent months.

Los Angeles County’s cultural diversity is a source of strength and pride. The over 1.5 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) who live in LA County, many for several generations and others who are immigrants, represent an integral, rich part of the fabric of the County. Many members of our AAPI communities continue to serve heroically on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic as essential workers in all fields, including healthcare, law enforcement, and government, and as small business owners. AAPI Angelenos have been forced to deal with the fear and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic while also confronting growing hate and discrimination. Anti-AAPI hate has no place in our nation, and certainly no place in Los Angeles County.

The Office of Immigrant Affairs encourages all Angelenos to use this week’s tragedy as a call to action to heal, to grow, and to learn. The LA vs Hate campaign encourages and supports all residents of LA County to unite against, report, and resist hate. If you have been a victim of a hate incident, please call the County’s 24/7 multilingual hotline at 2-1-1 to report the incident, and to receive support and resources. Immigrants are encouraged to access these services without fear related to their immigration status. Persons who still have such concerns, or who wish to be connected to wraparound services from LA County, can contact the Office of Immigrant Affairs for assistance: (800) 593-8222; oia.lacounty.gov.

 

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