During the first 25 public hearings to gauge the state of affairs between Navajos and non-Navajos in 2008, few Navajo citizens provided testimony about auto towing issues. In years following the initial public hearings, a few Navajo citizens shared bits of anecdotal information about problems they experienced with repos. Unfortunately, none of these Navajo citizens who testified filed with the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission to address their concerns until recently. The Commission has received several complaints about consumer related issues. In discussion about the magnitude of predatory auto sales tactics with attorneys from the DNA Peoples Legal Services and having had addressed lending issues facing Navajo citizens previously with the Navajo Nation Credit Services, NNHRC briefed Commissioners at the November 2, 2012 regular meeting. During the meeting with Commissioners, they determined to maximize their next regular meeting to gain testimonies from Navajo citizens who have been victimized by predatory sales tactics when purchasing a vehicle from border town auto dealers. Commissioners also learned more about predatory sales tactics at a four year strategy meeting in mid-November.
On December 7, 2012, NNHRC held its first public hearing directly related to Navajo citizens being victimized by predatory sales tactics from border town auto dealers at the Dilkon Chapter House in Dilkon, Navajo Nation (AZ). Following the December 7th meeting, NNHRC received requests to host more public hearings. NNHRC scheduled one in Kayenta for December 28th and in Crownpoint for January 4th.
Currently, NNHRC is not scheduling any further public hearings for public testimony. However, NNHRC has established a protocol with the New Mexico Auto Dealer's Association to handle predatory auto sales complaints. More information will be posted soon.
Related NNHRC Press Releases and News Articles:
Filing a complaint
If you would like the United States to focus on the area about predatory sales tactics in purchasing vehicles, you may also file a complaint with the United States Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, follow this link.
We also highly recommend that you also help build the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau database by telling your story.
“Your story will help inform how we work to protect consumers and create a fairer marketplace,” according to the CFPB web site. https://help.consumerfinance.gov/app/tellyourstory