In Bor Pha v. Yia Yang, 2014 WL 654559 (E.D.Cal. 2014), Judge Nunley certified as AFSA class against a car dealership, with a sub-class of Hmong putative classmembers.
This is a putative class action brought by Plaintiffs Bor Pha and Nou Lee (“Plaintiffs”). Plaintiffs allege that Defendants Yi a Yang and Yia Auto Sales, Inc.FN2 sold automobiles and arranged financing for those automobiles without providing purchasers with the statutorily required disclosures concerning the terms and condition of credit. Specifically, Plaintiffs allege that the Dealer Defendants listed the annual interest rate as 12% even though the actual rate was in excess of 20%. (Third Am. Compl., ECF No. 87 at ¶ 2.) ¶ . . . In addition, Plaintiffs move to certify a subclass of consumers who meet all of the requirements of the class definition above and also “are of Hmong race, ancestry, or national origin.”
Judge Nunley found class certification to be appropriate:
Here, Plaintiffs allege that the Dealer Defendants used a standard form contract that listed 12% as the applicable interest rate but instead charged a higher interest rate. Plaintiffs allege that the Dealer Defendants calculated the actual interest rate by multiplying the amount financed by the number of months the loan was outstanding divided by 10. Plaintiffs allege that the entire class suffered from the same deceptive practice. Therefore, the Court finds that there are common factual questions including whether the standard document used included all the disclosures required to be set forth in conditional sale contracts under the Rees– Levering Act; whether this practice constituted a fraudulent act or misrepresentation in violation of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act; and whether this practice constituted an unlawful, unfair and/or fraudulent business practice in violation of the Unfair Competition Law. Furthermore, the Court finds that Defendant Yang’s admissions about using a standard form and a standard formula to calculate the actual interest rate demonstrate the likelihood of common answers to these questions. ¶ With respect to the proposed subclass, there is the additional common question as to whether Defendant Yang targeted the Hmong community in devising his practice of misstating the interest rate on conditional sale contracts in violation of the Unruh Act. Defendant Yang admitted that the majority of his sales were from the Hmong community. Therefore, the Court finds that Defendant Yang’s admission demonstrates the likelihood of common answer to this question. ¶ The Court finds that these common questions should be litigated and resolved in a class action to assure that all California consumers affected are treated fairly and consistently. Class treatment is also necessary to avoid a potential explosion of duplicative lawsuits on this point.