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Car dealer in Snohomish County to pay $250,000 for pattern of discrimination

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EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — The state attorney general’s office says a Snohomish County used car company will pay $250,000 in restitution over a pattern of discrimination against Spanish-language speakers.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Thursday that Zein Automobiles Inc. will pay for misrepresenting loan terms in violation of the Washington Law Against Discrimination and the State Consumer Protection Act.

Zein Automobiles operates Best Bet Auto Sales and Independence Auto Center. Ferguson says people who speak Spanish were lured into the dealerships through ads in Spanish that promised financing for those without a credit history.

Spanish-speaking customers were told they could have one set of terms, but were presented a different set of terms in documents written in English.

Those who believe they may be victims are asked to call the Attorney General’s Office at (844) 323-3864.