Community Impact

Alma Richards purchased a used car from a dealership in Hialeah, Florida in late 2014. Almost immediately the car began having serious mechanical problems, making it virtually undrivable. She voluntarily returned the defective car to the dealership at the beginning of 2015. In April 2020, a debt buyer sued Ms. Richards in Miami-Dade County Small Claims Court in an attempt to recover the debt she allegedly owed for the inoperable vehicle. She sought the assistance of Legal Services in defending the case. Legal Services filed a Motion to Dismiss the lawsuit as being brought outside of Florida’s applicable statute of limitations. As a result, the Plaintiff agreed to voluntarily dismiss its lawsuit against Ms. Richards with prejudice.

Having good legal representation made a huge difference for Ms. Richards as having a judgment on her record could later be collected by a creditor for the next 20 years and could affect her financial stability. She sent a message to her Legal Services attorney that read: “I am truly great-full for what you did for my family and I! You have helped in ways that I cannot repay you for but in momentary sentiments. However, thank you very much!!! I no longer have that cloud over my head with that company trying to sue me for a car that I gave back and never got to use. Thank you for the great work and all that you do in helping low income individuals like myself. Once again I wanted to express my gratitude to you!”During these challenging times, ensuring that she did not have to repay a debt for a defective car was essential for maintaining her family’s financial security.

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