Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2016

Publication Title

National Lawyers Guild Review

First Page


Last Page







This article argues that due to the circumstances of Navajo Nation residents, Navajo car buyers have a greater need for cars and are therefore disproportionately harmed by unfair border town auto deals and subprime auto loans. Additionally, this article suggests several ways to address these issues while acknowledging the conundrum created if Navajo Nation residents are prevented from buying cars.

Part I of this article describes the current U.S. auto sales and lending process, including the stages of car buying, credit score calculation, and how national auto sales, lending, and investment markets profit from unfair car sales and subprime lending. Part II details the geographic remoteness, unique cultural differences, and living circumstances of the Navajo Nation and the relationship between those circumstances and the desperate need for a vehicle and the resulting vulnerability many Navajo people experience. Part III uses data from the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission8 a nd sample Navajo purchaser auto contracts to illustrate the extreme tactics Navajo Nation border town auto dealerships and subprime lending companies used to bully Navajo car buyers into bad auto deals and unsustainable subprime loans. Part IV provides solutions to alleviate and eliminate bad auto deals and subprime loans for Navajo car buyers.



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