Hmong American Bar Association Hosts Workshops for Hmong Community
By Amy Doeun
In this time of economic turmoil there are a lot of legal issues facing everyday people. The Hmong American Bar Association (HABA) has seen a need for information about the basics of the law. They approached New Millennium Academy in Minneapolis. Pal Yang of New Millennium, a K-8 public charter school, said “They needed a partner with a group base, which we have. We have about 200 families at our school. They also needed a facility.”
So on Saturday, March 10, HABA and New Millennium are going to host a series of workshops on the following topics. 1. Foreclosure and Bankruptcy; 2. Immigration; 3. Criminal Sexual Conduct and Driving while Intoxicated; and 4. Teenage Marriage and its impact on Hmong Women.
The day will start at 9:00 and end around 1:30. The 4 workshops will be repeated twice so that attendees may attend 2 of the four workshops. Each workshop will last for one hour.
Nom Fue Thao, President of HABA explained that years ago, when the housing market was strong, many homes were purchased using a 80/20 loan, meaning 80% of the loan was on the first mortgage and 20% of the loan was on the second. Now with foreclosures on the rise the home goes to the first mortgage holder and the 2nd mortgage holder comes after the borrower as “unsecured debt.” Then you have to either discharge it in a bankruptcy or try to settle it. Thao and the other attorneys will be able to answer questions about bankruptcy as well, such as who qualifies; how it might affect you; and what you get to keep.
Another important topic to Thao is teenage marriage. He explained, “We are seeing problems in marriages that happened awhile ago where the husband was overage and the wife underage. Now they are middle age but there is still a conflict. Perhaps the wife is trying to live a younger life than the husband’s lifestyle. So we want to educate the community on how it affects women,” even years down the road.
“We are seeing DWI [driving while intoxicated] on the rise, not only in the Hmong community but the new immigrant community, the Karen and Burmese” This workshop will explain what a DWI is and how it affects you and why you must have a designated driver.
Following the workshops there will be a panel discussion where those in attendance can ask the gathered experts any legal questions that may not have been covered in the workshop.
Yang added, we picked the topics because we felt these were topics that impacted the Hmong Community but it is open to the public anyone may attend.
Lunch will be provided. If you are interested in attending please register to help them plan the event by calling HABA at (651) 379-0801.
HABA is in its 2nd year and strives to offer community education events like the one above as well as educational, social and networking opportunities for its members.