Consumer Finance Insights
October 3, 2016

FTC Files Complaint Against Nine Auto Dealers Over Financing Practices


On September 29, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it had filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against nine auto dealers for purportedly engaging in deceptive and unfair financing practices.  The complaint alleges that these auto dealers targeted non-English speaking consumers with poor credit by failing to disclose additional finance charges for add-on products and services, or by claiming that such products were required as a condition of purchase or financing.  The complaint further alleged that the auto dealers used so-called “yo-yo practices” to pressure consumers into agreeing to different financing terms after they were approved for financing, when the auto dealer was unable to secure bank financing on the offered terms.  In some cases, consumers were told that they had no choice but to accept the new financing terms.  The FTC alleged that these practices were unfair and deceptive in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act. The auto dealers also purportedly failed to disclose required credit information (such as the amount of the down payment or APR) in violation of the Truth in Lending Act.  As a remedy, the complaint seeks a permanent injunction against the alleged practices, restitution, and disgorgement.

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