On December 17, 2016, the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office (“Arkansas AG”) announced that it had filed a lawsuit against affiliated auto dealerships for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The Arkansas AG alleged that these auto dealerships would submit loan applications to third-party lenders, who would then deposit the loan proceeds in the auto dealerships’ bank accounts, rather than provide those proceeds to the borrower. The Arkansas AG further alleged that when vehicles were returned due to mechanical defects or for other reasons, the auto dealerships failed to return the loan proceeds to the borrower. In some cases, the auto dealerships allegedly convinced borrowers to take out a new loan for a new vehicle, resulting in borrowers having obligations to repay two loans on two different vehicles. The Arkansas AG has received twelve complaints concerning these auto dealerships. The lawsuit seeks civil penalties, restitution, and attorney’s fees and costs.
Blog Enforcement Watch December 17, 2016