Games Dealers Play: The Waiting Game
Connecticut Consumer Protection Law Blog
The Arizona Attorney General has obtained a consent judgment against a used car dealership for multiple acts of auto dealer fraud. The dealership was accused of selling cars with salvage titles without dislosing the status of the title, not properly disclosing financing terms, and making false promises that defects would be repaired. The dealership also sold vehicles that had hazardous defects and failed to comply with state warranty requirements.
An article in Today's New York Times discusses the predatory nature of some debt settlement companies, who are increasingly targeting consumers who collectively owe more than $1 trillion dollars in student loans.
Incidents of fraud by auto dealers are higher for lower priced cars, according to a recent study. The study, which was conducted by iSeeCars.com, evaluated millions of advertised vehicles and determined that the lower the price, the greater the likelihood that there was fraud relating to the vehicle's history or condition.
We highly recommend that consumers check their credit reports before they begin shopping for a new or a used car. Finance charges are a major expense, and consumers should know where they stand before they let a car dealer talk them into paying too high an interest rate.
Unwanted telemarketing calls can be very annoying. The Federal Trade Commission's Do Not Call Registry helps limit calls from legitimate telemarketers. But, the registry is not much of a deterrent to scam artists.
No one does a better job of shining a bright light on the problems caused by forced arbitration than Public Justice Executive Director Paul Bland. He really lets loose in a blog article written earlier today discussing a recent travesty of justice in North Carolina, where "the North Carolina Court of Appeals said, in essence, it doesn't matter if the arbitration clause is a get-out-of-jail free card for a law breaking corporation, we have to enforce it anyway. And a few weeks ago, the North Carolina Supreme Court essentially said "Ok with us".
An article in today's New York Times discusses the increase in subprime mortgage lending. As the article points out, although most of the really bad mortgages that caused the financial crisis were subprime loans, not all subprime loans are bad. People with less than "A" grade credit should be able to get a home loan, too. The real problems arise when lendors deceive consumers regarding loan terms, gouge them on pricing, or set them up for loans that they can never repay. That is the difference between subprime lending and predatory lending.
Car dealers like to brag about their relationships with multiple banks and finance companies, and they often imply that these connections help consumers get low interest rates. But, many consumers would be surprised to learn that car dealers frequently mark-up the interest rates. In many deals, the dealership makes more money by marking up the interest rate than they profit from the sale itself.