Predatory lending is unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent lending practices, usually backed by collateral that can be repossessed or foreclosed on if the borrower defaults on their loan. Lenders are often accused of tricking the borrower into thinking that their interest rate is lower than it actually is and that they will be able to repay the loan. Although predatory lenders tend to target the less educated, the poor, racial minorities, and the elderly, anyone can be a victim of this practice. Predatorial lending may not always be illegal, but it can leave victims with bad credit and unmanageable debt. Continue reading

According to recent reports from the New York Times, a group of eleven consumer and safety organizations are petitioning the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate used car dealership, CarMax, for deceptive advertising practices. The group claims that the dealership is advertising their pre-owned vehicles as passing a rigorous 125 point quality inspection, but the inspection fails to carry out the basic step of checking to see if there are any unfixed safety recalls affecting the vehicle. Continue reading

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is cracking down on automobile dealerships who use deceptive advertising to increase auto sales and service appointments. According to the consumer protection agency, automobile dealers made a variety of misrepresentations in print, internet, and video advertisements that offered zero-down financing when there are substantial fees, deceptive low-payment deals, sweepstakes for prizes that do not exist, and mailings that resemble vehicle recall notifications. Nine vehicle dealerships in six states have already agreed to a settlement that would cease deceptive ad tactics and subject dealers to a fine of $16,000 per violation. Continue reading

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is cracking down on automobile dealerships around the country who have been running ads that mislead consumers into thinking the dealership will pay off the remaining loan balance on their existing car when they trade it in. These dealerships then add the cost of the old car loan into the price of the new loan. The buyer ends up with a loan that they must pay off for a longer period of time because they are paying off their old car and new car at the same time. This is known as negative equity auto trade ins. In some cases, dealers force customers to pay off the old loan in cash before they could get their new car.

The dealers named in the FTC’s complaints include:

  • Billion Auto, Inc., in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • Frank Myers AutoMaxx, LLC, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Key Hyundai of Manchester, LLC and Hyundai of Milford LLC, in Vernon and Milford, Connecticut
  • Ramey Motors, Inc., in Princeton, West Virginia

Three of the cases allege violations of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and its implementing Regulation Z for failing to disclose certain credit-related terms, and the complaints in two of the cases allege violations of the Consumer Leasing Act (CLA) and its implementing Regulation M for failing to disclose certain lease related terms.

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