For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
Date: April 12, 2013
Idaho Falls Car Dealer to Re-Pay Consumer
(Boise) - Autos 4 Less, LLC, an Idaho Falls used car dealer, has agreed to change how it conducts used car sales. As part of a legal settlement, the company also agreed to pay consumer restitution and reimburse the Attorney General for the costs of his investigation. The settlement concludes the Attorney General's investigation into Autos 4 Less' business practices.
The investigation followed a complaint by a consumer involving a "subject-to-financing" purchase contract the consumer entered into with Autos 4 Less. In subject to financing contracts the dealer permits a consumer to take possession of a vehicle prior to obtaining financing. These are often referred to as "spot deliveries" in the car sales industry.
"Spot delivery sales are legal, but can create situations in which consumers, especially those with low credit ratings, may be exploited," Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said.
In this case, the consumer traded-in a vehicle and agreed to finance the remainder of the purchase in a subject-to-financing contract. Autos 4 Less sold the trade-in vehicle and assigned the purchase contract to a third-party financing company. After the financing company declined to finance the purchase, Autos 4 Less seized the delivered vehicle and refused to refund the trade-in allowance to the consumer.
"The Idaho Rules of Consumer Protection require a dealer to inform a consumer in writing that a subject-to-financing contract is null and void if financing on the agreed upon terms is not available," Attorney General Wasden said. "In that situation, a dealer must return the trade-in vehicle and title or the trade-in allowance to the consumer within one business day."
Under terms of the settlement, Autos 4 Less will pay the consumer $2,500 plus interest in restitution and reimburse the Attorney General $2,500 for the cost of his investigation.
Wasden urged consumers and dealers to learn about their rights and responsibilities in buying and selling motor vehicles in Idaho. In addition to the Idaho Rules of Consumer Protection, Wasden's office offers free manuals to assist car purchasers and dealers in understanding their rights and responsibilities under Idaho's consumer protection laws. These include the Consumer Protection Manual, The Lemon Law Manual, and Guidelines for Motor Vehicle Advertising in Idaho. The manuals are available from the Consumer Protection Division of the Idaho Attorney General's Office, or on the Attorney General's website at www.ag.idaho.gov.
Wasden encourages Idahoans who have experienced a problem with a subject-to-financing contract to contact his office. The Consumer Protection Division may be reached toll free at (800) 432-3545 or via the Attorney General's website.
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