FTC acknowledges regulatory petition involving spot deliveries
Spot deliveries now are back on the radar of federal regulators.
The Federal Trade Commission acknowledged on Wednesday and began the request for comment process involving a petition it again received from six consumer advocates to create regulation involving what the organization deemed as “yo-yo financing.”
Filing the petition were the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA), the Consumer Federation of America, the Center for Responsible Lending, Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety, the National Consumer Law Center and U.S. PIRG.
According to a 108-page document sent by NACA to the FTC, the organizations are requesting that the regulator “promulgate a rule requiring that a credit contract between a consumer and an auto dealer constitutes the final terms of a car sale.”
Under this proposal, the terms of the signed retail installment sales contract between the buyer and commercial seller of a vehicle are treated as final and would include a requirement that the consumer was “fully approved” for the credit terms in the contract before the signing, and that the credit terms in the contract remain effective whether or not the contract is or will be assigned to a third party.
“Many sellers represent to car buyers that the sales transactions are complete with knowledge that the sales may actually be incomplete, causing costly additional negotiations and damage to buyers. The requested regulatory revisions would provide guidance to the auto retail sales industry with a bright line rule and bring clarity to help ensure that car buyers receive accurate, non-conflicting information regarding the final terms of the transaction,” NACA wrote in that document that’s available online and included more than a half dozen scanned contracts to support its case.
“The FTC has no formal regulation establishing an auto dealer’s responsibilities regarding the finality of a car purchase. It has exclusive jurisdiction over car dealers that first extend credit to car buyers and then assign financing to third-party lenders. It is specifically authorized to issue a rule to curb unfair and deceptive practices relating to the sale, servicing, and leasing of motor vehicles,” NACA continued.
“Under this proposal, dealers would be required to include specific language in the credit contract that would protect both buyers and sellers, and ensure that all parties to a contract that sets forth the credit terms of a car sale can reasonably rely on the finality of those terms,” NACA went on to say.
The FTC said in its notice also published in the Federal Register that it must receive comments about the petition by June 30.
In a letter sent two weeks ago by NACA, the organizations reiterated their reasons for making this request.
“By adopting a policy that ensures credit contracts signed by consumers and auto dealers are binding and enforceable, the FTC would accomplish several goals. It would facilitate accurate, non-conflicting information regarding the final terms of auto sales transactions, deter systemic violations of state and federal laws, level the playing field for honest dealers that do not engage in deceptive yo-yo tactics, and shield car buyers from costly and lasting harm,” NACA said.