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F&I: Absolute integrity, all the time

November 22, 2010
Every customer or potential customer must be treated with the utmost respect. Moreover, every F&I transaction must be conducted with total honesty and integrity, in full compliance with both the letter and the spirit of the law. There is too much at stake. Federal laws and regulations that govern F&I-and state and local laws as well-exist for everyone's protection. The statements above come from the study guide to the NADA's new videotape package, "F&I: Absolute Integrity, 100% of the Time." The package, developed to train F&I managers in the successful conduct of their operations, explores F&I's three-part missions-(1) assisting a customer's vehicle purchase, (2) offering value-added products and services a customer may want or need, and (3) enhancing the sale's overall profitability for the dealership-and how to fulfill all parts of the mission legally and ethically. The federal regulatory structure that governs F&I is designed to protect a dealer's customers, lenders and business partners, as well as the dealership itself. The NADA video reviews some of those federal laws, and the study guide elaborates on them and the agencies responsible for their issuance and enforcement. Some of the federal laws reviewed are • Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B • Fair Credit Reporting Act • FTC Privacy and Safeguards Rules • IRS Cash Reporting Rule • Truth-in-Lending Act • Federal Consumer Leasing Act (Regulation M) • Truth-in-Mileage Act • FTC Used-car Rule • Magnuson-Moss Act • FCC and FTC Telemarketing Rules • Credit Practices Rule • General prohibitions against unfair or deceptive acts and practices The video stresses that integrity and profitability go hand in hand. Profitability depends on many things-dealer commitment, goals set and met, good employees, cooperation with sales, smooth turnovers, and meeting customer needs. In the long term, profitability depends mostly on integrity. Customers buy from a dealership because of trust. Trust is earned by listening, by handling every transaction honestly and in full compliance with the law, and by offering all products and services to all customers-all of the time. "F&I: Absolute Integrity, 100% of the Time" includes a 45-minute video in VHS or Video CD format, plus a 30- page study guide. The NADA materials are $169 plus $10 shipping. Watch this newsletter for a CATA offer to reimburse dealer members who elect to buy the materials.