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FTC to examine issues for consumers in vehicle financing, leasing

March 17, 2011
The Federal Trade Commission will convene a roundtable April 12 in Detroit to gather information and consumer experiences related to dealer-arranged financing, which the FTC describes as “a complicated, opaque process” that can involve unfair or deceptive practices.
It will be the first of a new series of FTC roundtables around the country to explore consumer-protection issues. The roundtables are prescribed under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, enacted in July 2010.
Regulators, consumer advocates, industry participants, and other interested parties can participate in discussing consumer protection issues connected with motor vehicle sales and leasing.
Those who want to be a roundtable panelist must e-mail their name and affiliation to by March 28.
The FTC indicates it seeks to expand its understanding of the car-buying process and vehicle financing issues to determine what additional regulations, if any, may be necessary to protect consumers.
Dealer representatives argue that dealer-assisted financing increases access to, and decreases the cost of, credit for car buyers. Additionally, dealer representatives said they will highlight both the actions of dealers to increase financial literacy among consumers; and long-standing and ongoing efforts to promote regulatory compliance among franchised dealers.