Consumer Affairs: Dealerships not following certain laws - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Consumer Affairs: Dealerships not following certain laws

If you're on the hunt for a new or used car, the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs has a new Auto Dealer Guide that should help you hunt down some other important information first.

Consumer Affairs officials say the guide is the first ever of its kind and it comes in response to the discovery that some dealerships were not following certain state and federal laws.

"Our investigators go out and look at automobile dealerships to make sure that they're complying with the law that our agency enforces, and we were starting to see that there were more violations then we would like that we're going on, " said Carri Grube Lybarker with the Department of Consumer Affairs.

Lybarker says one of the violations included dealers not completing the "closing fee filing requirement". A closing fee is typically tacked on at the end of a sale at any dealership, but it is not something that a dealer has to charge. However, if a dealer does charge the fee, they are supposed to post it somewhere at the dealership and also file it with the SCDCA Office.

According to Lybarker, Closing fees are posted on the Consumer Affairs website to help potential buyers do some comparison shopping right in front of their computer screen. "It gives [a consumer] some room possibly to negotiate when they go to purchase the vehicle," said Lybarker. "If they see that the dealer that they are wanting to purchase the vehicle from is charging a $500 closing fee, but the dealer down the street is only charging $200, the consumer can use that information to try and negotiate that price down."

This new SCDCA guide is geared toward auto dealers, and the SCDCA says they worked alongside several dealerships in the creation of the guide.

In addition to filing closing fees, SCDCA officials say dealers have to file information on interest rates that are higher than 18 percent. The guide includes those details, as well as further information about Truth in Lending laws and advertising laws.

Lybarker says another important piece of the guide details laws about repossession of a vehicle. "If [the consumer] misses a payment and that's the only reason why the dealer or lender wants is trying to repossess a vehicle, a right to cure notice has to be sent to the consumer and they have to be given the opportunity to become current before the vehicle is taken away from them," said Lybarker.

The SCDCA guide reports that the auto dealer cannot send a right to cure notice unless a person has been delinquent for at least 10 days. The consumer has 20 days after the notice is issued to make the payment, and if payment is made, it's like the delinquency never happened. However, if the loan is close-ended and the consumer defaults on another payment, a right to cure notice does not have to be sent.

While the new guide was made for auto dealers, Lybarker says the information in the guide will also help consumers know their rights. She says a guide geared directly to consumers will be released by the SCDCA next month.

The SCDCA Auto Dealer Guide is published on the Consumer Affairs website at http://www.consumer.sc.gov/.

Copyright 2012 WIS. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Bush's Baked Beans announces voluntary recall

    Bush's Baked Beans announces voluntary recall

    Sunday, July 23 2017 7:14 PM EDT2017-07-23 23:14:18 GMT
    Sunday, July 23 2017 7:14 PM EDT2017-07-23 23:14:18 GMT

    Bush Brothers & Co.Saturday announced a voluntary recall of certain 28-ounce cans of three varieties of its baked beans.  

    More >>

    Bush Brothers & Co.Saturday announced a voluntary recall of certain 28-ounce cans of three varieties of its baked beans.  

    More >>
  • Police: Parents gave newborn drugs to cover up addiction

    Police: Parents gave newborn drugs to cover up addiction

    Sunday, July 23 2017 1:52 AM EDT2017-07-23 05:52:55 GMT
    Sunday, July 23 2017 1:52 AM EDT2017-07-23 05:52:55 GMT
    Colby Wilde, 29, and Lacey Christenson, 26, face four counts each of child endangerment and felony drug charges. (Source: Utah County Sherriff’s Office/KUTV/CNN)Colby Wilde, 29, and Lacey Christenson, 26, face four counts each of child endangerment and felony drug charges. (Source: Utah County Sherriff’s Office/KUTV/CNN)

    The baby’s mother used heroin and prescription pain medication during her pregnancy, and the baby was born addicted to drugs, police say.

    More >>

    The baby’s mother used heroin and prescription pain medication during her pregnancy, and the baby was born addicted to drugs, police say.

    More >>
  • New York Times asks 'Fox & Friends' for apology

    New York Times asks 'Fox & Friends' for apology

    Sunday, July 23 2017 8:11 PM EDT2017-07-24 00:11:08 GMT
    Monday, July 24 2017 12:51 AM EDT2017-07-24 04:51:38 GMT
    The New York Times is asking Fox News' morning show "Fox & Friends" to apologize for what the newspaper calls a "malicious and inaccurate segment" about intelligence leaks and the Islamic State that aired Saturday.More >>
    The New York Times is asking Fox News' morning show "Fox & Friends" to apologize for what the newspaper calls a "malicious and inaccurate segment" about intelligence leaks and the Islamic State that aired Saturday.More >>
Powered by Frankly