Presentation on theme: "New Buyers Guide Requirements, Changes to the Buyers Order & RISC Issues By M. Christina Floyd, Esq. VIADA Convention - July 19, 2013."— Presentation transcript:
New Buyers Guide Requirements, Changes to the Buyers Order & RISC Issues By M. Christina Floyd, Esq. VIADA Convention - July 19, 2013
The Buyers Guide is intended to prevent verbal misrepresentations and omissions of key purchasing and warranty information Contains disclosures for educating the consumer : ◦ “As Is” sale; ◦ Warning about verbal promises that are not put in writing; ◦ Suggesting pre-purchase inspections; and ◦ Listing the 14 major systems of a vehicle along with the things that could go wrong with these systems. If a dealer offers a warranty, they must disclose it on the Buyers Guide, along with the warranty's basic terms. Including what percentage of repair costs dealer will pay
Dealer must post a Buyers Guide on the vehicle before can offer it for sale, discuss it with a customer, or let a customer look at it. ◦ Must be posted prominently and in plain view. ◦ Can be hung from mirrors and removed for test drives, as long as it is replaced afterwards. ◦ Includes vehicles offered under consignment FTC “warning” to 11 Jonesboro, AK dealers Must give buyer the original or a complete copy of the Buyers Guide at the time of sale.
The Buyers Guide is not the Warranty! ◦ If a warranty is offered, there must be a separate document stating the warranty terms/conditions. ◦ Service Contract is not a Warranty – Check the Right Box! The Buyers Guide must be incorporated into the sales contract and the incorporation provision must also be stated in Spanish. Violation of the Used Car Rule can result in civil penalties up to $16,000 for each violation ◦ Every vehicle that does not have a compliant Buyers Guide is a violation, so they can add up fast!
December 12, 2012 the FTC announced changes to the Used Car Rule/Buyers Guide Revised Spanish Translation of Buyers Guide ◦ If transactions are advertised and/or conducted in Spanish, must use the Spanish version. Required to be in use by February 11, 2013 ◦ FTC Notice noted dealers can use their "remaining stocks" but no formal permission was given. ◦ Dealers cannot rely on this note if audited!
Changes made to reflect new legislation & regulations: ◦ Sales & Use Tax now 4% ◦ Retail Sales Tax increase to 5.3% NOVA & Hampton Roads Higher Rate of 6% ◦ $64 Additional Registration Fee for Alternative Fuel Vehicles Pro-Rated When Tags are Transferred ◦ Spanish Translation of Buyers Guide Disclosure
Dispute Resolution Provisions ◦ Mediation Followed by Arbitration Why Mediate? ◦ Very Effective & Much Lower Cost vs. Litigation ◦ Most Disputes Involve Communication Issues ◦ Work Towards a Mutual Resolution vs. Judgment ◦ Fosters Good Will ◦ Confidential and Non-Public Where do you find a mediator? ◦ Virginia Mediation Network If not resolved in mediation, arbitrate!
Arbitration ◦ May be more efficient & less costly than litigation ◦ Greatest Benefit = Conducted in Private Dealer Operations/Practices Not Part of a Public Record Potential Customers are not Present ◦ Arbitrator’s award is legally enforceable with no right of appeal and limited review ◦ CFPB Looking to Eliminate Consumer Arbitration
Various Revisions are being made to the Retail Installment Sales Contract forms to ensure compliance & tighten them up Rule of 78’s Version Issue ◦ Use is Legal but Discouraged - Simple Interest the Norm ◦ Rule of 78’s is an antiquated way to calculate finance charge when customer pays off balance early Consumer obligated to pay principal plus full amount of interest that will accrue over the entire term of the contract ◦ Use of Computer Programs to Generate RISC and Calculate Interest Eliminates Need for Rule of 78’s
Consumer Attorneys: “Prepayment Penalty” ◦ “Buy Here, Pay Here” Dealers are Targets Congress Outlawed if Term Longer than 61 Months CFPB Targeting Dealer Finance Practices Outlawed in 17 states, but not VA – yet!