Recent News & Articles

There is such a thing as a free lunch. It's on the Internet.

FTC Amends Safeguards Rule to Require Non-Banking Financial Institutions to Report Data Security Breaches

Amendment will require non-bank financial institutions to report when they discover that information affecting 500 or more people has been acquired without authorization

Learn More

FTC Announces CARS Rule to Fight Scams in Vehicle Shopping

Combating Auto Retail Scams (CARS) Rule targets bait-and-switch tactics, junk fees; includes clear protections for military members, who are frequent targets for vehicle scams

The CARS Rule will take effect on July 30, 2024.

Learn More

Free Legal Advice

There is such a thing as a free lunch. It's on the Internet. There is a tremendous amount of free information available for dealers who may wish to understand the laws which govern them and other related material. You need only provide the Internet connection. (Al Gore would be delighted to know...

Learn More

5 Ways to Fight Compliance Fatigue

When you hear the term "compliance," your first reaction may be to roll your eyes or shudder with dread. I don't blame you. Creating a compliance checklist is one of the most monotonous and tedious tasks you could ever possibly imagine. Today's business climate forces most industries to juggle a multitude of...

Learn More

Compliance Best Practices

Corporate legal departments are constantly challenged to juggle scarce resources while delivering accurate, timely and forward-thinking solutions to protect their organization and clients. Further complicating these challenges are internal counsel's vested interest in the company's profitability, reputational risk and relationship with customers...

Learn More

The Return of the Leg

I once made a list of all the ways certain dealers — a very small percentage — fleeced consumers through the F&I process, and the list was a long one. Some of those practices should have disappeared years ago, or so I had thought, based upon litigation and regulator prosecution. But, as in popular styles...

Learn More

Your Brother's Keeper – You May Now be Responsible for Your Vendor's Actions

Adam and Eve begat Cain and Abel. Abel slew Cain. When questioned by the Lord as to the whereabouts of Cain, Abel defiantly asked this question in reply, "Am I my brother's keeper?" To which the CFPB responded, "Yes, you are." To quote the CFPB, "A well planned, implemented, and maintained compliance...

Learn More

CFPB Auto Finance Guidance Losing Momentum: What's Next?

The much-heralded CFPB Auto Finance Guidance issued in March 2013 appears to be losing its momentum in the first part of 2015. You will recall that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which lacks jurisdiction under the Dodd-Frank Act over most franchised automotive dealers, claimed that lenders allowing dealers to mark up...

Learn More

The Past is Prologue- Regulatory Retribution Against Dealers

To paraphrase the Bible, there is nothing new under the sun. This is also true of consumer law as it relates to the car business. In spite of a new consumer protection agency, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau or CFPB, and a newly empowered FTC, these agencies pursue the traditional cases against dealers, as they...

Learn More

Not Your Father's Payment Assurance Device – A Plea to Regulators

Back in the heyday of WordStar, Lotus 123, and other advanced PC programs in the early 1990's, I had the rare privilege of being a receiver for a Buy Here Pay Here store. I was responsible for winding down its operations as a result of a RICO forfeiture case on behalf of the Florida Attorney General's Office. I was...

Learn More

The Black Box of Government Regulation

The term "black box" refers to the concept of a device, or a box, in which there is input, something is moved or transferred into it, and voila, out of this device or box there is a measurable and quantifiable outcome. But, the workings of the box itself remain a total mystery. The human brain, especially...

Learn More

A View from the Dark Side

Car dealers and the industry, in general, are savvy, creative entrepreneurs and possess great common sense. But, they have an enormous blind spot as it relates to how they are perceived by the regulating community. Federal and state agencies, consumer protection organizations, and private plaintiffs, the Dark Side, are openly hostile...

Learn More

Everything You Need to Know About Advertising Cars and Trucks*

There is simply no way a short column could address every issue. However, advertising isn't that complex and conscientious dealers can certainly understand the basics and apply them. I would never discourage dealers from using their attorneys or advertising firms for assistance in these matters. But, understanding advertising basics will help...

Learn More

Risk Assessment

Are you Prepared for a Regulatory Audit?

Are You Compliant?

Cash Reporting Rules

Listen to a preview of Cash Reporting Rules and Form 8300.

Watch / Learn More