Bryan Cohen Dec. 16, 2013, 8:06pm

DES MOINES, Iowa (Legal Newsline) - Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced an agreement on Thursday with a Des Moines-based used car dealer that allegedly failed to comply with state laws protecting financially strapped vehicle buyers.

Auto Special Inc. allegedly collected improper fees from customers, including late fees assessed before 10 days after a payment due date. Under state law, creditors are required to give consumers a 10-day payment grace period before the consumer is considered to be in default.

After the first default in a 365-day period, creditors are required to give consumers a notice of their right to cure the default. Creditors must also give consumers the chance to cure the default within 20 days.

Under the terms of an assurance of discontinuance, Auto Special will refund fees the law did not entitle it to collect, forgive any outstanding balance owed for any consumer who had their vehicle improperly repossessed in the last two years and will refund any consumer charges and fees related to improper repossessions.

Auto Special will also alter existing and future contracts to reinstate required consumer protections for buyers behind on their payments, including accurate statements of a consumer's total amount financed, total sales price, total payments and annual percentage rate.

Auto Special must contact consumers within 90 days regarding refunds.


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