BOISE, Idaho (Legal Newsline) - Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced a settlement Friday with an Idaho Falls-based used car dealer to resolve allegations of deceptive business practices.
Wasden's office looked into the business practices of Autos 4 Less after receiving a consumer complaint related to a subject-to-financing purchase contract made with the company. Subject to financing contracts permit consumers to take possession of a vehicle before obtaining financing, a practice known as spot deliveries in the car sales industry.
"Spot delivery sales are legal, but can create situations in which consumers, especially those with low credit ratings, may be exploited," Wasden said.
The consumer traded in a vehicle and agreed to finance the remainder of the purchase with a subject-to-financing contract. Autos 4 Less sold the trade-in and assigned the contract to a third-party financing company. The financing company declined to finance the purchase and Autos 4 Less allegedly seized the delivered vehicle, refusing to refund the trade-in allowance to the consumer.
"The Idaho Rules of Consumer Protection require a dealer to inform a consumer in writing that a subject-to-financing contract is null and void if financing on the agreed upon terms is not available," Wasden said. "In that situation, a dealer must return the trade-in vehicle and title or the trade-in allowance to the consumer within one business day."
Under the terms of the settlement, Autos 4 Less will pay the consumer $2,500 plus interest in restitution and pay Wasden's office $2,500 for attorney costs.