WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - President Barack Obama says auto dealerships should be subject to the same oversight he is proposing for banks and other lenders in his financial reform package.

Obama said Wednesday that because auto dealers make nearly 80 percent of the automobile loans in the country they should not be out of the reach of the regulations the bill would create. A Senate amendment created the exemption.

"This amendment would carve out a special exemption for these lenders that would allow them to inflate rates, insert hidden fees into the fine print of paperwork, and include expensive add-ons that catch purchasers by surprise," Obama said.

"This amendment guts provisions that empower consumers with clear information that allows them to make the financial decisions that work best for them and simply encourages misleading sales tactics that hurt American consumers."

Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., introduced the amendment.

"Adding burdensome and expensive regulations on Main Street auto dealers will only make it harder and more costly for a family to buy a car," Bailey Wood, a spokesman for the National Automobile Dealers Association, said in a Detroit Free Press report.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at jobrienwv@gmail.com.

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