RAVENNA, Ohio (Legal Newsline) - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine filed lawsuits against two dealerships and their owners on Wednesday alleging multiple violations of Ohio's consumer laws.
The lawsuits names Keep It Moving Auto Inc., based in Cleveland, and Auto Finance/Auto Finance South of Columbus, which are "buy-here-pay-here" dealers that offer consumers financing directly through the dealership. Such dealers cater to lower income consumers and charge high interest rates, DeWine says.
"In both of these cases, we found blatant violations of consumer financing laws," DeWine said. "The purchases were often one-sided, heavily favoring the dealer and lacking required disclosures."
Numerous violations were found with the dealers, including failing to notify consumers of payment due dates, failing to notify consumers of the total cost of credit and including an acceleration clause for consumers who defaulted, causing the total amount owed by consumers to be due immediately without notice.
Keep It Moving Auto, as well as owner Ronnie Simmons Jr., and employee Chester Leonard, allegedly violated Ohio's Retail Installment Sales Act, Consumer Sales Practices Act, Odometer Rollback and Disclosure Act, and Certificate of Motor Vehicle Title Law.
Auto Finance LLC, Auto Finance South, and owners Donald G. O'Connell and Christopher Allen allegedly violated Ohio's Retail Installment Sales Act, Consumer Sales Practices Act, and Certificate of Motor Vehicle Title Act.
DeWine's office received more than 50 complaints against Auto Finance and Auto Finance South in the last two years. The business, DeWine alleges, failed to give proper disclosures to consumers about their financing and failed to obtain certificates of title in the time required by law, among other violations.
Both lawsuits seek injunctive relief, civil penalties and consumer restitution.