Arkansas AG takes action against auto dealers over allegedly deceptive practices

By Mark Iandolo | Feb 7, 2016

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Legal Newsline) – In a consumer-protection lawsuit filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge alleged that a group of automobile dealerships and their owners engaged in deceptive practices.

The companies in question are Automatic Auto Finance Inc., Jorja Trading Co. Inc. and CashFish Motor Pawn Inc. These companies are buy-here-pay-here automobile dealerships with several locations in northwest Arkansas.

The lawsuit charges that the companies engaged in deceptive practices by selling and financing used vehicles to Arkansas consumers and then using prohibited collection methods against them. The attorney general’s office has identified 2,252 cases of this type of alleged fraud since 2010.

“This buy-here-pay-here dealer is abusing economically disadvantaged consumers who have little or no credit resources by selling them a low-value vehicle financed at an exorbitant price and interest rate,” Rutledge said. “Unfortunately, instead of helping Arkansans, these businesses only trap consumers in a cycle of debt. These egregious actions are truly unconscionable, and the Consumer Protection Division exists to protect consumers in exactly these types of situations.”

Rutledge has asked the court to impose restitution, civil penalties, attorneys’ fees, costs and other reliefs against the companies and the owners as individuals.

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