EAST NEW YORK – Three companies – Credit Acceptance Corp., Clover Commercial Corp, and Westlake Financial Services – financed subprime auto loans as high as 24.9 percent for customers at used car dealerships in East New York will pay $300,000 in restitution over practicing predatory lending.
The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) announced yesterday they had reached settlements with the above companies.
Owners of the dealerships implicated in the predatory lending—USA1 Auto Sales, Inc., Lenden Used Car Sales, Inc, D&A Guaranteed Auto Sales, Inc., and Linden Used Cars, Inc— were charged with deceptive and unlawful trade practices in May 2017. Their infractions ranged from misleading consumers about pricing to misrepresenting or concealing the terms of sale and financing, and even failing to inspect the vehicles.
Customers who were harmed by these dealerships have until March 11, 2018 to file a complaint and potentially be included in further settlements and restitution.
“The city will not tolerate predatory financing and sales practices,” said DCA Commissioner Lorelei Salas. “We will continue to hold dealerships and financing companies accountable in an effort to protect innocent New Yorkers from purchasing unusable cars and loans that place excessive financial burdens on themselves and their family members.”
As part of the settlements, the financial institutions will also seek to repair damage done to their customers’ credit by requesting credit reporting agencies delete any negative reports caused by their predatory lending.
The New York DCA licenses 666 used car dealerships and received nearly 5,800 complaints from consumers about used car dealerships over the past four years, according to a statement by the organization. In the last three years, the DCA has secured more than $2.7 million in consumer restitution and imposed almost $1.8 million in fines against dealerships as a result of complaints and investigations.
Customers can file complaints against dealerships by calling 311, or online at nyc.gov/dca.