NACSO Supports New York Attorney General in Settlement with Auto Dealerships for Alleged Deceptive Practices

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The National Association of Credit Service Organizations, NACSO, has announced that it is in complete support of the decision by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in settling with three auto dealerships for alleged deceptive practices, including unlawful credit repair offers. The settlement includes nearly $14 million in fines and restitution that will compensate consumers who allegedly paid inflated vehicle prices.

People from all walks of life have credit challenges and they need automobiles to get to work or school.

In a settlement announced on June 17th by New York A.G. Eric T. Schneiderman’s office, three area car dealerships, two in the borough of Queens and one in Westchester County, have agreed to pay restitution in the amount of more than $13.5 million for alleged deceptive practices.

The allegations that led to this important settlement include claims that the dealerships sold products that customers didn’t want or ask for, including credit repair services. These products were allegedly bundled into the price of a vehicle, so often the consumers were unaware that they were purchasing them.

The crackdown on these dealerships and potentially as many as eleven others in the state all involve a single business called Credit Forget It, or CFI. According to a June 17th press release issued by the attorney general’s office, the Consumer Frauds Bureau under Attorney General Schneiderman’s command has obtained a consent order agreement that has shut down the operations of CFI.

The action taken by the New York AG’s office was issued by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The consent order alleged that CFI sold unlawful credit repair and identity theft prevention services through the dealerships in question.

The National Association of Credit Service Organizations has come out firmly in support of this agreement. “NACSO strongly supports efforts to rid the marketplace of 'bad actors' and those who do not adhere to the Credit Repair Organizations Act. The New York settlement reflects the alleged behavior of certain auto dealers,” says Nick Owens, CEO Magnolia Strategy Partners, LLC, and a spokesman for NACSO.

“The professional credit repair industry helps consumers to correct errors in credit reports that cause families to unfairly pay higher borrowing costs. People from all walks of life have credit challenges and they need automobiles to get to work or school,” stated Nick Owens.

Concerns among independent credit repair companies were also addressed by representatives of NACSO, which advocates for industry standards and ethical business practices in the credit services industry.

According to Robby Birnbaum, Esq., partner in the respected regulatory law firm Greenspoon Marder, "Many of NACSO's New York-based members received inquiries and concerns from car dealers and mortgage originators regarding misinformation from the complicated settlement between the New York A.G. and the dealerships. I'm glad that we were able to provide clarity to these businesses so that they can continue to help consumers obtain the financing that they deserve, and to provide access to the many legal credit repair members of NACSO throughout the New York area."

The professional credit repair industry helps consumers to correct errors in credit reports that cause families to unfairly pay higher costs. These companies and some consumer law firms provide access to legal credit repair professionals and identity theft credit protection services.

According to Joel Pate, President of SCORE Inc. and NACSO’s first vendor member, "We welcome the efforts of the New York Attorney General’s office to rein in the unscrupulous actions of individual credit repair companies. The many honest credit repair businesses out there provide a valuable service to consumers, and operate with integrity."

In supporting this consent agreement between the New York Attorney General’s office, CFI and the auto dealers, NACSO continues to show its support for strong industry standards and ethical business practices for the credit repair industry.

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Jason Kaplan
NACSO
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