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Soldiers’ complaints to be “tracked”

by David Zatz on

A Senate proposal from Republican Sam Brownback to exempt car dealers from oversight by a new customer protection agency has been changed to appear to help soldiers and their families.

The original proposal, which was based on the NADA’s idea that car dealers never cheat anyone, especially with regard to auto loans, was popular in the Senate and likely to pass. However, some military groups, President Obama, and Secretary of the Army John McHugh said that the exemption was inappropriate. McHugh said that “many of our soldiers have fallen victim to predatory lending practices and have entered into contracts for prohibitively expensive financial products promoted by some unscrupulous car dealerships and lenders,” and Undersecretary of Defense Clifford Stanley found evidence of numerous sleazy practices, including falsification of loan applications, at the expense of soldiers and their families.

NADA said the new law would have “unnecessary, burdensome and overreaching rules [that] will only limit auto finance options and hurt the consumers which the new agency is seeking to protect.”

President Obama portrayed the law as primarily enforcing standards of information clarity.

Brownback’s modification would require the agency to monitor military families’ complaints, but would otherwise continue the car dealer exemption.

The House version of the bill exempts car dealers.

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