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Deceptive Advertising Practices Are Rampant In Car Sales, And The FTC Wants Them To Stop


Medical bills are the biggest source of consumer debt, and payday loans are probably the most predatory, but car-related expenses are not especially benign.  In most parts of Florida, it is virtually impossible to commute to and from work without a car.  Buying a car often feels like a Faustian bargain for several reasons.  First, unlike some other assets in the same price range, cars always depreciate quickly in value.  Second, car dealerships find ways to rip you off by increasing the amount of money you will need to borrow, so that even if the lender treats you very fairly, your car loan amount will most likely start out being more expensive than it needs to be.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is in the process of proposing new rules that would restrict deceptive and unfair sales practices by car dealerships.  If you are about to buy a car, the best way to protect yourself is to do your research and to question the dealer about every penny they are asking you to pay.  If you have already bought a car and it is contributing to your financial stress, contact a Boca Raton debt lawyer.

Shady Sales Tactics That the FTC Wants to Ban

The FTC’s new proposed guidelines would require dealers to disclose the full amount of the sale the first time that the consumer asks about it.  Too often, the customer asks about the price of a vehicle, only to find out, over the course of a long conversation with a salesperson, that the amount the customer must agree to pay, before receiving the car loan and driving the car off of the lot, is much higher than the sticker price.  The FTC wants dealers to present consumers with an itemized list of everything the dealer is asking the consumer to pay for.  This would require dealers to eliminate junk fees, which are additional unnecessary charges that dealers ask consumers to pay just because they can.

The FTC also wants to ban bait and switch advertising.  This is when a dealer and a buyer verbally agree that the buyer will purchase a certain car, but when the buyer comes back to the dealership to close the sale, the dealer says that the original car is no longer available.

What to Do If You Are in Debt Because of an Overpriced Car

If your car loan is contributing to your debt burden, but selling your car and walking to work is not an option.  If you file for chapter 7 bankruptcy or chapter 13 bankruptcy, the court will almost certainly allow you to keep your car, even if the debts it discharges are not related to your vehicle.  Likewise, if you take out a debt consolidation loan, you can use it to pay down your car loan and save money on interest.

Contact a South Florida Debt Lawyer About Taking Charge of Your Auto Loan Debt

A South Florida debt lawyer can help you if you need your car but can’t deal with the inflated bills associated with it.  Contact Nowack & Olson, PLLC in Jupiter, Florida to discuss your case.



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