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FTC Action Pushes AZ and NM Auto Dealer Group Out of Business

In a first for the FTC, the Tate Automotive Group, with dealerships in AZ and NM, is being forced to cease business operations as part of a settlement of allegations related to falsification of consumer income.

A link to that settlement can be found here. The FTC complaint alleged that the dealerships falsified income and down payment information on vehicle financing applications and misrepresented important financial terms in vehicle advertisements. The settlement also includes a monetary judgment of $7,203,227 and makes the FTC an unsecured claimant in the dealer group’s bankruptcy proceedings. The FTC case continues against the individual owners of the companies.  The Commission vote approving the settlement was 3-0-2, with Commissioners Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and Christine S. Wilson recorded as not participating.  This is the FTC’s first action alleging income falsification by auto dealers, but probably not the last. As mentioned in the FTC’s recent staff reports, the Commission staff says that it expects to continue to focus on law enforcement and alleged deceptive or unfair tactics in the auto industry as they arise

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