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Treasury, Consumer Groups Make Aggressive Push to Include Auto Dealers in New Financial Bureaucracy
Top Stories
Treasury, Consumer Groups Make Aggressive Push to Include Auto Dealers in New Financial Bureaucracy

NADA Issues Urgent Dealer Call-to-Action for Dealer Exemption

WASHINGTON -- At a press conference on Thursday, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, the Department of Defense and consumer advocacy groups called for additional regulation of auto dealers’ financing operations by a new proposed consumer protection agency. The proposal cited unsubstantiated allegations regarding auto finance.

National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Chairman Ed Tonkin immediately wrote Secretary Geithner, questioning the Administration's public stance and requesting an in-person meeting.  Tonkin’s letter notes that the new agency could curtail “the availability of dealer-assisted financing . . . depriving millions of consumers, including service members, of affordable financing and, in many cases, the only financing available to them.”  (For Tonkin letter, click here

NADA is extremely concerned that the Obama administration is using informal, non-scientific polling data as a basis for advancing the president’s reform agenda.  This approach also raises serious questions about whether such a new consumer protection agency would address critical credit issues in a fair and responsible manner.

The Treasury Department is seeking to include auto dealers under the jurisdiction of the Senate’s proposed Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.  The new bureau would have new and unprecedented powers over auto financing far beyond current law.  "Dealers were granted an exemption from this new super-agency in the House bill, but the administration is aggressively seeking to pull dealers under the new agency," said David Regan, NADA vice president of legislative affairs.

"Dealers are urged to remind each of their Senators that dealers did not cause the financial meltdown and dealers are already extensively regulated by the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Trade Commission and state consumer protection agencies," Regan said.  "Unless changed, the Senate financial reform bill is likely to disrupt access to auto credit at a time when the industry and consumers can least afford it."
Source: NADA Legislative Affairs

Legislative Note: With Congress in recess, Senators are likely to be in their home districts, giving dealers a perfect opportunity to contact them.  (Click here for arguments against including auto dealers under the jurisdiction of the Senate’s proposed Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection).  Senate offices can be reached through the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 or www.senate.gov.

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