Indiana Dealer Reaches Settlement Regarding Doc Fees
November 10, 2015
CLARKSVILLE, Ind. — Auto dealer Jeff Wyler Clarksville has reached an agreement with the Indiana Attorney General’s Office to settle charges that his dealership violated Indiana’s Motor Vehicle Dealer Unfair Practices Act by charging car buyers unfair processing fees.
Under this act, auto dealers cannot require someone who is purchasing a motor vehicle to pay a document preparation fee unless the fee accurately reflects expenses incurred for the preparation of documents and was negotiated by and disclosed to the customer.
The Indiana regulator charged that Jeff Wyler Clarksville regularly charged car buyers a processing or document preparation fee of $479, which is much higher than the actual costs the company could possibly incur in preparing documents.
Approximately 4,400 former customers who purchased vehicles from the dealer over the past two years will receive a refund of $142 over the next several months, adding up to a total restitution amount of $624,800. The dealer also agreed to no longer charge document preparation fees over $200.
“Hoosiers file complaints with my office about auto sales more often than any other purchase,” Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said. “Indiana law has certain protections in place to help safeguard consumers when purchasing cars, including a statute that prevents auto dealers from tacking on unnecessary and inflated fees that are often disguised to the customer.”
Under the settlement terms, Jeff Wyler Clarksville must mail half of the restitution payments to customers within six months of the signed agreement and the other half within the next six months. The company must also report the full list of eligible consumers to the attorney general’s office.