The attorney general of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has sued JD Byrider, alleging predatory lending practices and sales of poor-quality vehicles for twice their retail value, among other charges. Photo by Tim Sackton
BOSTON — Attorney General Maura Healey announced today that she has sued Massachusetts used-car dealership JD Byrider for allegedly using predatory practices in its sale of defective vehicles with high-cost loans at four locations around the commonwealth.
The AG’s lawsuit alleges that JD Byrider took advantage of consumers by routinely trapping them in an unsustainable and unfavorable sales package, known as the “JD Byrider Program.” This program generally involves selling drivers a poor-quality car with a high cost loan, along with an expensive extended service contract, marketed through an aggressive and misleading advertising and sales campaign, Healey said.
“We allege that JD Byrider ripped off Massachusetts drivers by offering predatory loans for defective and inoperable cars. Our goal in this lawsuit is to recover losses to Massachusetts consumers and make this company pay for the harm they caused to thousands of drivers across this state.”
The AG’s Office filed the lawsuit today in Suffolk Superior Court against Venturcap Investment Group V LLC (d.b.a. JD Byrider) and its in-house finance company, Venturcap Financial Group LLC (d.b.a. Credit Now Acceptance Corp).
JD Byrider is a franchise of Byrider Franchising LLC, a national franchisor of JD Byrider buy-here, pay-here dealerships located across the country that typically provide credit to finance the cars they sell. In Massachusetts, Byrider’s Venturcap Franchise has dealerships at four locations: Brockton, Dorchester, Dartmouth and Springfield.
According to the complaint, consumers were unaware that JD Byrider priced its cars at more than double their retail value, and required drivers to sign on to a car loan with an annual percentage rate of 20%, regardless of their credit qualifications. JD Byrider bundles its expensive and limited extended service contract into the loan as well, forcing consumers to pay 20% interest on that product. To get the benefit of the service contract, consumers are then required to use a JD Byrider service center.
The AG’s office alleges that the cars sold by JD Byrider are defective and sometimes inoperable, despite misrepresentations of time and money spent reconditioning them prior to sale. Hundreds of cars have been returned by consumers to JD Byrider for repair within three months of purchase due to the mechanical breakdown of a major component such as the engine, electrical system, transmission, brakes or drivetrain.
The AG’s complaint further alleges that JD Byrider employs a faulty underwriting process that underestimates the consumer’s expenses and costs in order to qualify them for loans they can’t afford. As a result of these practices, the AG’s complaint alleges, more than half of JD Byrider’s deals fail or end in repossession.