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June 12, 2012

Des Moines Used Car Dealer to Cease Illegal Charges, Refund Customers

(DES MOINES, Iowa)  A Des Moines used car dealership must cease illegal fees charged to used car buyers and pay refunds to buyers who were charged the illegal fees, under a settlement reached with Attorney General Tom Miller.

The agreement, in the form of an Assurance of Discontinuance, settles an investigation with Jones Enterprise and Repair Inc., at 1520 Maury Street.

Miller said that the dealership charged fees to buyers who had agreed to make monthly payments to the dealer for the vehicles.   When the consumers fell behind on payments the dealer hit them with fees that are not permissible under Iowa consumer credit law.

“The dealer charged delinquency fees, notice of right to cure default fees, notice or repossession fees and collection costs, which are all against state law,” Miller said.  “We pursued this case to make clear to this dealer and others that this office will take action when dealers charge unlawful fees to their customers.”

The settlement requires the dealership to refund all of the illegal fees.  Miller said refunds will come to 59 consumers either as checks made out to them or as an offset on money the consumers owe the dealership.  The refunds are expected to exceed $35,000 in total.

The settlement agreement also requires the dealership to immediately cease charging the illegal fees. 

Miller thanked the Iowa Department of Transportation, Office of Motor Vehicle Enforcement, for its assistance in alerting the Attorney General’s office in the conduct which resulted in the settlement.

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