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January 23, 2014

Urbana Used Car Dealer Agrees to Refund Improper Charges, Follow Iowa Truth in Lending Act

Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division alleges dealership collected improper fees, sidestepped legal protections for consumers behind on their payments, and did not disclose true costs to consumers

(DES MOINES, Iowa)  An Urbana used car dealer will refund fees it improperly collected from customers after Attorney General Tom Miller alleged the dealership collected finance charges and fees it was not entitled to collect, and improperly repossessed vehicles.

In an agreement with Urbana Motors Inc., called an Assurance of Discontinuance, the dealership agreed to refund fees that state law did not entitle it to collect.  Those fees included late fees assessed before ten days after a payment due date.

Urbana Motors has also agreed to follow Iowa’s Truth in Lending Act, including accurately disclosing total sales prices, annual percentage rates (APRs), total payments, and total amounts financed.

In a letter sent to the Consumer Protection Division, Urbana agreed to “resolve overcharges and provide fair treatment and settlements with affected customers, and bring the company’s business into compliance with (the) Iowa Consumer Credit Code.”

Under Iowa law, creditors must give consumers a ten-day payment grace period before the consumer is in default.  For the first default in a 365 day period, creditors must give consumers a notice of their right to cure the default.  Creditors must also offer consumers the opportunity to cure the default within 20 days.
Urbana Motors agrees to forgive any outstanding balance owed for any consumer who had their vehicle improperly repossessed in the past two years, and will refund consumers’ charges and fees associated with improper repossessions.

As part of the agreement, Urbana Motors is required to contact consumers within 90 days regarding refunds.

The case began with the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Investigation & Identity Protection, which referred the matter to the Consumer Protection Division.


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