The U.S. Federal Trade Commission was authorized to adopt standards for dealer-assisted financing under financial reform legislation enacted in 2010. This is why it is preparing to have up to five roundtables this year to find out the consumer-protection issues that may be resolved through rule-making or other methods.
On the second roundtable set to take place on Aug. 2-3 in San Antonio, the FTC will study if dealers make an effort to exploit military personnel and their families.
The topics that will be explored in this roundtable include motor vehicle sales and financing issues that affect military consumers as well as fair lending and financial literacy. Last year, congress had talks on whether the new U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should oversee the dealerships.
The Pentagon said its piece on behalf of military families. Undersecretary of Defense Clifford Stanley had asserted that dealers should be overseen by the new agency.
In a Feb. 2010 letter to the Treasury Department, Stanley said that there are documented cases of service members being victimized by overly expensive products and predatory practices.
The letter said that in a Pentagon survey, it was determined that 72% of 659 counselors and attorneys on military installations had counseled service members on deceptive auto-financing practices in the last six months.