DONNA HARRIS

Dealers can't rest after dodging bullet

Donna Harris covers retail issues for Automotive News
There's no question dealers can breathe a little easier knowing they're exempt from the big finance-reform legislation that U.S. House and Senate conferees passed last week. But they're not out of the woods.

Chicago lawyer Kenneth Rojc, who represents auto lenders and dealers, told me that the legislation gives state attorneys general broad power to enforce federal regulations. And dealers have long been a favorite target of state attorneys general.

Also, though the new Consumer Finance Protection Bureau may not directly regulate dealers, it still can issue regulations that affect federal rules that dealers are required to follow, such as Truth In Lending and the Fair Credit Reporting Act, he says.

So dealers, be on your guard. Big Brother is still looking over your shoulder.

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