Regulation threat keeps F&I'ers up at night

Jim Henry is a special correspondent for Automotive News

Dealers and F&I vendors fretted about possible tougher regulations last week at an F&I conference.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general all have auto finance in the cross-hairs, said speakers at the F&I Industry Summit in Las Vegas, hosted by Bobit Business Media.

"They're after us. They're after our livelihood, they're after our industry," said Pete DeLongchamps, F&I chief at the Group 1 Automotive dealership group. He said regulatory compliance is the thing that most "keeps me up at night."

Alan Bond, vice president of national sales at GSFSGroup, said the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau uses leading questions to solicit consumer complaints. Examples include "Did you get discriminated against?" and "Did you get turned down for credit?" GSFSGroup administers and sells F&I products and training.

"They lead the consumer down this path for things a consumer might not even have thought of," Bond said. "I think it's pretty scary from our perspective."