New Washington, new dialogue for industry, CFPB

Dealers, lenders and auto industry executives, like all Americans, have varied views on the Trump administration. But one clear benefit for retailers and lenders? A better relationship between industry groups and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Under President Donald Trump, the National Automobile Dealers Association has had more access to the executive branch, NADA officials say.

"We regularly get invited to these [administrative] meetings and we weren't before," said Peter Welch, NADA president. "It's nice to have a seat at the table."

NADA Chairman Mark Scarpelli said NADA hasn't had to have as many conversations with the CFPB since the current administration took over.

"We see some understanding on their part of what our business is about and how to make sure credit is available to all Americans," he said. "They have kind of come full circle and have more of the understanding of what it takes to get credit in consumers hands and not stand in the way but offer more products and opportunities for a customer to get into a car."

There is still some work to be done to get both groups on the same page, though. For example, NADA would like the CFPB to adopt the Fair Credit Compliance program it developed with the National Minority Dealers Association and American International Automobile Dealers Association.

But "it's refreshing to have an administration that understands how to get credit into the hands of consumers who need it. That's a welcome change," Scarpelli said. "We continue to have conversations. We want to make sure that the consumers are protected and that we go to market with the best foot forward as automobile dealers."

It's taken a few years, but from the sound of it, there is a more open dialogue happening in Washington -- in favor of dealerships' and their lenders' businesses.

Jamie LaReau contributed.

You can reach Hannah Lutz at -- Follow Hannah on Twitter: @hm_lutz

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