Former SouthCoast car dealership’s finance company sets up shop
BOSTON – The auto finance company that funded high-interest loans to used car dealers in Westport and Fall River that sold faulty and dangerous vehicles has agreed to provide $ 800,000 in aid to consumers affected by the deceptive practices.
Attorney General Maura Healey’s office today announced that United Auto Credit Corporation has agreed to assist those who have purchased vehicles from F&R Auto in Westport and City Line Auto Sales, Inc. in Fall River and have funded loans through UACC.
The two car dealerships are no longer in business.
“For many consumers, buying a car is the biggest purchase of a lifetime, and when it is faulty or unusable, it can have catastrophic ripple effects on daily life and well-being. including jobs, housing and even health, ”AG Healey said in one version. “This settlement strengthens our office’s mission to protect consumers from predatory and unfair practices and guarantees hundreds of thousands of dollars in relief to victims of this business.”
According to the AG’s office, an investigation found that the subprime auto finance company “had facilitated the sale of faulty and unusable vehicles by F&R Auto and City Line by providing financing to dealerships, despite knowledge of hundreds of complaints from consumers against dealers and their high default and repossession rates. “
The AG’s office also said that UACC “illegally required some consumers who had to voluntarily surrender their vehicles when they could not afford their payments to sign a voluntary buyback agreement with broad wording that waived everything. recourse against UACC, while pursuing judgments against consumers who did not. pay their deficit balances after repossession. “
As part of the settlement, UACC will write off all outstanding debts and write off any outstanding deficit balances owed to anyone who purchased vehicles from F&R Auto or City Line and funded them by UACC on or after October 5, 2014.
UACC will also forfeit any outstanding balances and reimburse payments to them for anyone who voluntarily returned their vehicle by signing these general waivers.
In addition, UACC will repair the credit of these consumers with credit reporting agencies and pay $ 250,000 to the Attorney General’s office. The UACC has since changed its business practices to comply with Massachusetts law, Healey’s office said.
The AG’s office said Healey obtained more than $ 1.9 million in restitution and debt relief solely from F&R Auto and City Line customers. Anyone with questions or concerns regarding the settlement can contact the office at (617) 573-5336.