Archive August 2018

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Customer's Death Reveals Risks of Deferred Down Payments

By Erik Wilson
Erik Wilson and Associates, PLLC

A recent issue with a member has brought attention to a special situation that sometimes occurs in our industry. Specifically, there are times when dealers feel forced to take deferred down payments or, in retail transactions, partial payoffs for vehicles sold to customers. To be clear, TIADA's stance on this is that all members should refrain from engaging in any type of deferred payments. However, in the unavoidable situation where a deferred payment must be taken dealers should ensure the agreement is memorialized in the confines of the retail installment contract.


New Rule Allows for Customer Referral Fees

Before last Thursday, if an independent dealer paid a customer a referral fee they could and should have received a cease and desist order from the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. For years the agency interpreted a customer referral fee as brokering, found in the Texas Administrative Code section 215.85. Due to that interpretation, when a dealer would contact TIADA to discuss their customer referral program, the conversation would usually end with frustration and confusion. Dealers were frustrated they couldn't pay a customer referral fee and confused as to why it was considered brokering. Independent dealers were left with a tough choice since many claimed their customer referral programs accounted for 30 - 40% of their business.

TIADA Launches Portal to Dispute Fraudulent Toll Charges

Many dealers reach out to TIADA for help resolving a common and frustrating problem: fraudulent toll charges. Thieves will photograph and replicate a dealer agent tag to use on various toll roads across the state. Contesting these erroneous charges is often a time intensive and confusing process. That’s why TIADA created the Toll Charge Complaint Form to make it easier for dealers. 

How Long Must I Keep My Records? A Record Retention Refresher

Selling cars inevitably creates a great deal of paperwork, and dealers often call to ask TIADA how long they must keep and store these documents. Various state agencies have different record retention requirements. In this blog post, we detail those requirements so dealers can purge their files of unnecessary paperwork and clutter.  It does not include a list of specific records required to be kept by the agencies. The Texas Administrative Code includes all requirements in the code sections and statutes cited below. As always, members may contact the TIADA state office with any questions. We have also provided a specific contact person at each agency with a phone number and email address.