Archive November 2019

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Don't Go Metric on Your Odometer

As most of our readers should know, Federal and State Laws require that you state the mileage in connection with the transfer of ownership.  There are significant penalties (including prison) for tampering with or rolling back a vehicle’s odometer.  Odometer tampering results in consumer harm as it misrepresents a vehicle’s actual value.  However, odometer mistakes can also cause financial harm to a dealer when errors occur when recording a vehicle’s odometer.

Mind the GAP....Insurance

Courtesy of Shaun Petersen, NIADA's Senior Vice President of Legal and Government Affairs

In mid-December 2017, the Department of Defense issued a new interpretation of the Military Lending Act, impacting sales to members of the military and their dependents.
When Congress passed the Military Lending Act, it imposed a series of requirements for extending credit to members of the military and their dependents. However, Congress also created several exemptions to those limitations, including one for the extension of credit that is expressly intended to finance the purchase of a motor vehicle when the credit is secured by the motor vehicle purchased. Congress included a similar exemption related to credit extended for the purchase of personal property.

What About Those Fees? Legal v. Improper Fees

Tax, title and licensing fees, they're all items you will see on your sales contract all the time, but when was the last time you looked beyond the sales tax of 6.25%? As you know there are a lot of different fees out there. We all know about the importance of collecting and reporting the 6.25% sales tax to the State of Texas via the Comptroller’s Office, but what about documentation fees and other dealer fees?  What about including some additional items such as “dealer prep” or “dealer service fee” on a buyer’s guide?  Well, be careful as such “add-on” fees might cost the dealer later during an exam, audit, or lawsuit.

Docs for Your Deal Jacket, But Are They Required?

In this blog we will review five common documents used when selling a vehicle. As you know, some documents are required by law to be in the deal jacket on every sale. Although they may vary depending on whether it is a cash sale or a finance deal and other documents may be required based on the situation presented during the sale, like if there is a trade-in or you are including a warranty on the vehicle.

Special Inventory Tax (VIT) Reminder

TIADA recently received several calls regarding penalties for late or missing special inventory tax payments.  As government budgets continue to face funding pressure, many local county tax assessor collectors are being courted by third party law firms to outsource their special inventory tax penalty collections. The result of outside collection firms may limit a dealer’s ability to seek waived or reduced fines, penalties, and interest. Remember, monthly reports for special inventory tax payments are due EVERY month….even if a dealer doesn’t sell any vehicles.

TDLR Adopts Rules to Allow More Dealers to Offer In-House Service Contracts

On Tuesday November 5, 2019 the Board of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) convened to adopt and revise rules relating to service contract providers.  The proposed rules are necessary to implement House Bill (HB) 4120 (Lucio III) of the 86th Legislature (2019 Regular Session), which amends Chapter 1304 of the Occupations Code by allowing service contract providers, who are automobile dealers offering service contracts on vehicles that they sell, to reduce the financial security deposit (aka "funded reserve") amount of $250,000 to a minimum of $25,000, $50,000, or $75,000 depending on the provider's annual gross revenue in this state from the sale of service contracts during the preceding year.