Archive December 2019

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Car Impounded by Border Patrol, Now What?

Dealers that finance vehicles need to pay attention to who they sell a vehicle to. TIADA has recently received calls from Texas dealers that had vehicles impounded for various citizenship issues. Examples can include having an illegal immigrant as a passenger or driver, but can also include seizures for drugs, guns, or other contraband. 

Expired Buyers Tags Cause Real Headaches

I will register the vehicle on time. I will register the vehicle on time.  I will register the vehicle on time.  We hear this all of the time, but some dealers are better than others at promptly registering a car after a sale. All dealers know that they are required by law to register a vehicle after sale. Dealers must file within 30 days of a retail sale and within 45 days on a seller financed sale that included deferred sales tax.  In both scenarios, title should be recorded well before any noted deadline as a prompt filing will help avoid serious problems later.

Goodwill Repairs After a Sale

A happy customer is a good customer.  However, not all customers can be happy customers.  This can be especially true of car dealers making repairs to a vehicle after a sale.  Let’s take a look at “goodwill” repairs.  Those vehicles sold as-is and without a warranty, service contract, or other legal obligations to make repairs. 

Top 10 Compliance Articles in 2019

2019 has been a busy year in Texas for independent auto dealers.  The 86th Texas Legislature made changes to named driver insurance policies.  It was not just changes in state law that dealers need to stay on top of, but dealers continue to face a changing landscape relating to Texas DMV rules, OCCC updates, title issues, scams, record issues, updates with the Federal Trade Commission / Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, lawsuit, and more.  TIADA’s online blog and reference library are a great resource to keep your dealership in compliance and up to date with the automotive industry.

No Catalytic Converter. No Sale

Diesel dealers beware. Did you know that it is illegal in Texas to sell a vehicle without the catalytic converters installed?  Texas law prohibits any person from selling, offering for sale, leasing, or offering to lease any vehicle not equipped with all emission control systems or devices in good operable condition. Violators are subject to penalties under the Texas Clean Air Act of up to $25,000 per violation. Buyers are advised to have the vehicle checked for all required emission control devices prior to purchasing a new or used vehicle.

Form 8300 Follow-up. What is "Cash?"

TIADA received a few calls on cashier’s checks being cash or not cash and who reports.  Follow the account.  There needs to be a traceable account number to the customer for funds to fall outside of 8300 filings.  If your customer was also a customer of a bank and pulled funds out of their account, i.e. that were essentially certified by the bank, the bank would be responsible for any related reporting.  However, if the cashier’s check was generic and based on the bank’s funds or account, or a money order was pulled from a post office or convenience store (where there is no record or account of record), then you need to file and report the transaction.  If in doubt, you could file an 8300 anyway just in case.  There is no penalty for unnecessary filings…..only penalties for NOT filing.

Online Reviews Can Get Your Dealership in Trouble with the FTC

Online reviews are everywhere and can help send traffic, online and in person, to your dealership. People now comment on a variety of websites- Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, TripAdvisor, the list goes on- about a variety of issues. As is the case with word-of-mouth references, bad experiences are shared far more frequently than positive ones. Business owners need to be very careful when trying to “combat” a bad online review.  It is important to be transparent in your reviews.  The Federal Trade Commission recently took action against two businesses for creating their own good reviews and also posting bad reviews with competitors.  Don’t do it!  (see below).

Year End Reminder About IRS Form 8300

With the end of 2019 looming in the weeks ahead, it is a good time to remind dealers to check their accounts for payments in excess of $10,000.  To be clear the term “cash” is not just currency but includes other payments such as money orders and cashier’s checks.  The $10,000 trigger can also be met by a combination of payments over the course of the year.  The payment threshold will also be met if for multiple vehicles or multiple family members (example: husband and wife buy two $9,000 vehicles).

When to Use a Spanish Buyer's Guide

According to the Federal Trade Commission “If you conduct a used car transaction in Spanish, you must post a Spanish language Buyers Guide on the vehicle before you display or offer it for sale.”