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The Final Drive Against the CFPB’s Auto Financing Guidance



2021 NADA Board Member Wes Lutz

Wes Lutz

NADA Board Member - Michigan

NADA has long fought for our customers’ right to save money during the auto financing process, and for dealers to retain the ability to discount credit. For years, we have worked hard to educate members of Congress on how our business operates, and how dealer-assisted financing benefits consumers, not harms them. This education and re-education has paid off.

Last week – thanks in large part to your efforts – the U.S. Senate passed S.J.Res.57, a joint resolution introduced by Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) to disapprove the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) flawed 2013 indirect vehicle financing guidance. The U.S. House is scheduled to consider S.J.Res.57 the week of May 7, and President Trump has stated that he looks forward to signing the resolution into law.

My fellow dealers, we are on the 2-yard line. And if we can get the ball across the goal line, our efforts to finally rescind this deeply flawed and anti-consumer CFPB guidance will have at long last have paid off.

But we’re not in the end zone yet. Opposition interest groups have – falsely – taken the position that this resolution would set a precedent that could be used to repeal decades of federal rules and regulations. And they will stop at nothing to prevent this resolution from being enacted. They have even dusted off their old playbook of trying to paint all auto dealers as working against customers based on their background.

Of course we know that such a charge is as shameful as it is ridiculous. But it must make for good politics, and we must redouble our efforts.

That is why your help is once again so urgently needed. We need every dealer to contact his or her Representative and remind them that in November 2015, 332 Members of Congress  – including 88 Democrats – voted in favor of H.R. 1737 to repeal the CFPB’s flawed auto financing guidance, and in doing so voted to preserve important auto loan discounts for their constituents.

We need you to explain that this resolution simply continues the bipartisan effort that began years ago to keep auto loans affordable and accessible for all consumers. It also holds the CFPB accountable and mandates that it provides an open and public process before trying to upend fair credit and consumer affordability.

Many members of Congress saw through the CFPB’s actions as a roundabout attempt to regulate dealers even though we received exemption from the agency’s jurisdiction since there was bipartisan concern that additional costly and unnecessary regulation would hinder auto loan availability. Enactment of S.J. Res. 57 would prevent this attempt at regulatory overreach in our industry’s future. That’s not just good politics, it’s good policy.

Dealers owe a debt of gratitude to Sen. Moran and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) for introducing S.J.Res. 57, as well as Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), who introduced companion legislation in the House. NADA will do our part to urge House Members to vote for the Senate passed bill, S.J.Res. 57, to disapprove the CFPB’s auto financing guidance, so that we can preserve, once and for all, consumer access to affordable auto credit.

Finally, I’d like to commend our strong grassroots network and fellow NADA Board Members and state association executives who have worked tirelessly to reach out to key legislators and explain how auto financing works and how often it serves our customers in the car-buying process get better finance rates than they could get on their own. Let’s band together again – don’t let up the fight; this is too important. NADA looks forward to keeping auto financing convenient and competitive for all consumers.

Wes Lutz, 2018 NADA chairman, is president of Extreme Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep, Ram Inc. in Jackson, Mich.