NADA: Brownback Amendment is ‘Pro-Consumer and Keeps Auto Credit Affordable’



WASHINGTON (May 19, 2010) - The major trade associations representing the nation's new-car and truck dealers joined Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., today on Capitol Hill rallying support for his amendment to the Wall Street reform bill which will keep auto financing accessible and affordable for car buyers.

In remarks at a press conference today, Ed Tonkin, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) said: “We are united because the Brownback amendment:

  • is pro-consumer and keeps auto credit reasonable;
  • strengthens consumer protections - ensuring that all auto loans and buy-here/pay-here operations are subject to additional regulation; and
  • ensures that credit will remain available for those who need it most.”

The Brownback amendment ensures that auto dealers who simply assist their customers in finding auto financing with a bank, credit union or financing company would be removed from the Senate financial reform bill (S. 3217). The overall bill, even under the Brownback amendment, would still cover all auto loans and leases and does not repeal or alter any existing federal or state consumer protection or lending laws which apply to dealer-assisted financing.

“Every auto loan has a finance source, and every finance source would remain subject to the new consumer protection agency. The Brownback amendment does not change that fact,” Tonkin said.

Almost 250 small business auto dealers are expected to be in Washington this week to urge Senators to support the Brownback amendment. The Wall Street reform bill creates a new agency, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP), to oversee banks, credit unions and other entities which provide loans for consumer purchases such as auto loans and home mortgages.

“Senators have a clear choice. Side with consumers to promote competition in auto financing or side with those who may have the best intentions - but whose proposal threatens to make it harder and more expensive for families to finance a vehicle,” Tonkin added.

To complement the new military liaison office that the Senate added last week, Sen. Brownback recently altered his amendment to provide better coordination between the new office and the existing regulators to ensure the financial welfare of U.S. service members.

“Dealers support the role of the military liaison in the Brownback amendment.  We would like to partner with the Department of Defense and military support organizations to further enhance the financial education of our men and women in uniform,” Tonkin said.  

“It's important to remember that the companion House amendment passed the House Financial Services Committee by a bipartisan vote of 47-21, and the final version of the House bill kept that provision because it is good for auto consumers,” Tonkin said. “The Senate should follow suit and adopt the Brownback amendment.”

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