We help dealerships comply with state and federal laws

Operating a motor vehicle dealership involves managing and mitigating numerous compliance risks. Automotive dealers must comply with many different state laws and numerous federal laws.

Our vehicle dealer lawyers represent motor vehicle dealers’ interests in all facets of dealership operations including compliance, business transactions and disputes. We counsel clients on business issues that are unique to car dealers, whether it involves structure, finance, labor relations, advertising, and consumer sales, or other automotive law issues. We have successfully represented car dealers in civil consumer complaints and responding to Attorney General investigations.

Gertsburg Licata also offers a specially tailored internal audit service for auto dealerships. This service helps your motor vehicle dealership manage legal compliance proactively and implement necessary policies and processes.

Ohio automotive dealer laws

Our Cleveland automotive-dealer lawyers understand the full range of Ohio laws that dealers must satisfy. You can rely on our team to help your dealership ensure compliance with:

  • The Consumer Sales Protection Act.Among other things, this state law identifies:
    • Whether certain business conduct is legal;
    • What companies can and cannot represent in their advertising; and
    • The legal remedies when companies fail to comply with the act.
  • The Retail Installment Sales Act. This Ohio law covers loans that will be paid over time and are typically covered by collateral. In the case of automotive dealers, the law governs appropriate dealer remedies, including repossession when the loan is in default.
  • Ohio Motor Vehicle Title Law. This statute details the requirements for titling automobiles, transferring title, placing liens on the title, and many other legal issues that relate to the ownership of the vehicle.

Our lawyers review the dealer’s business, including business relationships with finance companies, customers, vendors, contractors and employees to fully understand which state laws apply.

Federal automotive dealer laws

Our attorneys counsel our automotive dealer clients on these and other federal laws:

  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA). This law, enacted in 1999, requires among other things that companies, such as automotive dealers, that offer financial products or services to consumers explain how the information the company obtains is shared and how sensitive information is safeguarded. Vehicle loans, insurance, and financial advice are covered financial products and services.
  • Truth in Lending Act (TILA). The TILA protects consumers against untruthful and unfair credit card and credit billing practices. Lenders are required to provide certain information about the true cost of a loan. The TILA is part of the Consumer Credit Protection Act.
  • Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA). The ECOA was enacted in 1974. It protects qualified consumers from discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, age, or sex. Covered consumers include applicants whose income is based on public assistance or who have exercised a right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act. Any company that regularly handles credit decisions is required to comply with the ECOA. Companies that violate Regulation B of the ECOA can face substantial fines and punitive damages, especially if a class action lawsuit is successfully brought.

Automotive dealers must also comply with IRS cash reporting rules and other federal rules and regulations.

Connect with a qualified auto dealership attorney today

Gertsburg Licata has a team of experienced lawyers that can help you navigate automotive laws. Our attorneys can help you understand your risks and guide you through implementing changes before issues occur. Please call us today at (216) 573-6000 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.