Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007, 07:00 PM UPDATED 11:59 AMBy Nick Zulovich
PORTLAND, Ore. — In its continuing effort to assist auto dealerships nationwide in building and enhancing their compliance practices, Compli, in collaboration with Hudson Cook and Auto Advisory Services of California, announced the release of a new Adverse Action Compliance Program, which is available free of charge to clients of Compli's Dealership Compliance Management System.
According to officials, the new Adverse Action program is specifically designed to address the many content and training requirements associated with adverse action compliance related to dealership finance operations.
"In the recent past, dealers have traditionally relied upon their finance partners to provide this legally required response to a credit rejection. However, recent federal court rulings expanded on the necessity of car dealers to provide notice of adverse action under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act," executives explained.
"As the 7th Circuit Court found in the Treadway vs. Gateway Chevrolet Oldsmobile decision in 2004, even casual discussion about credit with a consumer could create a moment of liability for a dealer," officials pointed out.
"From the courts' perspective, dealers have become the center of the universe for adverse action notices in every deal they reject, which is the driving force behind this unprecedented collaboration among Compli, HudCo and AAS," they added.
The company said the new Adverse Action Program consists of:
—Adverse action program overview.
—Policy for credit transactions.
—Internal audit form.
—Specific computer-based training for California.
—Sample LAW Form SCD — Notice of Credit Denial.
—Sample LAW Form SCD-CA - Notice of Credit Denial for California.
—Statement of reasons form.
—Legal article on adverse action from AAS.
"Auto dealerships are some of the most highly regulated companies in the nation and are under greater scrutiny than ever before with respect to their sales and F&I compliance practices," pointed out Michael Benoit, of Hudson Cook.
"By working with Compli on this new Adverse Action Program, we can help U.S. dealerships better understand their notice obligations so they can take the steps necessary to improve and enhance their F&I regulatory compliance," he continued.
Compli Teams Up with Dealer Group
In other recent news, Compli announced it has teamed up with the Puget Sound Automobile Dealers Association to help the dealer group expand its dealership handbook and bring it technology solutions.
The handbook, developed and maintained by PSADA and its legal counsel Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, will now be available to Compli clients who, as subscribers to the handbook, will access the information via the automated Compli Dealership Compliance Management System, officials indicated.
It is anticipated this new capability will be available to Washington dealers by early January 2008, according to the company.
"One of our key roles is to help Washington dealers understand and manage their complex compliance and regulatory environment," said Jim Hammond, executive director of PSADA.
"We are very proud of the information we have long provided them via our employee handbook, and now to be able to provide that in electronic form and utilize Compli's Internet-based platform to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of its use takes the value to the next level," he continued.
Hammond went on to say, "The Compli system has quickly proven to be a hit among Washington dealers, and to expand its use even further by adding our expert content further leverages this new technology."
Meanwhile, Lon Leneve, Compli's president, said, "PSADA has a tremendous reputation for focusing on the needs of its members and then developing and delivering solutions to those needs.
"This alliance is an example of that approach in that they are taking a valuable resource that they created and, by actively looking for new and better ways to leverage its use, they've increased the value to dealers. PSADA members taking advantage of this approach can get ahead of the compliance curve," he concluded.