FTC Sucker-punches Car Dealersby David N. Robertson
Yielding to congressional pressure, the FTC has again delayed its enforcement of the Red Flags Rule until June 1, 2010, placing thousands of car dealers in jeopardy. The reality is, the FTC’s lack of enforcement doesn’t change the fact that dealers should have been Red Flags compliant since November 1, 2008. Businesses who don’t comply may still be subject to enforcement of the Rule by other agencies and are subject to Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices (UDAP) claims at the state level.
What to Do
There is simply is no reason to get caught without program in place. Given the complexity of other recent regulations, the Red Flags Rule is the least expensive and easiest program to craft and most minimally disruptive. Even without government regulations, it simply makes good business sense to protect prospective customers from identity theft and the dealership’s net worth from legal action.
In addition to other services available from your existing vendors, AFIP offers two fully vetted Red Flags Rule compliance programs from Member Benefits Services, Inc., DealerAide: Red Flags Rule Support and An F&I Manager’s Guide to the Red Flags Rule.
DealerAide: Red Flags Rule Support
DealerAide is a turnkey Red Flags Rule program solution that comes with everything you need to implement a written Red Flags Rule program with minimal disruption to your established systems. The Corporate Compliance Officer submits a short form and receives a customized program template in return. This program also comes with a one-hour orientation session and the supplies you need to get started. More info
F&I Manager’s Guide to the Red Flags Rule The guide is a do-it-yourself version of the turnkey solution that gives you instructions on creating your dealership’s program and training your personnel. It comes with the supplies you need to get started. The guide makes it easy to write and implement a Red Flags Rule program with minimal disruption to your established systems. This product has been discontinued.
Get Started Now
Every dealer must have an Identity Theft Prevention Program in place regardless of the number of Red Flags services provided by outside vendors. Administrative action by the FTC when the Rule is enforced has the potential to be financially devastating – and a UDAP claim filed today will be catastrophic. Don’t get caught short.
If you need help with your program, order one of the AFIP solutions now or call 817.428.2434 for more information or about discounts on the AFIP solutions through our Industry Members
* The FTC has not published specific details of enforcement; however, experts believe it will likely be enforced much like the Safeguards Rule, meaning that each vehicle sold could be considered a violation.
The regulatory knowledge and ethical standards that comprise it make the AFIP Certification Program the preferred defense for prevention-conscious dealers.
For more information on the AFIP Certification Program or for marketing copies of this article, contact AFIP at 817.428.2434.