Today, Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear filed a lawsuit against a car dealership located in Nicholasville, Kentucky for violations of the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act.
There are two primary violations alleged against the dealership. First, over 1,400 customers were provided statements that "all taxes owed" on the vehicles they were purchased were paid when, in fact, the taxes were not paid by the dealership. The result for Kentucky consumers was delinquent tax notices from the Kentucky Department of Revenue.
Second, customers were charged a document preparation fee as part of their transactions with the dealership, but the documents were not properly prepared.
Among other things, the Attorney General's lawsuit seeks damages of approximately $1.15 million in restitution for the tax liabilities and the "bogus customer fees."
You can read more about the lawsuit in the Attorney General's press release.
Are you a victim?
If you purchased a vehicle from Nicholasville's Auto Plaza, USA and believe you are among the victims of their deceitful behavior, you should visit the Attorney General's website (ag.ky.gov) and download, complete, and return to their office a Consumer Complaint Form.
Working with the Attorney General's office in this case is the best way to ensure that you are made whole.
Kentucky Consumer Protection Act
The Kentucky Consumer Protection Act protects Kentucky consumers against "unfair, false, misleading, or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce." KRS 367.170.
In the case above, the Attorney General exercised his authority under the state constitution and statutes to bring an action under the KCPA.
The KCPA is also a private cause of action, but many consumers don't file lawsuits because the amount in controversy isn't significant enough to either hire a lawyer or to fight the matter pro se. That being said, there are some incredible lawyers out there like Ben Carter in Louisville championing consumer rights in Kentucky.
For many of my own clients, the KCPA claim often comes to light after they have defaulted on a loan and are considering their bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy options.
If you think you might be a victim of "unfair, false, misleading, or deceptive acts or practices," there are some great resources out there.
The Attorney General's website offers various consumer protection forms including consumer complaint forms, forms to report identity thefts/scams, and an online complaint form for violations of the "no call" list. All of these are available by clicking here.
The Attorney General's Office of Consumer Protection has lots of additional resources for Kentucky consumers as well.