Most dealers who have been in business for a while are aware of the areas the DOT Motor Vehicle Enforcement (MVE) Investigators look during their audit of a dealership. Major Paul Steier, head of the MVE Investigative Unit, emphasizes areas that will be covered during an audit, along with looking for potential violations of the consumer credit code.
- Authorized salespersons and those who are allowed to sign title documents for the dealership will be compared with auction lists. Remember, those whom you allow to buy and/or sell for your dealership must be an employee of your dealership. Investigators will be gathering information from auctions of who is purchasing vehicles for specific dealers to check for compliance. This will also include salvage vehicle auctions to determine if purchasers are required to be licensed as recyclers.
- Internet sites of licensed dealers, prior to or during an audit, will be checked to verify vehicles offered for sale are at the dealership’s licensed location and properly assigned titles are on site.
- Checking for compliance with buy here pay here financing requirements such as use of the retail installment contract and having copies for each deal, payment history records and registration with the Iowa Attorney General’s office (Creditors Notification Statement). Whether or not repossession procedures are being followed, including disposition of collateral and proper procedures on dealing with personal items in repossessed vehicles. Violations of the consumer credit code laws will be reported to the Attorney General.
- Dealerships who fail to deliver titles to the consumer, or who have obtained numerous loans for the same vehicle, or who sell vehicles without paying off the existing liens will find their records will be looked at very closely. Criminal charges which could lead to conviction would possibly prohibit the dealer/owner from being able to be associated with a dealership for 5 years.
The Attorney General and the DOT work together to ensure compliance of all rules, regulations and laws impacting motor vehicle dealers. If you or another dealer see problems coming for your dealership, PLEASE call MVE Investigations at 866-908-4636 and explain your situation and work with our regulators to resolve problems BEFORE they get out of hand.