Drop the Bow Tie

Drop the Bow Tie is a series we created to help our partners stay up-to-date on compliance issues affecting the retail automotive industry.

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Gouging Above MSRP

Gouging Above MSRP (How NOT to Sell Above MSRP)

In a previous episode, we discussed how to sell a vehicle for more than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. It is legal to do so, provided you don’t do it in a deceptive manner. The big no-no was not selling above MSRP, but selling above the advertised price.

NADA and the Revised FTC Safeguards Rule

NADA and the Revised FTC Safeguards Rule

The revised FTC Safeguards Rule is a source of great concern for dealers. A key area of concern is that dealers oversee their Service Providers. In this episode Jim discusses the implication of this requirement of the new rule.

Dealer Doc Fees and  Advertising

Dealer Doc Fees and Advertising

Are doc fees regulated? How do you determine what you can charge when it comes to doc fees? Do you have to advertise doc fees? All these questions and more are answered in this installment of Drop the Bow Tie.

Jab or Job?

Jab or Job?

Joe Biden announced his intention to require all federal employees, and those who work for private companies with more than 100 employees, to receive a vaccine against COVID-19. To our knowledge, the federal government does not operate retail automobile dealerships, so this segment will focus on the potential impact on dealerships that employ 100 or more people.

The Americans With Disabilities Act and Dealers

The Americans With Disabilities Act and Dealers

In this episode, Jim looks at the Americans with Disabilities Act and how it can apply to dealers. He discusses what you might already know about the legislation and what you may need to know as a dealer.

How to Sell Above MSRP

How to Sell Above MSRP

Question: "With the increasing shortage of vehicles, we’ve noticed dealers selling cars over MSRP. We’ve also been asked if there is a preferred way to do this. In other words, is it better to have an addendum that includes some perceived value to justify the markup – or is it okay just to raise the price?" So is it okay to sell above MSRP? And if it is how should you do it to ensure you aren't breaking any laws?

F&I Best Practices Under the BIDEN Administration

F&I Best Practices Under the Biden Administration

Jim sits down with Gil Van Over III president of GVO3 & Associates to get Gil's take on best practices for F&I professionals and dealers as we enter the Biden Administration.

What Does the BIDEN Administration Mean for Retail Automotive?

What Does the Biden Administration Mean for Retail Automotive?

What does the near-term future look like for the retail automotive industry under a Biden Administration? Jim takes a look at the early actions of the Biden administration and gives you a primer for what to expect in the short and long.

How to Hire (Without Getting Sued)

How to Hire (Without Getting Sued)

Discrimination in hiring is as illegal as discrimination in firing. People don’t sue you for hiring them, but those whom you don’t hire might. So how do you reduce the odds? Find out in this installment of Drop the Bowtie!

How to Handle FIRING (Without Getting Sued)

How to Handle Firing (Without Getting Sued)

An employer may fire an employee for "any reason" in most cases, but not for a "bad reason". What are those bad reasons and how can they be avoided?

Selling GAP

Selling GAP

GAP is a great product to offer one's customers, but it has to be sold correctly. In today's video, Jim takes a look at how to responsibly and ethically sell GAP products. James S. Ganther, Esq. brings you the industry perspective from a veteran in automotive legal compliance.

Social Media Policies in the Age of Cancel Culture

Social Media Policies in the Age of Cancel Culture

Social media is a fact of modern life, and the line between what one posts on Twitter or Facebook as an individual and as an employee is becoming increasingly blurry, and may disappear completely. Does your company or dealership have a social media policy?

Dealer Home Deliveries (The Safe and Legal Way)

Dealer Home Deliveries (The Safe and Legal Way)

Jim discusses Home Deliveries and how your dealership can conduct them in a legal and safe manner that protects both your employees and your customers.

What Dealerships NEED to Know About Spear Phishing

What Dealerships Needs to Know About Spear Phishing

All phishing attacks can potentially expose your dealership to malware that corrupts its computer network, or mines the data in its DMS without you knowing it. Spear phishing attacks are targeted to a single target, either an individual or an organization, and can be very difficult to detect until it’s too late.

Defending Your Dealership against PHISHING SCAMS

Defending Your Dealership Against Phishing Scams

Phishing attacks are a kind of social engineering – convincing people to behave in a particular way. And social engineering is far and away the greatest threat to the security of computer networks. Social engineering attacks account for 70 – 90% of all computer attacks.

Why Dealerships Should Obey the Safeguards Rule

Why Dealerships Should Obey the Safeguards Rule

Does your dealership have Safeguards in place to protect customer information? Or does your dealership just say that it protects customer information? The FTC recently found the latter to be a UDAP violation. New proposed changes to the Safeguards Rule will likely firm up this interpretation and make it more important for dealerships to have robust computer network security in place.

The Dealerbuilt Data Breach: What You Need to Know

The Dealerbuilt Data Breach: What You Need to Know

What did the FTC have to say in their consent order against Dealerbuilt? It could have an impact on how dealers and other financial institutions (any company that processes customer data) do business. Under the Safeguards Rule, dealerships are required to do business with service providers who also follow the Rule.

What is Payment Packing?

What is Payment Packing?

In retail automotive there is still a debate over whether the practice of packing packing is illegal or not. Learn what payment packing is, and why it is illegal. James S. Ganther, Esq. brings you the industry perspective from a veteran in automotive legal compliance.

The Canary in the Mineshaft for Discretionary Pricing?

The Canary in the Mineshaft for Discretionary Pricing?

Recent action by the Attorney General of Massachusetts could be a "Canary in the Mineshaft" for discretionary pricing. It may reasonably be assumed that similar actions may be spreading to other states and the federal level. If you don’t have policies and training in place that address discretionary pricing and its limits, now is the time to do so.

What You Need to Know About Payment Packing

What You Need to Know About Payment Packing

Is there anyone in the automotive industry that still doesn't understand that payment packing is illegal? Evidence would suggest the answer is yes. What is Payment Packing? Why is Payment Packing illegal?

The Cost of Compliance is Going Up

The Cost of Compliance is Going Up

One of the additions to the new Safeguards Rule is the addition of a CISO or Chief Information Security Officer to the requirements for companies that handle customer personal information. This could be one of the biggest expenses faces many small to medium-size businesses, not just car dealerships.

Adopting a VPP Policy at Your Dealership

Adopting a VPP Policy at Your Dealership

NADA just released new guidance on developing a Voluntary Protection Product Policy and Program at your dealership. In this week's DTB Jim will walk you through what is contained in this document and help explain some of the key points.

When should dealers run an OFAC check?

When should dealers run an OFAC check?

These week's retail automotive compliance question comes from Steve at a dealer group based in Dallas, Texas. At what dollar amount does an OFAC check become necessary? The answer is a little squishy.

Santander Sued Over F&I Product Knowledge

Santander Sued Over F&I Product Knowledge

Are agents and F&I professionals responsible for their representation of products to customers? No, if they haven't been properly trained. That is one of the big takeaways from the recent Santander case.

The Military Lending Act and GAP

The Military Lending Act and GAP

If you're a dealer, you may be asking: can I sell GAP under the MLA? The Military Lending Act (MLA) has entered the headlines frequently since the Department of Defenses' reinterpretation in December 2017. Since then the MLA has affected dealers ability to sell GAP, credit insurance, and cash out. There has been much confusion and speculation about this issue.

Preventing Lawsuits At Your Dealership

Preventing Lawsuits At Your Dealership

What makes a lawsuit? Jim explains the simple formula: injury plus anger equals lawsuit.

The Confusion With The Military Lending Act

The Confusion With The Military Lending Act

The Military Lending Act has caused headaches for dealers since it's reinterpretation by the DoD last year.

Don't Stretch the Etch! Dealer Busted Payment Packing Window Etching

Don't Stretch the Etch! Dealer Busted Payment Packing Window Etching

The New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman's war on Payment Packing continues with current NY AG Barbara Underwood busting a dealer group in that state for "jamming" a window etch product on deals without asking the customer. They also charged wildly different prices for the product. Learn why payment packing can get you into hot water.

Moral or Ethical? Can You Train Employees to be Ethical?

Moral or Ethical? Can You Train Employees to be Ethical?

Ethical or Moral? What's the difference and which can you train? People are often described as being either inherently good or bad, it's a matter of debate, but one thing is certain you don't want the bad one working at your dealership. But even good employee make ethical mistakes. What do you need to do to make sure your people know what's ethical in the car business?

What Do I Do If My Dealership Is Sued?

What Do I Do If My Dealership Is Sued?

Catch some industry wisdom from a long-practicing attorney Jim Ganther. What are the best moves to make when something goes bad and a former employee or customer sues you? It may be tempting to try and cover your trail or make a slight change to the story in order to get away with something, but that may not be the best practice in the long run.

FTC Sweep Update: Stores Caught Falsifying Credit Information

FTC Sweep Update: Stores Caught Falsifying Credit Information

Don't let the FTC catch you off guard when you haven't run a compliance audit in a while. Big penalties can be incurred by fraudulent advertising practices, especially when it comes to used car sales. It's also important to be honest in credit score reporting and background checks on customers. Used car dealerships and all dealerships will want to follow due process in all their transactions.

FTC Used Car Buyers Guide Compliance Sweep

FTC Used Car Buyers Guide Compliance Sweep

The FTC just conducted a compliance sweep of dealerships in 20 cities nationwide. The FTC and its partners were looking for dealers who were not displaying the revised window stickers called the Used Car Buyers Guide. Jim explains why dealers who fail to comply with this regulation set off alarms at the FTC for further investigative action.

The Legal Importance for Training and Testing Your Employees

The Legal Importance for Training and Testing Your Employees

Training and Testing for competency are important in any industry, but they are especially important for automotive franchisees. Jim why training and testing is important for the longevity of your dealership and the strength of your employees.