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Local Consumers Fall Victim To Car Dealer Scheme

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Northeast Philadelphia car dealership has agreed to pay $24,000 to settle an unfair trade practice suit brought by the state Attorney General.

Among the allegations in the suit was that the dealer would let buyers drive off in a car, then later charge higher financing rates or repossess the car if the buyer didn’t agree to them.

It’s a well-known practice among auto dealers.

Attorney Matt Weisberg represents half a dozen people who’ve had cars repossessed after a “spot delivery.”

He says, “in the industry it’s called a spot delivery, it’s also called a yo-yo, it’s also called de-horsing, it’s also known as the puppy dog.”

Attorney Matt Weisberg represents half a dozen people who’ve had cars repossessed after a “spot delivery” and that is likely a fraction of the victims.

Few consumers know their rights, but senior deputy attorney general John Abel says the law is clear.

Abel says, “once the paper has been signed and the consumer drives off, it is in fact a done deal and any attempt to redo it or call back the car, we view as illegal.”

Abel declined to talk about the case settled this week against DeSimone Auto Group.

Gene DeSimone also declined comment, but settlement papers show DeSimone agreed to pay 14-thousand dollars in restitution and 10-thousand dollars to educate the public about what’s allowed.

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