The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a final rule regarding the bureau’s use of supervisory guidance for its supervised institutions. The rule codifies the statement, with amendments, that the bureau and other federal financial regulatory agencies issued in September 2018, which clarified the differences between regulations and supervisory guidance.

Unlike a law or regulation, supervisory guidance does not have the force and effect of law and the bureau does not take enforcement actions or issue supervisory criticisms based on non-compliance with supervisory guidance. Rather, supervisory guidance outlines supervisory expectations and priorities, or articulates views regarding appropriate practices for a given subject area.

The bureau collaborated closely with other federal financial regulatory agencies in this rulemaking, including by issuing a joint proposal for public comment.

Contagion Busters Inc., recently formed in response to the pandemic threat, now offers auto dealers and repair shops the equipment and training to sanitize in minutes the interior of an automobile.

The Contagion Busters process employs UV-C frequency light, the same light used in hospitals and EMT vehicles to sanitize operating rooms, patient rooms and ambulance bays. 

Sanitizing a vehicle with UV-C in a shop environment presents special challenges. The process must be effective and fast, even faster than an oil change. That requires the irradiating power of advanced medical equipment, a level far greater than consumer UV lights can deliver.

Contagion Busters technicians upgraded components of the industrial units to deliver UV-C frequency with the irradiating power of hospital UV-C systems—systems that usually require unmanned and robotic equipment to deliver the extended exposure time necessary to assure every corner of the space has been adequately irradiated. The Contagion Busters lamp, the most powerful hand-held unit made, can safely sanitize a vehicle interior in minutes. It can neutralize pathogens as far as eight feet from the light source and, because it is aimed by hand, a trained technician can focus on critical touch points and quickly navigate any cabin configuration.

James Stevens, president of Contagion Busters, said Contagion Busters UV-C sanitizing may be added to the service menu as a courtesy service or as a service option.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced that his office obtained a judgment against Santiago Ramirez Montelon, owner of Pacific Auto Sales in Mesa, related to violations of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act. The judgment bars Montelon from engaging in the business of selling or financing used motor vehicles or owning a used car dealership.

The state’s lawsuit alleged that Montelon altered odometers of approximately 23 vehicles from April 2014 to December 2017. Montelon purportedly advertised the vehicles using false mileage figures on Craigslist and then sold those to unsuspecting Arizona buyers. The state alleged that Montelon failed to honor the statutorily mandated implied warranty of merchantability for used motor vehicles (also commonly known as the Used Car Lemon Law) and failed to disclose the finance terms for vehicles his dealership financed, including the interest rate and the number of required payments. Additionally, the state asserted that Montelon’s sales contracts included impermissible late fee amounts and time limits.

The state’s settlement provides $30,000 of restitution for consumers harmed by Montelon’s deceptive practices and up to $80,000 in civil penalties. The Attorney General's Office has been in contact with eligible consumers.

 

Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA) assigns preliminary ratings to six classes of notes issued by American Credit Acceptance Receivables Trust 2021-1 (“ACAR 2021-1”), an asset-backed securitization collateralized by a pool of auto loans.

ACAR 2021-1 will issue six classes of notes totaling $410.78 million. The structure and collateral for ACAR 2021-1 are generally similar with the previous ACAR 2020-4 transaction. However, key structural differences from the prior deal include lower enhancement for all classes, except Class C and a 0.50 percent decrease to the credit enhancement floor. The transaction has initial hard credit enhancement levels of 61.00 percent for the Class A Notes through 11.70 percent for the Class F Notes. Credit enhancement consists of excess spread, overcollateralization, subordination (except for the Class F Notes) and a reserve account funded at closing.

The transaction is American Credit Acceptance, LLC’s first securitization of 2021 and its 33rd securitization since 2011.

KBRA applied its Auto Loan ABS Global Methodology and its Global Structured Finance Counterparty Methodology as part of its analysis of the transaction’s underlying collateral pool, the proposed capital structure and ACA’s historical static pool data. KBRA also conducted an operational assessment on the originator and servicer, as well as a review of the transaction’s legal structure and transaction documents. KBRA will also review the operative agreements and legal opinions for the transaction prior to closing.

 

The Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association (MADA) filed a federal lawsuit alleging the state of Minnesota lacks the authority under the Federal Clean Air Act to regulate motor vehicle emissions and is preempted under federal law from moving forward with its rules to adopt California vehicle emissions standards.

 “For over a year now,” stated MADA President Scott Lambert, “we have requested that the Walz Administration and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) abandon their plans to follow California rules and instead pursue homegrown initiatives that benefit both the environment and Minnesota consumers.

 Scott Lambert

 “Instead, the agency has chosen to move forward with a plan that abdicates control to California and is harmful to Minnesota consumers and Main Street businesses across the state.”

In its complaint, MADA alleges that since the federal government revoked California’s waiver to create its own emissions standards, Minnesota therefore has no legal authority to impose those mothballed standards onto its citizens and businesses.

 “From the beginning, the MPCA has shown little understanding of how our industry operates and dismissed our concerns and good faith efforts to discuss other options,” Lambert said.

 “Instead, the MPCA is hellbent on adopting California’s mandates, which will result in higher costs for consumers and fewer choices of product that consumers want to purchase. It threatens the ability of many dealers to stay in business. We were left with no choice but to bring our grievances to court. 

“We will continue to ask the Walz Administration to seek compromise instead of regulation and discussion instead of confrontation on this issue. 

“MADA remains committed to working on the emerging electric car market and will pursue legislation in the 2021 legislative session that promotes demand, more infrastructure, and education around these vehicles.”

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