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Secretary of State

SOS > Media Center >  Press Releases > Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita’s Dealer Services Division recovers $5,000 for Indianapolis woman Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita’s Dealer Services Division recovers $5,000 for Indianapolis woman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 30, 2010

Division requires car dealer to repay Indianapolis resident after unlawfully withholding her test drive deposit; is now required to follow strict guidelines to continue business

INDIANAPOLIS – Following a month-long investigation, Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita’s Dealer Services Division (DSD) ended an expensive ordeal for Indianapolis resident Erica Boyd after she filed a complaint against the auto dealer, Indy Auto Brokers. In her complaint, Boyd alleged Indy Auto Brokers misled her into believing the $5,000 deposit required to test drive one of the dealer’s vehicles would be refunded when she returned with the car.

“Hoosiers looking to buy a vehicle should be aware a dealer might ask for a security deposit,” Secretary Rokita said. “Yet, before any money is exchanged, the potential buyer should ask for a document outlining the terms and refund policy of the fee and it should be signed by both parties.”

Dealer Services Division Compliance Supervisor Don Cloud explained while dealers are allowed to ask for a deposit fee when individuals test drive cars, the agreement must be documented and signed.

“In this case no agreement was drafted nor was it signed by Ms. Boyd or the dealer,” Cloud said. “Also, because the dealer required such an extraordinary deposit fee and admitted there was no proper documentation of the agreement, they were required to repay the money and their business practices will be carefully scrutinized going forward.”

Indy Auto Brokers will be under probation for one year and must follow specific guidelines to continue business in Indiana. These guidelines include:

• 48-hours notification of any consumer complaint with regards to a deposit or hold fee;
• Report within two days of any complaint about the delivery of a title; and
• Comply with unannounced audits by the Dealer Division.

For more information about the Dealer Services Division or to file a complaint, visit www.in.gov/sos/dealer.

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Click here for the picture of Erica Boyd, Indianapolis, receiving her $5,000 check from Dealer Services Division Compliance Supervisor Don Cloud on Friday Aug. 27, 2010.

Media contact, Jim Gavin, 317-233-8655, jgavin@sos.in.gov