Regency Financial Services Inc. and its CEO Ivan Levy agreed to a permanent ban on telemarketing and the advertising, marketing or sale of any debt relief products or services to settle FTC charges that they falsely promised consumers auto loan modifications and refunds if they failed to obtain the loan reductions.
The FTC alleged in its complaint that Regency and Levy violated the FTC Act and Telemarketing Sales Rule by promising consumers services to stop the repossession of their vehicles and to obtain lower interest rates and monthly auto loan payments for an upfront fee of $499. The FTCs complaint also alleged the company failed to honor its "money-back guarantee.
The defendants also agreed to a judgment of $330,000 to redress the victims of the scheme. The settlement order prohibits defendants from misrepresenting the terms or rates that are available for any loan or extension of credit and the ability to improve a consumers credit rating.
The FTC also approved final consent orders with two auto dealers for their alleged deceptive advertising practices.
TT of Longwood Inc., doing business as Cory Fairbanks Mazda, is banned from misrepresenting the cost of purchasing, financing or leasing a vehicle, and from advertising a price or discount for a vehicle unless the price or discount is available to all consumers. The order also prohibits the dealership from failing to clearly and conspicuously disclose required leasing information and complying with the Consumer Leasing Act and Regulation M.
Matt Blatt Inc. and Glassboro Imports LLC are prohibited from representing that any payment program or add-on product or service will save a consumer money, including interest, unless the savings is greater than the amount of fees and costs charged in connection with the program, or any qualifying information related to savings is clearly and conspicuously disclosed. The Matt Blatt dealerships will pay $184,000 to the FTC as part of the settlement.
The FTC previously announced a final consent order with National Payment Network, the third-party company that offered the deceptive bi-weekly auto payment sold to consumers by Matt Blatt dealerships. Under that order, NPN will provide more than $2.4 million in consumer refunds and waived fees.
These cases are part of Operation Ruse Control, a nationwide and cross-border law enforcement sweep, which targeted deceptive auto marketing practices to protect consumers when buying or leasing a car.