- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
Media Contact for AG Healey Sues Auto Dealer JD Byrider for Predatory Sales and Loan Practices
Boston — Attorney General Maura Healey announced today that she has sued Massachusetts used car dealership JD Byrider for allegedly using predatory practices in its sale of defective vehicles with high cost loans at four locations in Massachusetts.
The AG’s lawsuit alleges that JD Byrider took advantage of consumers by routinely trapping them in an unsustainable and unfavorable sales package, known as the “JD Byrider Program.” This program generally involves selling drivers a poor quality car with a high cost loan, along with an expensive extended service contract, marketed through an aggressive and misleading advertising and sales campaign.
“We allege that JD Byrider ripped off Massachusetts drivers by offering predatory loans for defective and inoperable cars,” said AG Healey. “Our goal in this lawsuit is to recover losses to Massachusetts consumers and make this company pay for the harm they caused to thousands of drivers across this state.”
The AG’s Office filed the lawsuit today in Suffolk Superior Court against Venturcap Investment Group V, LLC – d/b/a JD Byrider – and its in-house lender, Venturcap Financial Group, LLC – d/b/a Credit Now Acceptance Corporation.
JD Byrider is a franchise of Byrider Franchising, LLC, a national franchisor of JD Byrider “Buy Here Pay Here” dealerships located across the country that typically provide credit to finance the cars they sell. In Massachusetts, Byrider’s Venturcap Franchise has dealerships at four locations; Brockton, Dorchester, Dartmouth and Springfield.
According to the complaint, consumers were unaware that JD Byrider priced its cars at more than double their retail value, and required drivers to sign on to a car loan with an annual percentage rate of 20 percent, regardless of their credit qualifications. JD Byrider bundles its expensive and limited extended service contract into the loan as well, forcing consumers to pay 20 percent interest on that product. To get the benefit of the service contract, consumers are then required to use a JD Byrider service center.
The AG’s Office alleges that the cars sold by JD Byrider are defective and sometimes inoperable, despite misrepresentations of time and money spent reconditioning them prior to sale. Hundreds of cars have been returned by consumers to JD Byrider for repair within three months of purchase due to the mechanical breakdown of a major component such as the engine, electrical system, transmission, brakes, or drive train.
The AG’s complaint further alleges that JD Byrider employs a faulty underwriting process that underestimates the consumer’s expenses and costs in order to qualify them for loans they can’t afford.
As a result of these practices, the AG’s complaint alleges, more than half of JD Byrider’s deals fail or end in repossession, causing substantial and long-term economic harm to consumers not just due to the inflated costs, but due to losing transportation and suffering long term damage to their credit as well.
The AG’s Office continues to look into deceptive practices in the auto industry. Over the past year, the AG’s Office shut down a dealership for selling unsafe cars, obtained an injunction against another dealership to stop it from selling unsafe cars and from providing consumers with incomplete or inaccurate paperwork, and entered into an agreement requiring a dealership to pay restitution to consumers for selling poor quality cars and misleading consumers about high cost loans.
AG Healey’s complaint against the defendants seeks injunctive relief and restitution for consumers, as well as penalties, costs, and attorney fees. For tips or questions about the auto industry, consumers may call the Attorney General’s consumer hotline at 617-727-8400 or file a complaint with the office.
This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorneys General Lisa Dyen, Samantha Shusterman and Deputy Chief Shennan Kavanagh of the AG’s Consumer Protection Division, and Gary Klein, Senior Trial Counsel in the Public Protection and Advocacy Bureau, along with Paralegal Gabrielle Crossnoe and Civil Investigator Ciara Tran.