A group of auto dealerships in Arizona and New Mexico must cease business operations as part of a court-approved settlement resolving Federal Trade Commission charges that the dealerships deceived consumers and falsified information on vehicle financing applications.
In a case filed in 2018, the FTC alleged that Tate’s Auto Center of Winslow, Inc.; Tate’s Automotive, Inc.; Tate Ford-Lincoln-Mercury, Inc. (doing business as Tate’s Auto Center); Tate’s Auto Center of Gallup, Inc.; and Richard Berry, an officer of the dealerships, falsified consumers’ income and down payment information on vehicle financing applications and misrepresented important financial terms in vehicle advertisements. The case continues against Berry and relief defendant Linda Tate.
The Federal Trade Commission is sending payments totaling more than $415,000 to 3,508 consumers who financed a car or truck at a Tate’s Auto dealership after January 1, 2013, and later had the vehicle repossessed. Tate’s Auto, which operated dealerships in Arizona and New Mexico, allegedly deceived consumers about payment information and falsified information on consumers’ financing applications.