May 23, 2014
Auto Finance News quoted me in The Mess at Condor Capital Signals Stiffer State Oversight. It opens,
Legal action brought by New York State last month against Condor Capital Corp., a Long Island subprime lender accused of bilking customers out of millions of dollars, could signal an increase in state prosecution under Dodd-Frank federal laws.
Legal experts say the case, even though it involves wildly egregious practices by Condor, could be the first of many by states against auto lenders, even if the lender’s nefarious actions are more modest than Condor’s.
In April, New York’s Department of Financial Services (www.dfs.ny.gov) obtained a temporary restraining order in federal court against Hauppauge, N.Y.-based subprime auto lender Condor Capital Corp. (www.condorcap.com) and owner Stephen Baron. The case is being handled in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The state’s complaint paints a picture of a company run with disregard for compliance. However, a former senior Condor employee told Auto Finance News that Condor’s practices might have been even worse than what was described in the state’s complaint. The former manager of Condor’s collection department told Auto Finance News that management thumbed its nose at the very notion of compliance.
Plain and simple, the federal law provides state regulators with a new tool according to Law Professor David Reiss from Brooklyn Law School.
“States have historically identified new forms of unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices before they get on the radar of national regulators, so states are likely to be quicker to take action than their federal counterparts,” Reiss said. “In all likelihood, the New York case, as well as a case from the attorney general in Illinois, are just the tip of a burgeoning enforcement iceberg.”