West Bridgewater car dealer looks to move forward while hundreds await payout – News – The Enterprise, Brockton, MA

Hundreds could be entitled to compensation or loan forgiveness from West Bridgewater used car dealership Auto Drive One, following the company’s July 11 agreement with the attorney general’s office.

WEST BRIDGEWATER — Paul DePalma thought his experience with local used car dealer Auto Drive One must have been a fluke.

He thought the problem was his car, a 2012 Buick that he bought in 2014 and spent a total of $2,400 to repair over two and a half years.

But when DePalma heard earlier this week that Auto Drive One had been the subject of a three-year investigation by the attorney general’s office for alleged bad business practices, it all made sense.

“For a business where people are making major purchases, you’d expect them to do their due diligence,” DePalma said, “but reading about the investigation, it was related to what I went through,” he added.

Now, DePalma and hundreds of others like him could be entitled to compensation or loan forgiveness from the used car dealership, following the company’s July 11 agreement with the attorney general’s office.

According to the July 12 press release from the office of Attorney General Maura Healey, Auto Drive One agreed to pay restitution to consumers and reform its business practices “to resolve allegations that it routinely sold unreliable cars, misled consumers about financing arrangements, used false advertising including bait and switch tactics, and charged excessive document preparation fees.”

In addition, the used car dealership will forgive more than 250 outstanding or uncollected loan payments owed by their customers, totalling about $650,000.

Most of these 250 payments apply to individual customers, meaning there are at least a couple hundred customers eligible for loan forgiveness.

The attorney general’s office said the company “cooperated fully” with the investigation, which focused on business practices at Auto…

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