The Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Maryland Attorney General reached a settlement with the operators and management companies of six Harford County vehicle dealerships over the dealers’ use of a confessed judgment clause in financing contracts, it was announced on Monday.
The settlement concerned allegations that the dealerships, collectively known as Jones Junction Auto Group, illegally forced consumers to waive their right to a legal defense if they defaulted on their financing agreements.
The dealerships, all in Bel Air, are Jones Junction LLC, t/a Jones Toyota/Scion; Jones Automotive LLC, t/a Jones Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge; Bel Air Nissan; BAN Motors LLC, t/a Bel Air Hyundai; BAN Automotive LLC, t/a Bel Air Subaru; and Jones Bel Air Motors, t/a/ Jones Kia.
The dealerships agreed to stop the practice, and pay restitution to consumers equal to amounts that they were illegally forced to pay.
Jones Junction must also pay the division $115,000 in penalties and costs, which may be reduced to $50,000 if the dealership group complies with all settlement terms.