State Acts to Protect Car Buyers when Dealers Close

Illinois lawmakers are considering legislation that would protect consumers when auto dealerships close and fail to pay off liens on trade-in vehicles. 

In several instances, according to Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan, lien holders have sought payments from consumers who traded in their vehicles to buy new ones. At least 60 dealerships have gone out of business since 2000 and failed to pay off trade-ins, according to Madigan.

Madigan helped write a bill with Rep. Marlow Colvin (D-Chicago) that would create a statewide trust fund to pay off trade-ins when a dealership closes. Dealers would be required to pay $500 annually into the trust fund. 

The Illinois House passed the bill 91 to 19 Friday, and now the measures goes to the Senate where it is sponsored by Sen. Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) according to the attorney general's office.