August 29, 2005
St. Louis, Mo. — Attorney General Jay Nixon today filed a lawsuit in St. Louis County Circuit Court against the owner of a business that promised auto loans to consumers with bad credit, but instead kept demanding additional money.
Corey Jones, of the 11800 block of Strand, does business as Need-A-Car Services, 8640 N. Lindbergh. According to Nixon, Jones advertised that for a $500 down payment he could get consumers the car of their choice, regardless of credit history. Consumers were told they could choose from hundreds of cars at several big-name car lots.
In reality, consumers were required to make a $500 down payment before filling out paperwork, and then would be charged a $25 processing fee and were told they had to pay an additional $500 brokers fee. At no time was Jones or Need-A-Car registered as a loan broker in the state of Missouri.
Nine consumers from the metro St. Louis area, some paying as much as $2,000, have filed complaints. Consumers told Nixon that instead of being offered a selection at several big-name car lots, consumers were dropped off at a single, lesser-known dealership and were sometimes left there for hours before being offered a ride home. In one case, a consumer was left at the dealership until 11 p.m.
The lawsuit further alleges that in one instance, Jones demanded additional money from a consumer and threatened to tow the car she just purchased if she refused to pay the additional fees. In another case, a consumer's trade-in vehicle was sold before another vehicle was purchased — without the proceeds from the sale being applied to the down payment of another automobile.
"By preying on those who can least afford to lose their money, this operation is doing little more than stealing," Nixon said. "These unscrupulous business practices must be stopped, and victims of these unfair and deceptive acts should be made whole."
Nixon is asking the court to order Jones to cease any and all deceptive trade practices, to provide full restitution to all aggrieved consumers, and to pay monetary penalties, plus all court, investigative and prosecution costs.