Dealership Employees and Facebook: New Laws, New Challenges

ID-10077359It is no secret that social media technology has advanced quicker than most people’s social skills and common sense. The popular website Failbook is full of people who didn’t take a minute to think before posting on Facebook, and now they find themselves out of a job. Today, an online rant or a stupid Facebook post can get someone fired, but employers, including car dealerships, need to be clear on the laws of employee social media use or they could end up in trouble themselves.

According to a recent article by Michael Gifford over on WardsAuto, several states have laws on the books that offer some protection for employees on social media. For example, it is against the law in California, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, and New Jersey for employers to require employees to disclose their Facebook account and login password. Employers can view an employee’s Facebook profile if it is openly available to the public, but if the employee has adjusted their privacy settings to hide this information, an employer cannot require an employee to show their Facebook page.

In Gifford’s article, he brings up a real-life example that shows these laws do allow for shades of grey. A hospital employee was suspended for posting disparaging comments on their Facebook page regarding a patient and the paramedics treating the patient. The hospital was taken to court, but ultimately the hospital was not found at fault because the hospital had not sought out the employee’s Facebook page. Another employee who had access to the Facebook profile saw the comment and brought it to the hospital’s attention.

Do you know what to do if an employee makes inappropriate comments online? If not, we recommend reading up on the Stored Communications Act and any other applicable state laws regarding employee social media rights. Keep in mind that many states have passed new laws addressing this issue, so if you have a potential problem with an employee, get all the facts first and don’t make any rash decisions. Dealerships can also avoid problems by establishing social media guidelines for employees and making sure that employees understand them.

Want more tips and solutions for your dealership? Connect with Special Finance Group online through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and go to http:/// to learn how Special Finance Group can give you the Complete Special Finance Solution.

Image courtesy of jannoon028 /

Fake Paystubs: A Costly Scam

ID-100134206In the past year, special finance departments across the country have been faced with a new problem, a problem that can destroy relationships with banks and lenders and lead to millions of dollars in fines and prison time.

One of the most important documents needed when applying for a subprime auto loan is a paystub. A paystub proves that the applicant is employed and making a certain income. Unfortunately, some desperate people who haven’t been able to obtain financing are producing fake paystubs in hopes of getting approved for a car loan. This story was first reported by Greg Goebel over on F&I and Showroom, and sadly, this is not an isolated incident. There are websites that allow users to print fake paystubs and YouTube videos that show how to produce fake paystubs.

To be absolutely clear, creating fake paystubs is illegal, and it is a costly crime. Offenders can face up to 30 years in prison plus fines up to $1 million. It is illegal to produce them for customers who are paid under the table. There is no circumstance under which you or your dealership should assist a customer in producing fake paystubs, and as much as possible, you should verify the paystubs are authentic.

Even if your dealership is fooled by fake paystubs and completely blameless legally, these incidents can still damage your dealership’s relationship with banks and lenders. Those relationships are vitally important to a successful special finance department, so be aware and know what to look for in spotting fake paystubs.

Want to learn more about how Special Finance Group can work for your dealership? Go to today to learn more about the Complete Special Finance Solution, and connect with Special Finance Group on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

Image courtesy of moggara12 /

Subprime Lending: Don’t Call It a Comeback

ID-10091456Yesterday, Automotive News published one of the most obvious statements I have seen in quite some time. “Deep subprime lending is finally in recovery mode.”

With all due respect, has Automotive News been living under a rock?

As special finance departments across the country can see first-hand, subprime auto lending has been back for a long time. Way back in March, TransUnion and Experian reported that one in three auto loans were for consumers with subprime credit, and even with all these subprime auto loans, delinquencies 60 days or more had gone down. The industry dipped its toe in subprime credit last year. The “recovery mode” is long gone, and subprime lending is back.

As subprime lending conditions have improved, though, some dealerships haven’t had the proper tools or training to fully take advantage of this opportunity. This is the perfect time to bring in new customers who otherwise might not have walked through the door and also move inventory, particularly used inventory. There are common problems such as ineffective sales tactics and lack of knowledge regarding consumer protection laws.

This is where Special Finance Group comes in. We provide a Complete Special Finance Solution that will give your dealership exactly what it needs to be successful, from a fully-staffed business development center to lead tracking and an in-house marketing team. To learn more about the Complete Special Finance Solution, click here.

Want to learn more about Special Finance Group? Go to, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic /

New Colorado Law Protects, Clarifies Dealership Rights

Last Wednesday, Senate Bill 265, which clarifies and re-enforces current auto dealership protections, was signed into law in Colorado.

According to F&I Magazine, the new law will update dealership protections passed in 2009, 2010, and 2011. These protections included limiting manufacturer-mandated renovations as well as giving dealerships the right of first refusal in the case of a manufacturer filing bankruptcy, closing a location, and then opening a new franchise in the area.

The biggest problem that dealerships ran into when reinforcing the new protections was manufacturers claiming that the laws didn’t apply to franchise agreements signed before the law was passed. Dealerships that ran into this problem often didn’t want to cause more trouble with the manufacturer, so they didn’t speak up. Fortunately, a few spoke up including Don Hicks, CEO of Shortline Auto Group, and they prompted the bill’s introduction.

One of the bill’s sponsors Colo. Sen. David Balmer praised Governor Hicklenlooper for signing it into law, stating, “Now Colorado will lead the country in protecting the free-enterprise rights of auto dealers and their car-buying customers.”

Want to learn more about how Special Finance Group can work for your dealership? Go to today to learn more about the Complete Special Finance Solution, and connect with Special Finance Group on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

Image courtesy of nirots /