No More DOC Fee's in Illinois sign now

Petition to Repeal House Bill #1657 from the Illinois Legislature

To all Illinois residents:

Please help the cause to stamp out legislative decisions that are based on Big Money Interests! During the last election cycle in the State of Illinois, the Chicago Automobile Dealers Association donated more than One Hundred Seventy Three Thousand Dollars ($173,000) in campaign contributions to the elected officials in our state. Thirty Thousand Dollars ($30,000) of those contributions went directly to our Governor, Rod R. Blagojevich.

Every person in the State of Illinois is subject to paying a Documentary Fee, when purchasing a new or used car. It has been this way since around 1992, when a consent decree was created through the antics of our Attorney General at that time, who was Neil Hartigan. The interesting part of how it came to be is that the Attorney Generals Office filed a lawsuit against approximately three hundred (300) Auto Dealers. I believe that this suit was filed on June 15th, 1990. The suit claimed that dealers were illegally collecting more money for the licensing and registration of vehicles than what the states Department of Motor Vehicles required for those services. The dealers were keeping the extra money as a service fee for having to complete that process. It was deemed to be an illegal act. At the same time, the dealers began a process of collecting from consumers, a documentary fee, or DOC fee, which was also an illegal and fraudulent activity. There were no limitations on this fee. Dealers were charging as much as they could, and trying to bury the fee amongst other fees such as the P & H Fee, (preparation and handling) the destination fee, and several other designations for add on fees when completing the purchase of an automobile.

It was a very fraudulent and deceptive practice, and it still is, but it gets worse! When the suit was settled, those dealers that were involved in the illicit activity were more or less given a slap on the hand if you will. They were also ordered to report to the Attorney Generals Office a list of those whom they had overcharged, and issue to them a coupon of sorts for twice the amount of money that was over collected. These alleged coupons were only redeemable at the dealerships where the consumers had purchased their vehicles.
At that time, it was also determined that since there had been no form of regulation of the documentary fee, that the Attorney Generals Office would come forward and set a precedent. They allowed the dealers to charge no more than forty dollars ($40.00) for the fee. It was said to be for the processing of paperwork related to the closing of a sale, more specifically, to offset the costs of registering and licensing the vehicles, and supposedly for other items related to the closing of a sale. The fee of forty dollars ($40.00) was subject to an annual increase in accordance with the annual adjustment factor in the Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics annual Consumer Price Index. By virtue of this consent decree, it also allowed the dealers to deny any wrongdoing and created a denial of liability clause added the decree in section IV that stated:

Dealership Name specifically denies any and all allegations of wrongdoing and/or misconduct. Dealership Name has voluntarily entered into this Consent Decree to resolve disputed claims and to bring a prompt resolution to this controversy. The parties acknowledge that the entry of this Decree is not an admission of any wrongdoing and/or misconduct by Dealership Name

Over the years, on or around the 15th of December, the Attorney Generals Office would figure out the calculation, or perhaps contact the office of the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, to determine the amount of increase allowable for the following year, and then they would release a notice to tell the dealers just how much they would be held to, in charging consumers for the DOC fee. In the calendar year 2007, the fee had by now been increased to fifty eight dollars and forty eight cents. ($58.48) For the calendar year 2008, the fee should now be at fifty nine dollars and four cents, ($59.04) based on the current Consumer Price Index as set forth by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics.

There were other specific clauses within the Decree, namely: from section III that states:

a) Adding to the negotiated cash sales price of a motor vehicle a documentary service fee, documentation and handling fee, a D and H fee or similarly described fee or charge (hereinafter a documentary service fee), set forth as a pre-printed provision of Dealership Name written purchase order, proximate to the charges for tax and license thereby concealing the fact that the fee inurred to the benefit of the dealer and further suppressing the fact that the fee was as negotiable as the cash sales price;
b) Adding to the negotiated cash sales price of a motor vehicle an amount for license, title transfer and registration, on the preprinted line on the purchase order, which exceeded the amount required by statute to be remitted to the Secretary of State for motor vehicle license and title registration.
c) Failing to disclose that the amount paid by the consumer for license and title exceeded the amount actually paid by the dealer to a governmental entity on the consumers behalf, violating the Federal Truth in Lending Act (15 U. S. C. 1601 et. Seq.) and its implementing regulation, Regulation Z (12 C. F. R. 220 et. Seq.)
There was also an injunctive relief clause in section V. I will not report in its entirety for reason of brevity, but the first and foremost aspect of the clause is:
Dealership Name will not commit unfair, deceptive or other illegal acts as stated above in Section III

I am not sure if Mr. Neil Hartigan was simply a pettifogger, or if he was acting in the best interest of the Automobile Dealers of the State of Illinois. I can assure you that he was not acting in the best interest of the People of the State of Illinois. Perhaps he was earnest in his endeavors, and this whole thing just has gotten so twisted up over the years. I would give him the benefit of the doubt inasmuch as I do believe that he was genuinely interested in protecting the consumers in the State of Illinois. It is time, now for Linda Madigan to come forward, and set right the wrong. I also understand that there were some three hundred (300) dealers involved in this fiasco, which is why I am inserting Dealership Name and intentionally not mentioning any names of those who were involved. I am certainly not looking for any issues or allegations of slander in the context of this petition request.

During the current General Assembly, the 95th General Assembly Legislation (2007-2008) a Bill was introduced by Representative Daniel J. Burke, of the 23rd Legislative District. God only knows what influenced him to act in such a way, but he put forth by amendatory legislation, a process that caused an increase in the documentary fee to One Hundred and Fifty Dollars. ($150.00) The statute that was amended was:
________________________________________
Section 5. The Motor Vehicle Retail Installment Sales Act is amended by changing Section 11.1 as follows:
(815 ILCS 375/11.1) (from Ch. 121 1/2, par. 571.1)

Sec. 11.1. A seller in a retail installment contract may add a "documentary fee" for processing documents and performing services related to closing of a sale. The maximum amount that may be charged by a seller for a documentary fee is the base documentary fee beginning January 1, 2008 1992, of $150 $40 which shall be subject to an annual rate adjustment equal to the percentage of change in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index. Every retail installment contract under this Act shall contain or be accompanied by a notice containing the following information:

"DOCUMENTARY FEE. A DOCUMENTARY FEE IS NOT AN OFFICIAL FEE. A DOCUMENTARY FEE IS NOT REQUIRED BY LAW, BUT MAY BE CHARGED TO BUYERS FOR HANDLING DOCUMENTS AND PERFORMING SERVICES RELATED TO CLOSING OF A SALE. THE BASE DOCUMENTARY FEE BEGINNING JANUARY 1, 2008 1992, WAS $150 $40. THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT THAT MAY BE CHARGED FOR A DOCUMENTARY FEE IS THE BASE DOCUMENTARY FEE OF $150 $40 WHICH SHALL BE SUBJECT TO AN ANNUAL RATE ADJUSTMENT EQUAL TO THE PERCENTAGE OF CHANGE IN THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS CONSUMER PRICE INDEX. THIS NOTICE IS REQUIRED BY LAW."
(Source: P.A. 90-519, eff. 6-1-98; 90-655, eff. 7-30-98.)

Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect January 1, 2008.
________________________________________

You can easily notice the scratching out of the year 1992, and the replacement of the year 2008. It is also easy to notice the scratching out of the amount $40 and the replacement of the amount $150. That is what is meant by amendatory legislation. Replacing the old, with the new, or making an amendment to an existing statute. You should also notice that even though the provision for annual adjustments had already been in place within the context of the existing law that it was completely disregarded, and yet the new amount is now also subject to the same annual rate adjustment factor. Who is to say that next year, or in a few years, another amendatory legislative act wont raise the amount again, and again completely disregarding the built in allowance for annual increases? I suppose that would have to do with how much campaign funding is put into the pockets of the legislators or elected officials.

I advocate for the People of the State of Illinois, and point out this absurdity in the interest of the people. Congress urges public participation in these matters; however, it seems to be just a song and a dance. It is truly legislative misconduct, and could otherwise be referred to as The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys! I personally filed a formal complaint to the Legislative Inspector General regarding this anomaly, and was told that his office had no jurisdiction over these matters, and he abruptly closed the file.

Furthermore, there was an article in the January 2008 bulletin from the Chicago Automobile Trade Association that was titled Uncertainty surrounds new DOC Fee whereas the dealers association encourages their dealer base to explain to inquiring customers that the DOC fee represents reimbursements to the dealer for the cost of complying with the litany of federal and state mandates OFAC, FACT Act, Regulations B, M, and Z, among others not for the cost of completing paperwork. If you read the disclosure notice that is within the context of the law, it says:

"DOCUMENTARY FEE. A DOCUMENTARY FEE IS NOT AN OFFICIAL FEE. A DOCUMENTARY FEE IS NOT REQUIRED BY LAW, BUT MAY BE CHARGED TO BUYERS FOR HANDLING DOCUMENTS AND PERFORMING SERVICES RELATED TO CLOSING OF A SALE. THE BASE DOCUMENTARY FEE BEGINNING JANUARY 1, 2008, WAS $150. THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT THAT MAY BE CHARGED FOR A DOCUMENTARY FEE IS THE BASE DOCUMENTARY FEE OF $150 WHICH SHALL BE SUBJECT TO AN ANNUAL RATE ADJUSTMENT EQUAL TO THE PERCENTAGE OF CHANGE IN THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS CONSUMER PRICE INDEX. THIS NOTICE IS REQUIRED BY LAW."
(Source: P.A. 95 280, eff. 1 1 08.)

Now if that is not a direct contradiction, then I dont know what is. That aspect of this issue alone is the very essence of why this law violates the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and other laws that are in place in the interest of consumer protection. The reason being is that it creates confusion, and / or deception in the explanation of this fee. You should also note that the wording says A documentary fee is not an official fee, it also says A documentary fee is not required by law.

One final aspect of deception that I will point out is the fact that the law which has had amendatory legislative action performed upon it is the Illinois Motor Vehicle Retail Installment Sales Act. The very wording of its name designates that the law would only apply to vehicle sales whereby a Retail Installment Sales Contract would be generated or created. That means that if the consumer purchases a vehicle, and pays cash, or finances it through an outside source on his own and of his own choice, then the dealership would not have generated a Motor Vehicle Retail Installment Sales Contract at all. The fee is currently being collected on all motor vehicle sales, or on at least as many as the dealers can get away with, including leases, and it is also being collected by motorcycle dealers, even though the definition of a motor vehicle specifically excludes motorcycles from its designation as a motor vehicle.

I shall rest my case, at this point. There are more issues that surround this bogus legislation, but again, in the interest of brevity, I shall say no more.

I will however, urge you, one and all to take notice, and to please endorse this request to repeal this very deceptive and fraudulent piece of legislation for the betterment of consumer interest, and to call a spade a spade. I urge you to act in the interest of public participation, and let us make a historical announcement to the automobile industry, and to the antics of underhanded deceitful dealers who will continue to profit regardless of whether or not they deceptively use our state legislative branch for their own betterment and profitability.

Think of this concept when you sign this petition:

If one dealer sells 200 vehicles in one month, and collects One Hundred and Fifty Dollars ($150.00) on each and every sale, that one dealer in just one month has defrauded the public of Thirty Thousand Dollars. ($30,000) And it is in our own best interest to curb the activities of Special Interest Big Money to keep our legislative body honest and forthright in their political schemes. Thank You for Your Support on this Petition for Repeal of HB 1657. I am Pat Gleason, founder of VehicleEdge, and I support this message!

For more information, please visit www.vehicleedge.com



VehicleEdge
A consumer group

780 W. army Trail Road
Suite 145
Carol Stream, IL 60188

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Latest Signatures

  • 15 December 201550. Mike H
    I support this petition
  • 09 October 201549. Erica C
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  • 04 October 201548. Wayne Robertson
    I support this petition
  • 21 September 201547. Donald B
    I support this petition
  • 07 September 201546. Bonnie Kf
    car dealers are crooks CIty in Illinois where you reside jerseyville Were you previously aware of HB 1657? No
  • 12 February 201545. Ted H
    I support this petition
  • 01 February 201544. Christine L
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  • 18 January 201543. Joe R
    I support this petition
  • 06 November 201442. Robert L
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  • 22 October 201441. Marcia C
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  • 18 October 201440. Kevin Evanderleis
    Yes I Support You CIty in Illinois where you reside West Chicago, Il. Name of your preferred Automobile Dealer Golf Mill Ford Were you previously aware of HB 1657? No
  • 29 April 201439. Leona E
    No doc fees should be charged. I am retired and can not tolerate additional fees. CIty in Illinois where you reside Petersburg Were you previously aware of HB 1657? No
  • 25 February 201438. Errol Mm
    I support this petition
  • 18 December 201337. Nicole R
    the item below needs to be changed from CIty to City... just helping out CIty in Illinois where you reside West Chicago Name of your preferred Automobile Dealer chevy Were you previously aware of HB 1657? No
  • 12 November 201336. Michael Z
    I support this petition
  • 29 October 201335. Gary T
    I support this petition
  • 18 October 201334. Johnnie T
    I support this petition
  • 28 September 201333. Mark D
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  • 30 June 201332. David W
    Hugh Ripoff 50.00 reasonable. 150.00 noway CIty in Illinois where you reside Wheaton Name of your preferred Automobile Dealer Mc Graft Lexus Were you previously aware of HB 1657? No
  • 10 May 201331. Thaddeus As
    Can I refuse to pay the fee? CIty in Illinois where you reside Darien Name of your preferred Automobile Dealer Westfield Ford Were you previously aware of HB 1657? No
  • 20 April 201330. Shelley H
    "Doc" fees are just another rip-off from auto dealers. CIty in Illinois where you reside Glenview
  • 16 December 201229. David K
    I support this petition
  • 30 November 201228. Charles S
    we pay enough already CIty in Illinois where you reside romeoville Were you previously aware of HB 1657? No
  • 14 November 201227. Judy N
    This is extra profit for dealers CIty in Illinois where you reside Moline
  • 23 June 201226. Pat D
    I support this petition
  • 05 January 201225. Michael Es
    it is a rip off CIty in Illinois where you reside middletown Were you previously aware of HB 1657? No
  • 09 October 201124. Dennis M
    I support this petition

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Information

Tameka BeckBy:
Technology and the InternetIn:
Petition target:
Illinois Legislature - Governor Rod R. Blagovich

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