CARSON (CNS)—Paul Blanco's Good Car Company, which operates dealerships across the state, including one in Carson, was sued by the state Attorney General's Office today for allegedly engaging in false advertising and lying on customers' credit applications, potentially saddling them with unaffordable auto loans.
“Far from a good company, Paul Blanco's abhorrent conduct put vulnerable families at risk, through deceitful advertising and illegal sales and lending practices,” Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement.
“It's disgraceful and it's unlawful.”
Putu Blanco, the wife of Paul Blanco and the company's chief financial officer, issued a statement to the Sacramento Bee denying the allegations.
“Our family-run business has helped heard-working Californians who cannot afford or don't have the credit score necessary to buy a car at other dealerships to do so,” she said. “Paul Blanco's Good Car Company has rigorous controls and a culture of compliance in place to ensure California regulations are followed and consumers are protected. We will fight this misguided action vigorously to demonstrate to the attorney general and his lawyers that our customers and California consumers come first.”
Blanco also said the state actions is focused on “technicalities” and references “very old advertising that has not been in place for years.”
In a lawsuit filed in Alameda County, Becerra alleges dealership workers would make false statements on credit applications, such as inflating customers' income and over-stating the value of vehicles being purchased. The tactics put customers at risk of being “saddled with loans they could not afford,” according to Becerra's office.
The suit also accused the company of tricking customers into unknowingly paying for add-on products, such as GAP insurance, by telling them the extras were required by law, or by simply concealing the added costs. It also accused the company of running false ads by offering low interest rates, even for customers who would not normally qualify for such rates.
According to its website, Paul Blanco operates eight dealerships in California, including Carson, and two in Nevada.