Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection: Comment Request, 780-783 [2016-00033]

Download as PDF 780 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 4 / Thursday, January 7, 2016 / Notices customer in the relevant markets out of its terminaling service contract without penalty for a period of six months after the divestiture, allowing Arc Logistics to compete for those customers. The purpose of this analysis is to facilitate public comment on the Consent Agreement, and it is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the Order or to modify its terms in any way. By direction of the Commission. Donald S. Clark, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2016–00028 Filed 1–6–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750–01–P FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection: Comment Request Federal Trade Commission (‘‘Commission’’ or ‘‘FTC’’). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The FTC plans to conduct a qualitative survey of consumers who recently purchased an automobile and financed that purchase through a dealer. Through a survey research firm, the FTC seeks to interview consumers about the consumer’s experience in selecting, purchasing, and financing an automobile from a dealer. The interviews also will involve reviewing the consumer’s documentation from the purchase and financing. This is the first of two notices required under the Paperwork Reduction Act (‘‘PRA’’) in which the FTC seeks public comments on its proposed consumer research in connection with Office of Management and Budget (‘‘OMB’’) review of, and clearance for, the collection of information discussed herein. DATES: Comments must be received on or before March 7, 2016. ADDRESSES: Interested parties may file a comment online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write ‘‘Auto Buyer Consumer Survey, Project No. P154800’’ on your comment, and file your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ ftc/autobuyersurveypra, by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC–5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:26 Jan 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20024. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carole Reynolds, 202–326–3230, or Teresa Kosmidis, 202–326–3216, Division of Financial Practices, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Mail Stop–CC–10232, Washington, DC 20580. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background For many consumers, aside from housing costs, a car purchase is their most expensive financial transaction. With prices averaging more than $33,500 for a new vehicle and $20,000 for a used vehicle from a dealer, most consumers seek to finance the purchase of a new or used car.1 Consumers may seek financing from their local bank or credit union, as well as from the dealer selling the vehicle. Financing obtained at the dealership, whether it is provided by a third party or directly by the dealer, may provide benefits for many consumers, such as convenience, special manufacturer-sponsored programs, access to a variety of banks and financial entities, or access to credit otherwise unavailable to a buyer. Financing that is offered or arranged by dealers, however, can be a complicated, opaque process and potentially involve unfair or deceptive practices. As the nation’s consumer protection agency, the Commission is committed to protecting consumers in connection with auto-related transactions. The Commission has broad authority to protect consumers in this area. The agency enforces the FTC Act, which prohibits unfair and deceptive practices by a wide variety of entities, including automobile dealers.2 Also pursuant to 1 In 2015, the average price of a new car sold in the U.S. is $33,560, according to Kelly Blue Book. See Kelly Blue Book, Average New Car Transaction Prices Rise Steadily, Up 2.6% in April 2015 (May 1, 2015), available at http://mediaroom.kbb.com/ 2015-05-01-New-Car-Transaction-Prices-RiseSteadily-Up-2-6-Percent-in-April-2015-Accordingto-Kelley-Blue-Book. The average price of a used car is $20,057. See Used Car Prices Hold Up in Strong New-Vehicle Market), J.D. Power (Sept. 8, 2015), available at http://www.jdpower.com/cars/articles/ used-cars/used-car-prices-hold-strong-new-vehiclemarket. Used cars available from independent dealers and from ‘‘buy here pay here’’ dealers have been lower in price. For example, in 2014, over 42% of cars were sold at an average sales price of $5,000—$10,000 at independent dealers; the average cost of cars was $7,150 at ‘‘buy here pay here’’ dealers. See 2015 NIADA Used Car Industry Report, at 6 and 16, respectively, available at http:// www.niada.com/publications.php. 2 15 U.S.C. 45(a). The Commission also has enforcement authority over automobile dealers PO 00000 Frm 00047 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 the Dodd-Frank Act,3 the FTC is authorized to prescribe rules under Section 553 of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) 4 with respect to unfair or deceptive acts or practices by motor vehicle dealers.5 In recent years, the FTC has been particularly active in enforcement and other initiatives related to automobile transactions. Since 2011, the FTC has brought more than twenty-five cases protecting consumers in this area, including a sweep of ten actions against automobile dealers for deceptive advertising, and a coordinated federalstate effort that yielded more than two hundred automobile actions for fraud, deception, and other illegal practices.6 In 2011, the FTC conducted three automobile ‘‘roundtables’’ around the country, where panelists from government, consumer advocacy groups, and industry discussed consumer protection issues related to sales, financing, and leasing practices involving automobiles; the Commission also sought and received public under various other statutes, including, for example, the Truth in Lending Act, 15 U.S.C. 1601– 1666j, and its implementing Regulation Z, 12 CFR 226, 12 CFR 1026; the Consumer Leasing Act, 15 U.S.C. 1667–1667f, and its implementing Regulation M, 12 CFR 213, 12 CFR 1013; the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), 15 U.S.C. 1691– 1691f, and its implementing Regulation B, 12 CFR 202, 12 CFR 1002; the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, 15 U.S.C. 1693–1693r, and its implementing Regulation E, 12 CFR 205, 12 CFR 1005; and the privacy and safeguard provisions of the GrammLeach Bliley Act, 15 U.S.C. 6801–6809, and related privacy rule, 16 CFR 313, and safeguards rule, 16 CFR 314. 3 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act § 1029, 12 U.S.C. 5519. 4 5 U.S.C. 553. 5 See Dodd-Frank Act § 1029(d), 12 U.S.C. 5519(d). Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the term ‘‘motor vehicle dealer’’ refers to ‘‘any person or resident in the United States, or any territory of the United States, who (A) is licensed by a State, a territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia to engage in the sale of motor vehicles; and (B) takes title to, holds an ownership in, or takes physical custody of motor vehicles.’’ Id. at 1029(f)(2), 12 U.S.C. 5519(f)(2). The term ‘‘motor vehicle’’ includes, among other things, motorcycles, motor homes, recreational vehicle trailers, recreational boats and marine equipment, and other vehicles titled and sold through dealers. See id. at 1029(f)(1), 12 U.S.C. 5519(f)(1). 6 See Press Releases, FTC Announces Sweep Against 10 Auto Dealers (Jan. 9, 2014), available at http://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/ 2014/01/ftc-announces-sweep-against-10-autodealers; FTC Approves Final Consent Orders in Deceptive Auto Dealers’ Ad Cases (May 6, 2014), available at http://www.ftc.gov/news-events/pressreleases/2014/05/ftc-approves-final-consent-ordersdeceptive-auto-dealers-ads and FTC, Multiple Law Enforcement Partners Announce Crackdown on Deception, Fraud in Auto Sales, Financing and Leasing (Mar. 26, 2015), available at https:// www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2015/03/ ftc-multiple-law-enforcement-partners-announcecrackdown. See also https://www.ftc.gov/newsevents/media-resources/consumer-finance/automarketplace. E:\FR\FM\07JAN1.SGM 07JAN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 4 / Thursday, January 7, 2016 / Notices comments on these issues.7 Additionally, the FTC has produced many consumer education and business education materials related to automobile purchasing and financing.8 The FTC’s proposed survey will explore in more detail the experience of actual consumers who recently purchased and financed an automobile from a dealer.9 The survey is intended to inform the Commission about current consumer protections issues that may exist and that could be addressed through FTC action, including enforcement initiatives, rulemaking, or education. II. The FTC’s Proposed Study rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES A. Study Description The FTC plans to conduct a qualitative survey of consumer experiences in recent purchases of automobiles that were financed through automobile dealers. The survey will involve an initial sample of five inperson consumer interviews to test the survey questionnaire, followed by inperson interviews of 40 consumers, with the option to interview 40 more, if the FTC deems the additional interviews 7 See Press Release, FTC Continues To Seek Public Input On Consumer Issues in Motor Vehicle Sales, Financing and Leasing, available at http:// www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2012/02/ ftc-continues-seek-public-input-consumer-issuesmotor-vehicle. See also Public Comments, #369: FTC Roundtables Will Address Consumer Issues in Motor Vehicle Financing and Leasing; FTC File No. P104811, available at https://www.ftc.gov/policy/ public-comments/initiative-369. 8 See, e.g., Understanding Vehicle Financing (revised January 2014), produced in cooperation with the American Financial Services Education Foundation and the National Automobile Dealers Association, available at http:// www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0056understanding-vehicle-financing; Lesley Fair, FTC, Operation Ruse Control: 6 tips if cars are up your alley (Mar. 26, 2015), available at https:// www.ftc.gov/news-events/blogs/business-blog/2015/ 03/operation-ruse-control-6-tips-if-cars-are-youralley; Colleen Tressler, FTC, Check out the auto dealer and financing before you sign (Oct. 31, 2014), available at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/ check-out-auto-dealer-and-financing-you-sign. 9 For purposes of this survey, ‘‘automobile’’ refers to cars, minivans, SUVs, and light trucks—all of which consumers commonly purchase and finance through automobile dealers. Depending on the consumers who participate in the survey, the dealers could potentially include: (1) Franchise dealers (e.g., that have franchises with automobile manufacturers and may offer consumers financing that is assigned to ‘‘captive’’ finance companies— subsidiaries owed by the manufacturers—or to other finance entities); (2) independent dealers (e.g., that do not have franchises with automobile manufacturers and may offer consumers financing that is assigned to finance entities that are not subsidiaries owned by the manufacturers but that may be an entity related to or associated with the dealer); and (3) ‘‘buy here pay here’’ dealers (e.g., a type of independent dealer that offers consumers in-house financing that the dealers usually retain, although some larger dealers may assign the financing to ‘‘buy here pay here’’ finance entities. VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:27 Jan 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 likely to be helpful. For the initial 40 consumers, the FTC seeks to interview approximately 20 consumers who have ‘‘prime’’ credit scores and approximately 20 consumers who have ‘‘subprime’’ credit scores in order to learn about the consumer’s experience with purchasing and financing in these two market segments.10 Generally, the sample group of consumers will be racially diverse and will include participants of both sexes. The FTC will use a survey research firm to locate the participants, conduct the survey, and write a brief methodological report, and other written report as requested by the FTC. The survey research firm will select the consumers from a pool of people who previously have indicated that they are willing to participate in surveys but who have not participated in any in-depth survey interviews in the past year. The firm will identify interview subjects who have purchased an automobile from a dealer in the previous six months and used financing offered or arranged by the dealer to make the purchase. The interview subject also must have kept the documentation (e.g., credit contract) he or she received as part of the purchase and financing. The consumer’s credit score will be used in the survey; if survey participants do not have their credit score, the consumer may obtain it through services that provide this information or the contractor will obtain it for the consumer, with the consumer’s permission. The interview subjects and their personal identifying information will be anonymized in material received by the FTC, and will be vigorously protected by the survey firm.11 The survey research firm will conduct interviews lasting approximately 90 minutes with each consumer. The interviews will focus on, among other things: 10 For example, Experian categorizes consumers with scores below 601 as subprime (either ‘‘subprime,’’ or ‘‘deep subprime’’). See Experian, State of the Automotive Finance Market Third Quarter 2015 available at http:// www.experian.com/automotive/automotive-creditwebinar.html. 11 The survey firm will set up two secure databases for maintaining information about potential and selected survey participants. The firm will assign each consumer a random identification number (‘‘random ID number’’), and that information along with the consumer’s identifying information will be maintained by the contractor in one database. The FTC will only have access to a second database that will include the random ID number with anonymized information about the consumers and redacted information regarding the consumers’ purchase and finance documents. Thus, only redacted copies of purchase and finance documents will be maintained in the survey. The survey will utilize rigorous protections for privacy and security of consumer information. PO 00000 Frm 00048 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 781 • The consumer’s experience in shopping for and choosing an automobile; • the process of agreeing to a price for the automobile; • the process of trading in the consumer’s old automobile, if applicable; • the consumer’s experience in obtaining financing; • additional products or services the dealer may have offered; • contacts between the consumer and the dealer after the purchase; and • the consumer’s overall perception of the purchase experience. The interviews will conclude by reviewing the consumer’s documentation and exploring the consumer’s understanding of that documentation. Participation in the survey will be voluntary. While the results will not be generalizable to the U.S. population, the Commission believes that they can provide useful insights into consumer understanding of the automobile purchasing and financing process at the dealership. B. PRA Burden Analysis Under the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501–3521, federal agencies must obtain approval from OMB for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. ‘‘Collection of information’’ includes agency requests or requirements to submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. 44 U.S.C. 3502(3); 5 CFR 1320.3(c). The FTC seeks clearance for the automobile buyer study and the FTC’s associated PRA burden estimates that follow. A. Estimated number of respondents: 170. B. Burden Hours: 351.5 hours. C. Labor Costs: Negligible. More specifically, staff estimates that the contractor’s preliminary review of consumers to ascertain consumers for the survey would involve no more than 170 consumers (at most twice the maximum number of consumers—85 —that would be involved in the survey). The estimated hours are a total of the time for preliminary review, the pretest, the interviews, and obtaining credit scores. The preliminary review will include topics such as whether the consumer has recently purchased a car and has participated in a survey in the past year, as well as the consumer’s selfidentified race and origin. This review, done by phone, would require no more than 15 minutes per consumer, for 42.5 hours (170 respondents × 15 minutes). Staff also estimates that at most, each of the 170 consumers would take approximately 30 minutes to locate or ascertain whether they have their E:\FR\FM\07JAN1.SGM 07JAN1 rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 782 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 4 / Thursday, January 7, 2016 / Notices documentation and their credit score for the survey, for 85 hours. Thus, the preliminary review total would be 127.5 hours. Staff will pretest the questionnaire and interview materials with approximately five respondents to ensure that questions are easily understood. Staff estimates that each interview (including the documentation review) will take approximately 90 minutes, plus 60 minutes travel time to and from the survey. Allowing for an extra ten minutes for questions unique to the pretest, the pretest will total approximately 13.33 hours (5 respondents × 160 minutes each). Once the pretest is completed, the initial 40 interviews will take 100 hours (60 hours for the interviews plus 40 hours travel time to and from the survey). If an additional 40 consumers are interviewed, that will require an additional 100 hours, respectively. Thus, for the interviews of 80 consumers, staff estimates that 200 hours will be required (80 × 150 minutes each). Staff further estimates that approximately 75%, or 64, of the 85 survey participants (pretest and interviews) do not already have their credit score and will thus procure it through the contractor or services that provide this information. Staff estimates that 10 minutes per consumer will be required for this purpose, for a total of 10.67 hours (64 respondents × 10 minutes each). Thus, the FTC’s survey will require 351.5 hours (127.5 hours for preliminary review + 13.33 hours for pretest + 200 hours for interviews + 10.67 hours for obtaining credit scores). The monetary cost per respondent should be negligible. The contractor will assist those consumers who seek the contractor’s assistance in obtaining their credit score if the consumers do not have it. Alternatively, costs to obtain their credit score through other means should be nil or negligible. Increasingly, Web sites offer free credit scores; additionally, credit score information often is available to consumers through credit sources they already have, such as credit card or other credit statements, in some cases. The survey research firm may pay respondents a reasonable and customary financial incentive for participation. Participation will not require start up, capital, or labor expenditures by interview subjects. III. Request for Comment Under the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501–3521, federal agencies must obtain approval from OMB for each collection of VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:27 Jan 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 information they conduct or sponsor. ‘‘Collection of information’’ means agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party.12 As required by Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, the FTC is providing this opportunity for public comment before requesting that OMB provide clearance for this matter. Pursuant to Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, the FTC invites comments on: (1) Whether the reporting requirements are necessary, including whether the information will be practically useful; (2) the accuracy of our burden estimates, including whether the methodology and assumptions used are valid; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information. Additionally, the FTC seeks comments on the proposed survey methodology and specific issues or questions that should be included in the interview process. You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before March 7, 2016. Write ‘‘Auto Buyer Consumer Survey, Project No. P154800’’ on your comment. Your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at http:// www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries to remove individuals’ home contact information from comments before placing them on the Commission Web site. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive personal information, like anyone’s Social Security number, date of birth, driver’s license number or other state identification number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, like medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, do not include any ‘‘[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which is obtained from any person and which is privileged or confidential,’’ as provided in Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). 12 44 PO 00000 U.S.C. 3502(3); 5 CFR 132.3(c). Frm 00049 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 In particular, do not include competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names. If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for confidential treatment, and you have to follow the procedure explained in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).13 Your comment will be kept confidential only if the FTC General Counsel grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest. Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https:// ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/ autobuyersurveypra, by following the instructions on the web-based form. When this Notice appears at http:// www.regulations.gov/#!home, you also may file a comment through that Web site. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write ‘‘Auto Buyer Consumer Survey, Project No. P154800’’ on your comment and on the envelope and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC–5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service. Visit the Commission Web site at http://www.ftc.gov to read this Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before March 7, 2016. You can find more information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, in the Commission’s privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm. 13 In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c). E:\FR\FM\07JAN1.SGM 07JAN1 783 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 4 / Thursday, January 7, 2016 / Notices By direction of the Commission. Donald S. Clark, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2016–00033 Filed 1–6–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750–01–P DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families [CFDA Number: 93.598] Announcement of the Award of a Single-Source Program Expansion Supplement Grant to Heartland Human Care Services in Chicago, IL Office of Refugee Resettlement, ACF, HHS. ACTION: Announcement of the award of a single-source program expansion supplement to Heartland Human Care Services (HHCS) to support expanded services to foreign trafficking victims, potential trafficking victims, and certain family members. AGENCY: The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) announces the award of a single-source program expansion supplement grant to Heartland Human Care Services in Chicago, Illinois, for a total of $144,822. The supplemental funding will ensure that clients’ essential needs, such as housing, transportation, communication, food, and medical care, will be met. DATES: The period of support under these supplements is September 30, 2014 through September 29, 2015. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Maggie Wynne, Director, Division of Anti-Trafficking in Persons, Office of Refugee Resettlement, 901 D Street SW., Washington, DC 20024, Telephone (202) 401–4664. Email: maggie.wynne@ acf.hhs.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The National Human Trafficking Victim Assistance Program (NHTVAP) provides funding for comprehensive case management services to victims of trafficking and certain family members on a per capita basis. The NHTVAP SUMMARY: grantees help clients gain access to housing, employability services, mental health screening and therapy, medical care, and some legal services. During FY 2015, a grantee, Heartland Human Care Services (HHCS), served more clients than it had planned for in its budget for the year. Without the additional funding, HHCS would have to make significant cuts in services to current clients and limit the enrollment of new clients. With the supplemental funding, HHCS will be able to ensure that all of the clients’ essential needs will be met. Statutory Authority: Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA), as amended, Section 107(b)(1)(B), 22 U.S.C. 7105(b)(1)(B), authorizes funding for benefits and services to foreign victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons in the United States, potential victims of trafficking seeking HHS Certification, and certain family members. Christopher Beach, Senior Grants Policy Specialist, Office of Administration. [FR Doc. 2015–33296 Filed 1–6–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4184–47–P DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Administration for Children and Families Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment Request Proposed Projects: Application for Grants to States. Title: State Access and Visitation Grant Application. OMB No.: 0970–NEW. Description: The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) created the ‘‘Grants to States for Access and Visitation’’ program (AV grant program). Funding for the program began in FY 1997 with a capped, annual entitlement of $10 million. The statutory goal of the program is to provide funds to states that will enable them to provide services for the purpose of increasing noncustodial parent (NCP) access to and visitation with their children. State governors decide which state entity will be responsible for implementing the AV grant program in addition to determining who will be served, what services will be provided, and whether the services will be statewide or in local jurisdictions. The statute specifies certain activities which may be funded including: Voluntary and mandatory mediation, counseling, education, the development of parenting plans, supervised visitation, and the development of guidelines for visitation and alternative custody arrangements. Even though OCSE manages this program, the funding for the AV grant is separate from funding for federal and state administration of the Child Support program. Section 469B(e)(3) of the Social Security Act (Pub. L. 104–193) requires that each state receiving an AV grant award shall monitor, evaluate and report on such programs in accordance with regulations. Additionally, the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, states that there is an application requirement for Grants to States for Access and Visitation Programs (93.597). The application process will assist OCSE in complying with this requirement and will reflect a greater emphasis on program efficiency, coordination of services, and increased attention to family safety. The application will require states to submit a program plan, indicating how they anticipate spending their funds within the program statue and regulations. The applications will cover three fiscal years and any changes made to the plan during the three year period will require a notification of change to OCSE. OCSE will review the applications to ensure that planned services meet the requirements laid out in Section 469B(e)(3) of the Social Security Act (Pub. L. 104–193). This review will include monitoring of program compliance and the safe delivery of services. In addition to monitoring, the report will also assist in OCSE’s ability to provide technical assistance to states that would like assistance. Respondents: Recipients of the Access & Visitation Grant (54 states and territories). rmajette on DSK2TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES ANNUAL BURDEN ESTIMATES Instrument Number of respondents Number of responses per respondent Average burden hours per response Total burden hours Fillable word document .................................................................................... 54 1 10 540 VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:26 Jan 06, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\07JAN1.SGM 07JAN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 4 (Thursday, January 7, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 780-783]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-00033]


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FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION


Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection: 
Comment Request

AGENCY: Federal Trade Commission (``Commission'' or ``FTC'').

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The FTC plans to conduct a qualitative survey of consumers who 
recently purchased an automobile and financed that purchase through a 
dealer. Through a survey research firm, the FTC seeks to interview 
consumers about the consumer's experience in selecting, purchasing, and 
financing an automobile from a dealer. The interviews also will involve 
reviewing the consumer's documentation from the purchase and financing. 
This is the first of two notices required under the Paperwork Reduction 
Act (``PRA'') in which the FTC seeks public comments on its proposed 
consumer research in connection with Office of Management and Budget 
(``OMB'') review of, and clearance for, the collection of information 
discussed herein.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before March 7, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Interested parties may file a comment online or on paper, by 
following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write ``Auto Buyer Consumer 
Survey, Project No. P154800'' on your comment, and file your comment 
online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/autobuyersurveypra, by 
following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file 
your comment on paper, mail your comment to the following address: 
Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania 
Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver 
your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office 
of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, 
Suite 5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20024.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carole Reynolds, 202-326-3230, or 
Teresa Kosmidis, 202-326-3216, Division of Financial Practices, Bureau 
of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania 
Avenue NW., Mail Stop-CC-10232, Washington, DC 20580.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    For many consumers, aside from housing costs, a car purchase is 
their most expensive financial transaction. With prices averaging more 
than $33,500 for a new vehicle and $20,000 for a used vehicle from a 
dealer, most consumers seek to finance the purchase of a new or used 
car.\1\ Consumers may seek financing from their local bank or credit 
union, as well as from the dealer selling the vehicle. Financing 
obtained at the dealership, whether it is provided by a third party or 
directly by the dealer, may provide benefits for many consumers, such 
as convenience, special manufacturer-sponsored programs, access to a 
variety of banks and financial entities, or access to credit otherwise 
unavailable to a buyer. Financing that is offered or arranged by 
dealers, however, can be a complicated, opaque process and potentially 
involve unfair or deceptive practices.
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    \1\ In 2015, the average price of a new car sold in the U.S. is 
$33,560, according to Kelly Blue Book. See Kelly Blue Book, Average 
New Car Transaction Prices Rise Steadily, Up 2.6% in April 2015 (May 
1, 2015), available at http://mediaroom.kbb.com/2015-05-01-New-Car-Transaction-Prices-Rise-Steadily-Up-2-6-Percent-in-April-2015-According-to-Kelley-Blue-Book. The average price of a used car is 
$20,057. See Used Car Prices Hold Up in Strong New-Vehicle Market), 
J.D. Power (Sept. 8, 2015), available at http://www.jdpower.com/cars/articles/used-cars/used-car-prices-hold-strong-new-vehicle-market. Used cars available from independent dealers and from ``buy 
here pay here'' dealers have been lower in price. For example, in 
2014, over 42% of cars were sold at an average sales price of 
$5,000--$10,000 at independent dealers; the average cost of cars was 
$7,150 at ``buy here pay here'' dealers. See 2015 NIADA Used Car 
Industry Report, at 6 and 16, respectively, available at http://www.niada.com/publications.php.
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    As the nation's consumer protection agency, the Commission is 
committed to protecting consumers in connection with auto-related 
transactions. The Commission has broad authority to protect consumers 
in this area. The agency enforces the FTC Act, which prohibits unfair 
and deceptive practices by a wide variety of entities, including 
automobile dealers.\2\ Also pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act,\3\ the FTC 
is authorized to prescribe rules under Section 553 of the 
Administrative Procedure Act (APA) \4\ with respect to unfair or 
deceptive acts or practices by motor vehicle dealers.\5\
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    \2\ 15 U.S.C. 45(a). The Commission also has enforcement 
authority over automobile dealers under various other statutes, 
including, for example, the Truth in Lending Act, 15 U.S.C. 1601-
1666j, and its implementing Regulation Z, 12 CFR 226, 12 CFR 1026; 
the Consumer Leasing Act, 15 U.S.C. 1667-1667f, and its implementing 
Regulation M, 12 CFR 213, 12 CFR 1013; the Equal Credit Opportunity 
Act (ECOA), 15 U.S.C. 1691-1691f, and its implementing Regulation B, 
12 CFR 202, 12 CFR 1002; the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, 15 U.S.C. 
1693-1693r, and its implementing Regulation E, 12 CFR 205, 12 CFR 
1005; and the privacy and safeguard provisions of the Gramm-Leach 
Bliley Act, 15 U.S.C. 6801-6809, and related privacy rule, 16 CFR 
313, and safeguards rule, 16 CFR 314.
    \3\ Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act 
Sec.  1029, 12 U.S.C. 5519.
    \4\ 5 U.S.C. 553.
    \5\ See Dodd-Frank Act Sec.  1029(d), 12 U.S.C. 5519(d). Under 
the Dodd-Frank Act, the term ``motor vehicle dealer'' refers to 
``any person or resident in the United States, or any territory of 
the United States, who (A) is licensed by a State, a territory of 
the United States, or the District of Columbia to engage in the sale 
of motor vehicles; and (B) takes title to, holds an ownership in, or 
takes physical custody of motor vehicles.'' Id. at 1029(f)(2), 12 
U.S.C. 5519(f)(2). The term ``motor vehicle'' includes, among other 
things, motorcycles, motor homes, recreational vehicle trailers, 
recreational boats and marine equipment, and other vehicles titled 
and sold through dealers. See id. at 1029(f)(1), 12 U.S.C. 
5519(f)(1).
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    In recent years, the FTC has been particularly active in 
enforcement and other initiatives related to automobile transactions. 
Since 2011, the FTC has brought more than twenty-five cases protecting 
consumers in this area, including a sweep of ten actions against 
automobile dealers for deceptive advertising, and a coordinated 
federal-state effort that yielded more than two hundred automobile 
actions for fraud, deception, and other illegal practices.\6\ In 2011, 
the FTC conducted three automobile ``roundtables'' around the country, 
where panelists from government, consumer advocacy groups, and industry 
discussed consumer protection issues related to sales, financing, and 
leasing practices involving automobiles; the Commission also sought and 
received public

[[Page 781]]

comments on these issues.\7\ Additionally, the FTC has produced many 
consumer education and business education materials related to 
automobile purchasing and financing.\8\
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    \6\ See Press Releases, FTC Announces Sweep Against 10 Auto 
Dealers (Jan. 9, 2014), available at http://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2014/01/ftc-announces-sweep-against-10-auto-dealers; 
FTC Approves Final Consent Orders in Deceptive Auto Dealers' Ad 
Cases (May 6, 2014), available at http://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2014/05/ftc-approves-final-consent-orders-deceptive-auto-dealers-ads and FTC, Multiple Law Enforcement Partners Announce 
Crackdown on Deception, Fraud in Auto Sales, Financing and Leasing 
(Mar. 26, 2015), available at https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2015/03/ftc-multiple-law-enforcement-partners-announce-crackdown. See also https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/media-resources/consumer-finance/auto-marketplace.
    \7\ See Press Release, FTC Continues To Seek Public Input On 
Consumer Issues in Motor Vehicle Sales, Financing and Leasing, 
available at http://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2012/02/ftc-continues-seek-public-input-consumer-issues-motor-vehicle. See 
also Public Comments, #369: FTC Roundtables Will Address Consumer 
Issues in Motor Vehicle Financing and Leasing; FTC File No. P104811, 
available at https://www.ftc.gov/policy/public-comments/initiative-369.
    \8\ See, e.g., Understanding Vehicle Financing (revised January 
2014), produced in cooperation with the American Financial Services 
Education Foundation and the National Automobile Dealers 
Association, available at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0056-understanding-vehicle-financing; Lesley Fair, FTC, Operation Ruse 
Control: 6 tips if cars are up your alley (Mar. 26, 2015), available 
at https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/blogs/business-blog/2015/03/operation-ruse-control-6-tips-if-cars-are-your-alley; Colleen 
Tressler, FTC, Check out the auto dealer and financing before you 
sign (Oct. 31, 2014), available at http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/check-out-auto-dealer-and-financing-you-sign.
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    The FTC's proposed survey will explore in more detail the 
experience of actual consumers who recently purchased and financed an 
automobile from a dealer.\9\ The survey is intended to inform the 
Commission about current consumer protections issues that may exist and 
that could be addressed through FTC action, including enforcement 
initiatives, rulemaking, or education.
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    \9\ For purposes of this survey, ``automobile'' refers to cars, 
minivans, SUVs, and light trucks--all of which consumers commonly 
purchase and finance through automobile dealers. Depending on the 
consumers who participate in the survey, the dealers could 
potentially include: (1) Franchise dealers (e.g., that have 
franchises with automobile manufacturers and may offer consumers 
financing that is assigned to ``captive'' finance companies--
subsidiaries owed by the manufacturers--or to other finance 
entities); (2) independent dealers (e.g., that do not have 
franchises with automobile manufacturers and may offer consumers 
financing that is assigned to finance entities that are not 
subsidiaries owned by the manufacturers but that may be an entity 
related to or associated with the dealer); and (3) ``buy here pay 
here'' dealers (e.g., a type of independent dealer that offers 
consumers in-house financing that the dealers usually retain, 
although some larger dealers may assign the financing to ``buy here 
pay here'' finance entities.
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II. The FTC's Proposed Study

A. Study Description

    The FTC plans to conduct a qualitative survey of consumer 
experiences in recent purchases of automobiles that were financed 
through automobile dealers. The survey will involve an initial sample 
of five in-person consumer interviews to test the survey questionnaire, 
followed by in-person interviews of 40 consumers, with the option to 
interview 40 more, if the FTC deems the additional interviews likely to 
be helpful. For the initial 40 consumers, the FTC seeks to interview 
approximately 20 consumers who have ``prime'' credit scores and 
approximately 20 consumers who have ``subprime'' credit scores in order 
to learn about the consumer's experience with purchasing and financing 
in these two market segments.\10\ Generally, the sample group of 
consumers will be racially diverse and will include participants of 
both sexes. The FTC will use a survey research firm to locate the 
participants, conduct the survey, and write a brief methodological 
report, and other written report as requested by the FTC. The survey 
research firm will select the consumers from a pool of people who 
previously have indicated that they are willing to participate in 
surveys but who have not participated in any in-depth survey interviews 
in the past year. The firm will identify interview subjects who have 
purchased an automobile from a dealer in the previous six months and 
used financing offered or arranged by the dealer to make the purchase. 
The interview subject also must have kept the documentation (e.g., 
credit contract) he or she received as part of the purchase and 
financing. The consumer's credit score will be used in the survey; if 
survey participants do not have their credit score, the consumer may 
obtain it through services that provide this information or the 
contractor will obtain it for the consumer, with the consumer's 
permission. The interview subjects and their personal identifying 
information will be anonymized in material received by the FTC, and 
will be vigorously protected by the survey firm.\11\
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    \10\ For example, Experian categorizes consumers with scores 
below 601 as subprime (either ``subprime,'' or ``deep subprime''). 
See Experian, State of the Automotive Finance Market Third Quarter 
2015 available at http://www.experian.com/automotive/automotive-credit-webinar.html.
    \11\ The survey firm will set up two secure databases for 
maintaining information about potential and selected survey 
participants. The firm will assign each consumer a random 
identification number (``random ID number''), and that information 
along with the consumer's identifying information will be maintained 
by the contractor in one database. The FTC will only have access to 
a second database that will include the random ID number with 
anonymized information about the consumers and redacted information 
regarding the consumers' purchase and finance documents. Thus, only 
redacted copies of purchase and finance documents will be maintained 
in the survey. The survey will utilize rigorous protections for 
privacy and security of consumer information.
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    The survey research firm will conduct interviews lasting 
approximately 90 minutes with each consumer. The interviews will focus 
on, among other things:
     The consumer's experience in shopping for and choosing an 
automobile;
     the process of agreeing to a price for the automobile;
     the process of trading in the consumer's old automobile, 
if applicable;
     the consumer's experience in obtaining financing;
     additional products or services the dealer may have 
offered;
     contacts between the consumer and the dealer after the 
purchase; and
     the consumer's overall perception of the purchase 
experience.
    The interviews will conclude by reviewing the consumer's 
documentation and exploring the consumer's understanding of that 
documentation. Participation in the survey will be voluntary. While the 
results will not be generalizable to the U.S. population, the 
Commission believes that they can provide useful insights into consumer 
understanding of the automobile purchasing and financing process at the 
dealership.

B. PRA Burden Analysis

    Under the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521, federal agencies must obtain 
approval from OMB for each collection of information they conduct or 
sponsor. ``Collection of information'' includes agency requests or 
requirements to submit reports, keep records, or provide information to 
a third party. 44 U.S.C. 3502(3); 5 CFR 1320.3(c). The FTC seeks 
clearance for the automobile buyer study and the FTC's associated PRA 
burden estimates that follow.
    A. Estimated number of respondents: 170.
    B. Burden Hours: 351.5 hours.
    C. Labor Costs: Negligible.
    More specifically, staff estimates that the contractor's 
preliminary review of consumers to ascertain consumers for the survey 
would involve no more than 170 consumers (at most twice the maximum 
number of consumers--85 --that would be involved in the survey).
    The estimated hours are a total of the time for preliminary review, 
the pretest, the interviews, and obtaining credit scores. The 
preliminary review will include topics such as whether the consumer has 
recently purchased a car and has participated in a survey in the past 
year, as well as the consumer's self-identified race and origin. This 
review, done by phone, would require no more than 15 minutes per 
consumer, for 42.5 hours (170 respondents x 15 minutes). Staff also 
estimates that at most, each of the 170 consumers would take 
approximately 30 minutes to locate or ascertain whether they have their

[[Page 782]]

documentation and their credit score for the survey, for 85 hours. 
Thus, the preliminary review total would be 127.5 hours.
    Staff will pretest the questionnaire and interview materials with 
approximately five respondents to ensure that questions are easily 
understood. Staff estimates that each interview (including the 
documentation review) will take approximately 90 minutes, plus 60 
minutes travel time to and from the survey. Allowing for an extra ten 
minutes for questions unique to the pretest, the pretest will total 
approximately 13.33 hours (5 respondents x 160 minutes each).
    Once the pretest is completed, the initial 40 interviews will take 
100 hours (60 hours for the interviews plus 40 hours travel time to and 
from the survey). If an additional 40 consumers are interviewed, that 
will require an additional 100 hours, respectively. Thus, for the 
interviews of 80 consumers, staff estimates that 200 hours will be 
required (80 x 150 minutes each).
    Staff further estimates that approximately 75%, or 64, of the 85 
survey participants (pretest and interviews) do not already have their 
credit score and will thus procure it through the contractor or 
services that provide this information. Staff estimates that 10 minutes 
per consumer will be required for this purpose, for a total of 10.67 
hours (64 respondents x 10 minutes each).
    Thus, the FTC's survey will require 351.5 hours (127.5 hours for 
preliminary review + 13.33 hours for pretest + 200 hours for interviews 
+ 10.67 hours for obtaining credit scores). The monetary cost per 
respondent should be negligible. The contractor will assist those 
consumers who seek the contractor's assistance in obtaining their 
credit score if the consumers do not have it. Alternatively, costs to 
obtain their credit score through other means should be nil or 
negligible. Increasingly, Web sites offer free credit scores; 
additionally, credit score information often is available to consumers 
through credit sources they already have, such as credit card or other 
credit statements, in some cases.
    The survey research firm may pay respondents a reasonable and 
customary financial incentive for participation. Participation will not 
require start up, capital, or labor expenditures by interview subjects.

III. Request for Comment

    Under the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521, federal agencies must obtain 
approval from OMB for each collection of information they conduct or 
sponsor. ``Collection of information'' means agency requests or 
requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, 
or provide information to a third party.\12\ As required by Section 
3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, the FTC is providing this opportunity for 
public comment before requesting that OMB provide clearance for this 
matter.
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    \12\ 44 U.S.C. 3502(3); 5 CFR 132.3(c).
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    Pursuant to Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, the FTC invites 
comments on:
    (1) Whether the reporting requirements are necessary, including 
whether the information will be practically useful; (2) the accuracy of 
our burden estimates, including whether the methodology and assumptions 
used are valid; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity 
of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden 
of the collection of information.
    Additionally, the FTC seeks comments on the proposed survey 
methodology and specific issues or questions that should be included in 
the interview process.
    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to 
consider your comment, we must receive it on or before March 7, 2016. 
Write ``Auto Buyer Consumer Survey, Project No. P154800'' on your 
comment. Your comment--including your name and your state--will be 
placed on the public record of this proceeding, including to the extent 
practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries 
to remove individuals' home contact information from comments before 
placing them on the Commission Web site.
    Because your comment will be made public, you are solely 
responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any 
sensitive personal information, like anyone's Social Security number, 
date of birth, driver's license number or other state identification 
number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial 
account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely 
responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any 
sensitive health information, like medical records or other 
individually identifiable health information. In addition, do not 
include any ``[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information 
which is obtained from any person and which is privileged or 
confidential,'' as provided in Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 
46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). In particular, do 
not include competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales 
statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing 
processes, or customer names.
    If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential 
treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for 
confidential treatment, and you have to follow the procedure explained 
in FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).\13\ Your comment will be kept 
confidential only if the FTC General Counsel grants your request in 
accordance with the law and the public interest.
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    \13\ In particular, the written request for confidential 
treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and 
legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions 
of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 
4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).
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    Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to 
heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit 
your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your 
online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/autobuyersurveypra, by following the instructions on the web-based 
form. When this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov/#!home, 
you also may file a comment through that Web site.
    If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write ``Auto Buyer 
Consumer Survey, Project No. P154800'' on your comment and on the 
envelope and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade 
Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite 
CC-5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the 
following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 
Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex 
J), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, submit your paper comment to the 
Commission by courier or overnight service.
    Visit the Commission Web site at http://www.ftc.gov to read this 
Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws 
that the Commission administers permit the collection of public 
comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The 
Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that 
it receives on or before March 7, 2016. You can find more information, 
including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, in the 
Commission's privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm.


[[Page 783]]


    By direction of the Commission.
Donald S. Clark,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2016-00033 Filed 1-6-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6750-01-P