Ford Motor Company v. FTC

673 F.2d 1008 (9th Cir. 1981)


Francis Ford, Inc (P). is an Oregon automobile dealership. When it repossesses a car it credits the debtor for the wholesale value of the car, charges him for indirect expenses (i. e., overhead and lost profits) as well as direct expenses (i. e., refurbishing) associated with repossession and resale, and sells the repossessed vehicle at retail keeping the 'surplus.' P claims this is a common practice in the industry. D began an adjudicatory action against Ps. D alleged that Ps had violated § 5 of the F.T.C. Act by failing to give defaulting customers more than wholesale value for their repossessed cars, and by improperly charging them with indirect expenses such as overhead and lost profits. The same proceedings were commenced against Chrysler Corp. and General Motors, their finance subsidiaries, and two dealers. The National Association of Car Dealers sought to intervene to protect the interests of its members but was not allowed to do so. Everyone settled except Francis Ford (P). The administrative law judge held that these credit practices had violated § 5 but that the commission had failed to establish that Francis Ford's (P) acts were substantially injurious to its customers. Everyone appealed to the full commission. The commission deleted the portion of the order favorable to Francis Ford (P) and affirmed the administrative law judge's decision. Francis Ford (P) appealed.