The U.S. Justice Department requested information from BMW AG’s leasing unit last year, hoping to get a handle on how it deals with delinquent payments from military personnel. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act is intended to provide a wide range of protections for individuals required to enter active duty by suspending certain civil obligations, including outstanding credit card debt and auto leases.
However, BMW’s Financial Services said it doesn’t know how many of its leases might be affected by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act’s terms. That’s not a great position to be in when federal law explicitly bans any action or penalty against currently deployed military personnel. (Read More…)
Finance companies have begun using ignition kill switches and tracking devices, which allow them to disable and then easily locate vehicles for repossession. Some of the devices even remind borrowers when they’ve missed a payment. According to PassTime, a company that sells such devices, somewhere between 35 and 70 percent of cars financed on subprime loans have some variant of the hardware installed.
Now the the Federal Trade Commission is looking into whether these automotive finance companies are illegally harassing consumers with poor credit by imposing the hardware onto their vehicles — potentially violating their privacy while also garnering unnecessary intimidation from banks. (Read More…)
It’s long past time to put the bike (myth) away.
Outside of certain urban centers, Millennials are cuckoo for cars. Jobs and families and lifestyles, you see. As more members of the youngest car buying cohort show up at dealers looking to sign on the dotted line, their method of payment is evolving, too. (Read More…)
Good times have clearly arrived, because Americans are flinging money at cars like it’s going out of style.
Leasing has never been more popular for American car buyers, reports the Detroit Free Press, and the size of their auto loans have also reached record territory.
Credit-reporting agency Equifax says that as of June 2015 more than $1 trillion has been loaned or leased in the United States. The total dollar amount is 10.5 percent higher than last year.
The average loan amount is $20,800, which is a 3.65 percent increase over last year, and the average sub-prime loan is $18,200. Sub-prime loans comprised 23.5 percent of newly originated auto loans.
More than 9 million new loans were made up to April 2015, which is a 5.8-percent increase over last year. Overall, more than 73.7 million cars are financed through loans in the U.S. (Read More…)
Wells Fargo will rein in its subprime lending business, limiting subprime car loans to 10 percent of auto loans it originates. According to the New York Times, the move comes amid concerns that the market for subprime car loans is expanding too quickly.
The latest Q2 2014 data from Experian was released this week, and key metrics like repossessions, loan delinquencies and outstanding balances have all seen increases.
In this year’s red hot new car market, the Honda Accord and CR-V have apparently captured the top spot in both new car and SUV retail sales through the first half of 2014, according to Polk registration data. But John Mendel, Honda’s head of sales, had some pointed words for the industry as a whole, and the state of the American auto market.
Following GM Financial’s subpoena from the Department of Justice, Santander Consumer said that it had received a subpoena as well related to
“production of documents and communications that, among other things relate to the underwriting and securitization of nonprime auto loans since 2007,”
Buried in a feel good story about auto loans comes the news that subprime auto loans are at levels that we haven’t seen in nearly a decade.
The issue of subprime car loans, specifically loans with exorbitant interest rates for used cars, has filtered into the New York Times, with the paper’s Dealbook section running an investigation into the practice.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a government entity that regulates and supervises banks, is sounding the alarm regarding risks related to auto loans.
New technology is allowing buyers with no credit score – due to a lack of credit history or a personal bankruptcy – to get vehicle financing via examination of documents like the payment history of their cable or cell phone bill.
Though the calendar is about to change to 2014, it appears to be 2007 all over again in dealer lots and showrooms nationwide as a record number of auto loans with low interest rates were signed during the third quarter of 2013.
According to Moody’s Investors Service, increased competition for issuing auto loans will result in lenders taking greater risks and lowering underwriting standards. “Auto lenders will continue their return to higher levels of risk-taking, a trend that emerged in 2013 and will gain momentum in the coming year,” Moody’s analysts Jeffrey Hibbs, Mack Caldwell and William Black wrote in a report published Monday. Greater competition between lenders will result in “ever-more generous loan terms,” they said.
As the economy has slowly improved, losses on vehicle debt are down across the board, regardless of creditworthiness, compared to historic norms. That fact and continued low interest rates are attracting lenders into the car loan market. (Read More…)