By on October 16, 2020

Nissan’s credit arm landed in some big trouble this week. It turned out that there are literally some rules around repossessing a car from a consumer. Apparently Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp. didn’t read those rules, and now they’ll have to pony up.

NMAC is a subsidiary Nissan North America Inc., and is the primary conduit for the company’s auto loans. According to Automotive News, in 2018 the company carried 382,000 new auto loans, 299,000 new leases, and serviced an overall block of $49.3 billion.

While that’s a pretty impressive book of business, it’d be even more impressive if NMAC followed the rules in its administration. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found this week that between 2013 and 2019, NMAC wrongfully repossessed hundreds of vehicles from consumers. The vehicles in question did not qualify for a legal repossession, because consumers had made payments or taken other actions to keep their loan or lease in sufficient standing to prevent repossession. Namely among these actions were lowering the loan’s delinquency to less than 60 days. That figure was the established timeline in NMAC’s paperwork.

But wait, there’s more! Nissan held the personal property of the consumers in the repossessed vehicles until they paid a storage fee. The company also required customers to pay by phone, and “deprived consumers paying by phone of the ability to select payment options with significantly lower fees.”

Think that’s enough evidence of wrongdoing? Well, there’s more. Among a broader group of loans (thousands), when NMAC agreed to modify loan payments, it used agreements and written confirmations which included shady language. The language in question “created the net misimpression that consumers could not file for bankruptcy.”

Nissan absolutely denies any wrongdoing in the matter after seeing the information brought by the CFPB. However, they’re willing to settle and said they take assertions from the CFPB seriously. NMAC shares a “commitment to fair practices for all our consumers.” The cost of their newfound commitment? A small fine of $4 million.

[Image: Nissan]

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13 Comments on “Hide Your Kicks, Hide Your Wife: Nissan’s Credit Branch in Hot Water Over Illegal Repossessions...”


  • avatar
    sckid213

    Another way to say “hide your wife” is “hide your Fairlady.”

    I wonder how many Altimas full of used vape cartridges get repo’d every day…

    • 0 avatar
      redgolf

      Wasn’t there a poll taken about what drivers seen in certain cars were the worst on the roads and it turned out it was drivers in a Altima! Do you think there’s a correlation between worst drivers and worst default loans?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Details from AN:

    “NMAC repossessed vehicles from consumers who made payments that decreased delinquency to less than 60 days past due or took other steps that should have prevented repossessions, the bureau said, adding NMAC told consumers it would not repossess vehicles if payments were less than 60 days past due.”

    So they lied and repo’d cars which people made payments on (curious what the “other steps” were). Ok, book ’em Danno.

    “CFPB also found Nissan “kept personal property in consumers’ repossessed vehicles until consumers paid a storage fee (and) deprived consumers paying by phone of the ability to select payment options with significantly lower fees.””

    Yeah, that’s dick unless it was the repo yard and not Nissan levying this fee. Of course, I might point out to those not making payments probably a good idea to take your stuff out of the car. There may be a quibble on the “we told you we won’t repo till after 60 days” then lying an take it on day 56, but if you know you’re skipping one payment and then another (or only partial payment on the next), you probably shouldn’t keep your stuff in the car. Just one of those things.

    I’m curious what “lower fees” could be, there are only so many kinds of payment options. CCs charge fees and f**k everyone, so check or money order fee? Pay over phone fee? This could be a nothingburger and just gov’t overreach to additionally punish them. Kinda like when you are arrested for one thing but are also charged with five other bullshit things (they do this so if you are exonerated on your charge they can still punish you on BS lesser charges)? Funny how JustUS works in Amerika.

    “CFPB also found that when Nissan agreed to modify loan payments for tens of thousands of consumers it “used agreements or written confirmations that *****included language that created the net misimpression***** that consumers could not file for bankruptcy.””

    That’s an attorney field day right there (emphasis mine). Obviously the language would be nice to have but unless it says “You cannot file for bankruptcy, pay us bitchez” this sounds like more fluff. Plus would bankruptcy really help in most cases? It costs money, the person has no credit for I think 7 years, they are still going to repo the vehicle, and IRS is going to send a tax bill for the cancelled debt (see: Bend over for Banksters Act of 2005). Sure Nissan loses because they eat the difference between loan and recovery cost after sale, the only difference being without bankruptcy they get to send the loan to collections. But guess what, it will never be paid anyway and the debtor still doesn’t have any credit as a result. Think McFly!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    So less than 0.1% of Nissan’s customer notes went sideways in error. That doesn’t seem so bad overall.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Well, in case anyone thought the CFPB didn’t do anything useful…

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    True fact: People who utilize beverage coasters at home have higher credit ratings.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Bad press is bad press. Nissan is on a roll.

    For punitive damages require Nissan to manufacture the IDx.

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