Finance and Insurance

U.S. Treasury trims Ally stake further

5:19 pm U.S. ET | Sept. 12, 2014
The Treasury started a second trading plan to cut its stake in Ally Financial. After completing its first plan, it now holds 66.2 million shares of Ally’s common stock, a statement said on Friday. That’s 13.8 percent of the company, down from 16 percent in August.... Read More »

 

Q&A

For subprime lender, success is about dealer service

11:00 am U.S. ET | Sept. 10, 2014
Southern Auto Finance Co., a small, regional subprime lender in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is growing again after pulling back on loan originations and halting market expansion amid heightened industry competition in subprime in 2012 and 2013, CEO George Fussell says. The market is settling now, he says, and the company, often called SAFCo., is looking beyond its current 16-state area.... Read More »

 

JIM HENRY

Regulation forecast calls for rain, former CFPB exec says

11:00 am U.S. ET | Sept. 10, 2014
Rick Hackett, a former assistant director for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau who was the bureau's liaison to the auto finance industry, predicted the bureau would probably unveil a long-awaited rule next week, defining which nonbanks fall under the CFPB's jurisdiction.... Read More »

 

JIM HENRY

F&I wait times have virtual repercussions

11:00 am U.S. ET | Sept. 10, 2014
Dealerships know that customer satisfaction suffers if car buyers spend time sitting outside the F&I office. But there’s another reason why dealerships should slash F&I wait times: Most customers who use their mobile devices at dealerships use them to shop for other vehicles and better deals elsewhere.... Read More »

 

Pay disparities are hurting morale, dealership retention, expert warns

11:45 am U.S. ET | Sept. 10, 2014
Rising disparities in pay between the F&I and sales departments are leading to morale problems and high turnover at dealerships, a noted F&I authority said at a conference in Las Vegas. Dealerships are testing a number of alternative pay plans, but nothing proposed so far appears to solve the problem.... Read More »

 

Subprime auto probe fails to restrain bond rush

11:21 am U.S. ET | Sept. 10, 2014
The federal probe into auto loans made to people with spotty credit is doing little to derail sales of bonds backed by the debt, even as investors demand more to own the riskiest pieces.... Read More »

 

How to stop fraud

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 8, 2014
Auto retailers can prevent fraud by recognizing certain customer clues, dealers and experts say.... Read More »

 

Report: Lenders keeping lid on risky business

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 8, 2014
Experian's latest State of the Automotive Finance Market report, covering the second quarter, suggests lenders aren't headed down any slippery slopes when it comes to discipline.... Read More »

 

FOILING FRAUD

Phony deals cost dealers reputation, vehicles and lenders

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 8, 2014
For employees in a dealership's finance and insurance office, spotting a potentially fraudulent deal is top priority. A mistake not only can cost a dealership a vehicle, it can hurt the store's reputation and its relationships with lenders. It's a challenge for all dealership groups.... Read More »

 

Dealers prying payments from some lenders

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 8, 2014
Dealers are still seeing big differences in how quickly lenders pay them on contracts in transit, despite awareness and technology campaigns aimed at speeding payments to dealers when retail customers finance vehicle purchases and leases.... Read More »

 

Fla. M-B dealer e-validates contracts, gets paid fast

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 8, 2014
Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables rarely has to wait more than 24 hours to be paid by lenders that commit to finance the Florida store's loan and lease customers, said Scott Cooper, the finance and insurance director.... Read More »

 

With digital data, DARCARS has F&I down to a science

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 8, 2014
Finance and insurance managers at DARCARS Automotive Group have a digital Big Brother watching them, ready to spit out a minute-by-minute account of their customer interactions if their sales fumble.... Read More »

 

Is it wise to keep putting the car before the cash?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 8, 2014
Dealerships can and should take some of the risk out of making spot deliveries, experts say.... Read More »

 

Credit union's key: 'Do everything right'

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 8, 2014
The leading provider of auto loans in New Hampshire isn't a bank or a captive finance company.... Read More »

 

Credit unions take long-loan lead

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 8, 2014
Credit unions are helping lead the charge into longer loan terms -- some longer than 84 months -- as customers seek to keep their monthly payments flat while taking out larger loans.... Read More »

 

Auto lenders curb loans to least-creditworthy customers

11:07 am U.S. ET | Sept. 3, 2014
Auto lenders hit the brakes on loans to customers with subprime and deep subprime credit in the second quarter of 2014, according to Experian Automotive. Loans to those customers accounted for 15.1 percent of new-vehicle loans for the quarter.... Read More »

 

Who’s responsible for passing along bad credit info?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 3, 2014
Will dealerships catch fallout from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s consent order last month with First Investors Financial Services Group? Experts disagree, with some saying no and others suggesting at least indirect implications for dealerships.... Read More »

 

Q&A

Sonic’s EchoPark stores will use self-branded products, financing

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 3, 2014
Sonic Automotive is negotiating with auto lenders and F&I product administrators to provide private-label retail financing and F&I products for its new EchoPark stand-alone used-car dealerships, says Jeff Dyke, Sonic’s executive vice president of operations.... Read More »

 

Santander sued by investors over subprime lending practices

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 3, 2014
A lawsuit seeking class-action status was filed against Santander Consumer USA last week on behalf of investors who claim the lender misled them about the company’s “auto lending business and underwriting practices.”... Read More »

 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Can't judge client's ability to pay

12:01 am U.S. ET | Sept. 1, 2014
I learned many years ago that you cannot be a judge of your customer's financial ability to purchase a vehicle.... Read More »

 

Is rise in Q2 loan delinquencies a turning point?

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 27, 2014
Industry-watchers insist that today's auto loan delinquency rates are low by historical standards. But a slight uptick in 30- and 60-day delinquencies in the second quarter could be a sign that the long decline in delinquencies could be reversing.... Read More »

 

F&I departments need a farm team

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 27, 2014
The term “succession planning” is usually applied to dealer principals, but it can apply to F&I managers, too. Executives at two dealerships say store managers should nurture their own talent pool, so they have a ready replacement if a top F&I producer quits.... Read More »

 

'No evidence' of subprime auto loan bubble, Equifax economist says

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 27, 2014
Equifax has joined other financial data crunching firms that dispute there's an alarming subprime auto loan bubble that's about to burst. Dennis Carlson, deputy chief economist for Equifax, said in an interview this week there's an easy tendency to decry subprime in general because of what happened in the past, and "it's not fair to do that.”... Read More »

 

CFPB takes new tack in auto lender crackdown

12:01 am U.S. ET | Aug. 25, 2014
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took a fresh approach to cracking down on auto lenders, citing one group for failing to furnish accurate customer data to credit reporting agencies.... Read More »

 

CFPB fines subprime lender First Investors Financial Services Group for sending credit bureaus inaccurate info

12:30 pm U.S. ET | Aug. 20, 2014
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined subprime auto lender First Investors Financial Services Group nearly $3 million for knowingly providing inaccurate information to credit reporting agencies for at least three years.... Read More »

 

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Defying Dad, by building on his legacy

At Courtesy Auto Group in Illinois, second-generation dealers Ray and Rik Fregia have seen a 30 percent boost in sales this year, thanks largely to million-dollar overhauls at their three stores. Mon., September 15
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