Finance & Insurance

Outstanding U.S. auto loans hit all-time high, Equifax says

1:58 pm U.S. ET | July 24, 2014
Total outstanding auto loans in the United States hit an all-time high of $902 billion this spring, an increase of more than 10 percent from the same time a year earlier, according to the latest Equifax National Consumer Credit Trends Report, which was released today....
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JIM HENRY

N.Y. Times story on subprime offers feds ammunition

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 23, 2014
A withering account of subprime auto lending in Sunday's New York Times reinforces bad stereotypes about used-car dealers, smears subprime lenders and their investors, takes out of context an increase in delinquencies and loan losses from record lows, and provides ammunition to auto finance industry critics in Washington....
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Credit union backs off ads blasting dealer reserve

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 21, 2014
A Florida credit union has backed off from an advertising and social medial campaign called “Expose the Truth,” which described dealer reserve as an unfair trade practice most consumers don’t know about....
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JIM HENRY

Credit union ads highlight misperceptions of dealer reserve

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 16, 2014
A Florida credit union's ad campaign beating up dealers and auto lenders for “rate markups” is hard to look at, but dealers and lenders should check it out to see what they're up against in terms of public perception and in case the approach catches on in other states....
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Sales staff gets more responsibility, higher pay

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 14, 2014
Sonic Automotive began preparing its staff for the transition to its One Sonic-One Experience initiative years ago when it launched its playbooks, or guides for how to sell used cars, new cars, finance and insurance products and so on....
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JIM HENRY

Why buy-here, pay-here is losing some turf

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 9, 2014
More consumers are passing up offers from buy-here, pay-here stores in favor of cheap financing by some franchised new-car dealerships, one giant used-car retailer says....
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JIM HENRY

Don't do much leasing? Better bone up

12:01 am U.S. ET | July 2, 2014
Leasing's not just for luxury brands anymore. It's spreading to mass-market brands too, experts say....
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JIM HENRY

Ally moves closer to independence, cheaper money

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 25, 2014
Ally Financial will move one step closer toward independence from government ownership next month when two of its three remaining board members nominated by the U.S. Treasury step down from the board....
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JIM HENRY

Who makes irrational loans? Not Me

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 18, 2014
Are the gremlins at it again in auto loans? Maybe they're to blame for so-called irrational competition, presumably the result of lenders making unprofitable loans to gain market share....
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JIM HENRY

U.S. House action on CFPB is symbolic

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 11, 2014
The auto finance industry, auto dealers, and their mostly Republican allies in Congress continue to make it clear they don’t like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or how it was set up in 2010....
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JIM HENRY

Lender consent order grants insight into FTC

12:01 am U.S. ET | June 4, 2014
Dealers and their legal counsels should check out last week's consent order between subprime auto lender Consumer Portfolio Services and the Federal Trade Commission, even though the case isn't about dealerships....
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Study shows federal regulations cost dealers billions, jobs

6:00 am U.S. ET | May 30, 2014
Franchised new-car dealers in the United States spent a combined $3.2 billion in 2012 to meet federal regulations, a new report found. The report made no attempt to determine whether dealerships, the economy, or consumers benefited in any way from any of those regulations, however....
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JIM HENRY

NADA's take on 'The Fallacy of Flats'

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 28, 2014
The National Automobile Dealers Association has tried for months to impress upon the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that switching from dealer reserve to flat fees will not eliminate dealerships' ability to set their compensation for auto loans....
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JIM HENRY

Dealer reserve to come under fire in D.C.

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 21, 2014
The Center for Responsible Lending and other advocacy groups are hosting a briefing on Capitol Hill to address what the groups call “auto lending abuses,” the chief one being dealer reserve, also known as dealer markup....
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JIM HENRY

Chrysler Capital takes toll on Ally

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 14, 2014
Santander Consumer USA and Ally Financial passed each other coming and going in the first quarter in terms of business with Chrysler Group, but don’t expect them to exchange a friendly wave....
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JIM HENRY

Dealer reserve is here to stay … right?

12:01 am U.S. ET | May 7, 2014
Auto lenders are sticking to dealer reserve despite the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's crackdown and despite BMO Harris Bank's recent switch to a flat fee....
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JIM HENRY

Tax refund as down payment? Why not?

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 30, 2014
The first quarter is typically the strongest quarter of the year for subprime financing and used-car auto loans due to the timing of tax refunds, say industry experts such as Asbury Automotive COO Michael Kearney, who noted the trend last week....
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JIM HENRY

Why Group 1 finds F&I a tougher sell overseas

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 23, 2014
Think F&I managers have it tough making a sale in the United States? It’s a lot tougher in the United Kingdom and in Brazil, Group 1 Automotive says....
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JIM HENRY

Inquiry into alleged CFPB bias picks up steam

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 16, 2014
The issue of whether, ironically, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau allegedly discriminates against its own employees has got legs....
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LINDSAY CHAPPELL

Brace yourself for 'velocity'

1:06 pm U.S. ET | April 16, 2014
There’s a new buzzword trending through the car business right now: velocity. It has been popping up in conversations and presentations for a while, and is on the lips of visitors here at the New York auto show. And it might be a good thing....
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JIM HENRY

Misleading sales ads hurt F&I

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 9, 2014
State and federal regulators have cracked down this year on misleading dealership advertising. In just about every case, their complaint was that the advertising failed to adequately disclose financial terms or hidden costs....
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Ally Financial CEO Carpenter won't get pay hike, U.S. Treasury says

7:41 pm U.S. ET | April 2, 2014
The Obama administration is holding the total compensation unchanged this year for the head of bailed-out auto lender Ally Financial, the Treasury Department said on Wednesday....
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JIM HENRY

Off-lease surge should spark even more leasing

12:01 am U.S. ET | April 2, 2014
Scheduled lease terminations are expected to grow again in 2014, providing a strong tailwind for additional leases this year and higher customer loyalty....
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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Blame Uncle Sam for Sally's loan debt

12:01 am U.S. ET | March 31, 2014
Jesse Snyder's March 17 column, "Why Sally can't buy a new car," was full of facts but did not get to the root cause....
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JAMES B. TREECE

What's on dealers' minds -- and what's not

1:20 pm U.S. ET | March 28, 2014
A small group of Florida dealers gathered last week at a Fort Lauderdale hotel to share best practices. What was unsaid intrigued me....
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