Auto title loans are big business in the US, but increasingly, those institutions offering them are facing accusations of predatory lending. With this type of loan, people receive money in exchange for their vehicle's title. The funds come quickly, but they can also come saddled with interest rates of over 100 percent, along with high fees. A recent report from The New York Times examines the practice to see how it is affecting low-income borrowers across the nation.
A fight is brewing in the Michigan state legislature over whether to allow auto title loans (pictured above in California). This type of lending allows people to borrow against the value of their car while they keep driving it, but the money often comes with astronomical interest rates. Critics allege it's a form of predatory lending, but Michigan Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville (R-Monroe) disagrees.
The auto industry in the US is doing great in 2014. According to our latest By The Numbers report, the Seasonally Adjusted Sales Rate climbed in August to about 17.5 million units, the highest figure since 2006. However, when you scratch underneath the positive surface, the rosy situation might not be as good as it seems. There continues to be a concern among insiders and analysts that while sales are strong now, they might not be sustainable. To keep financial results looking encouraging, some
Is there a point in the US auto industry where companies should start considering the welfare of their customers ahead of selling more cars? American Honda Executive Vice President of Sales John Mendel thinks that level exists, and we may be getting very close to it.
It may seem like a drop in the bucket compared to the approximately $1 billion in liabilities bankrupt automaker Fisker Automotive has against it, but every bit helps. In this case, it's a smidgeon less than $5 billion. That's how much the maker of the Karma extended-range plug-in is getting approved to borrow from its presumed future owner, Wanxiang Group. It's a start.
US auto loans are at their highest level since before the start of the great recession, according to a report from Automotive News. Originations increased 11 percent during the second quarter of 2013, to a combined $91.8 billion for all credit tiers, while overall sales were up nine percent overall.
In the "lightning strikes twice" department, another California company in the green transportation field has said it paid off its federal government loans ahead of schedule. In this case, San Diego-based Sapphire Energy, which specializes in converting plant algae to crude oil, says it has paid off its $54.5-million loan, originally granted by the US Department of Agriculture, ahead of schedule.
We've heard all about the wildfires that have been raging in the western US, and the lengths that normal citizens are going to to fight them. Now, Congress is finally stepping in to deliver some aid of its own. The funds, though, could come at the expense of the auto industry.
In the "it may be broke, but we ain't fixing it" department, the US government has decided not to shutter the $25 billion Department of Energy loan program geared to accelerate advanced-powertrain technology development, the Detroit News reports. Given the opportunity to cut a mere $6 million in funding earmarked specifically to oversee the $25 billion Advanced Vehicle Technology Manufacturing program, the US House declined and the Obama Administration said that there remains more than $15 billi
Interest.com has taken a look at the 25 largest metropolitan areas in the US to determine which median-income households in those areas can afford to purchase a new car. As it turns out, only those living in Washington, D.C. can realistically swing the payment on an average-priced model. In 2012, new cars and light trucks carried a median MSRP of $30,550, and Interest.com used the 20/4/10 rule to examine what exactly is affordable in each area.
Fisker Automotive has had a tough year, making the news for everything from recalls to presidential politics – Mitt Romney called the company a "loser" during the debates – to a car catching on fire to Justin Bieber chroming his Karma plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and then getting paparazzi involved in a crash as they chased after him.
One indicator of the status of our economy is the rate at which car owners are able to make payments, or rather, aren't. The rate at which owners can't get the check in the mail for their new car is called the delinquency rate, and according to a Los Angeles Times report, it has fallen to an all-time low.