Subprime loans, the same type of horrible financial junkfood that led to the bonanza right before the financial meltdown in 2008, went right back into bonanza mode over the past year once people figured out they could use them to sell used cars. And once people realized, firms started cutting back. And now the regulators are on it.
The New York State Department of Financial Services just went to the financial arms of Volkswagen, Ford, Nissan, and Honda, as well as TD Bank and Santander, and started handing out subpoenas in regards to an investigation into consumer abuses in subprime lending, according to Reuters:
The investigation by the New York Department of Financial Services probe includes potentially discriminatory practices, the person said.
U.S. regulators are asking banks for more detail on their autos financing exposure, as rapid growth in the lending has prompted officials to seek to better assess the risks.
The new subpoenas come on top of ongoing Federal investigations into GM Financial and Ally Financial over their loan practices.
In case you're forgetting subprime loans are loans to people who normally wouldn't qualify for credit, for a variety of reasons. And often, interest rates are thusly jacked through the roof. They tend to be bad for businesses in the long-term at best, especially if a lot of those subprime customers decide not to pay, and predatory at worst.
Let's just hope something actually comes of these investigations.
Photo credit: Alden Jewell