Borrower fraud in U.S. auto loans is surging, and may approach levels seen in mortgages during last decade’s housing bubble, according to a startup firm that helps lenders sniff out bogus borrowers. As many as 1 percent of U.S. car loan applications include some type of material misrepresentation, executives at data analytics firm Point Predictive estimated based on reports from banks, finance companies and others. Lenders’ losses from deception may double this year to $6 billion from 2015, the firm forecast.
Scary U.S. Auto Loan Debt Numbers Foreshadow Economic Downturn
Rising U.S. Auto Loan Debt a Symptom of Bubble Economics Permeating Society
Auto industry sales have come back from the “Great Recession” grave, but U.S. auto loan debt threatens to relegate the industry to purgatory. Rock-bottom interest rates have allowed consumers to gorge on debt for too long, setting the stage for the auto loan debt 2017 debacle playing out before our eyes. The bill has come due, and the auto industry is bracing for a protracted retrenchment.
U.S. subprime auto lenders are losing money on car loans at the highest rate since the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis as more borrowers fall behind on payments, according to S&P Global Ratings.
Losses for the loans, annualized, were 9.1 percent in January from 8.5 percent in December and 7.9 percent in the first month of last year, S&P data released on Thursday show, based on car loans bundled into bonds. The rate is the worst since January 2010 and is largely driven by worsening recoveries after borrowers default, S&P said.
With late payments on the rise, a dealership upsell begins to look dangerous.
Lured by low interest rates, low gas prices, and a crop of seductive vehicles that are faster, smarter, and more efficient than ever before, American drivers are increasingly riding in style. Don’t be fooled by the curb appeal, though-those swanky machines are heavily leveraged.
The country’s auto debt hit a record in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, when a rush of year-end car shopping pushed vehicle loans to a dubious peak of $1.16 trillion. The combination of new car smell and new credit woes stretches from Subarus in Maine to Teslas in San Francisco.
Banks’ loan losses from car financing have risen to a six-year high, new figures show, as the patchy labour market and the mining slump causes more borrowers to fall behind on their payments.
Fitch Ratings says the proportion of automobile loans that suffered a loss after lenders sought to repossess the vehicle rose to 0.62 per cent in the June quarter, the highest level since the index started in 2010.