Tag Archive | "Auto Finance"

House Approves Resolution to Repeal CFPB’s Dealer Participation Guidance


WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S House approved on Tuesday its version of the resolution of disapproval of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s dealer participation guidance. The resolution now heads to President Trump’s desk, where it is expected to be signed.

The 234-175 vote was cast largely along party lines, although 11 Democrats crossed the aisle to approve the resolution. One Republican, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, voted against the resolution, which, when signed by President Trump, will bring an end to the automotive retail and finance industry’s five-year effort to get the bureau’s controversial March 2013 guidance rescinded.

“This vote indicates that American consumers have spoken to their elected representatives to say they want competitive pricing on vehicle loans,” said Chris Stinebert, president and CEO of the American Financial Services Association, in a statement issued by the lender trade group. “We are an industry that competes for consumers’ trust as well as their business while helping them acquire vehicles that support their transportation needs.”

The vote comes less than a month after the U.S. Senate voted 51-47 to approve its version of the resolution and five months after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said Congress has the power under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to repeal the bureau’s dealer participation guidance.

Under the CRA, both houses must approve resolutions of disapproval by a simple majority and receive the president’s signature to kill a regulation. When the latter happens to S.J. Res. 57, which was introduced in March by Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), it’ll mark the first time the CRA has been used on a rule that has been in effect for several years. And once repealed, the CRA prohibits the reissuance of a rule in substantially the same form unless authorized by Congress.

The CFPB alleged in its five-page fair lending guidance that bank policies which allow auto dealers to mark up interest rates on retail installment sale transactions as compensation for services rendered create a significant risk of unintentional, disparate impact discrimination. It also warned lenders active in the indirect auto finance channel that they would be held liable for unlawful, discriminatory markups.

The bulletin goes on to state that lenders operating in the indirect auto finance channel “should take steps to ensure that they are operating in compliance with the [Equal Credit Opportunity Act] and Regulation B as applied to dealer markup and compensation policies.” It then listed a variety of steps and tools they could employ to address the bureau’s stated fair lending risks, including “eliminating dealer discretion to markup buy rates and fairly compensate dealers using another mechanism, such as a flat fee per transaction, that does not result in discrimination.”

Auto industry trade groups have argued that the bureau used its guidance to indirectly regulate the activities of dealers, which are mostly exempt from the bureau’s oversight under the Dodd-Frank Act. They also claimed the bureau was aware its methodology for determining disparate impact and potential harm to protected classes was flawed and prone to overestimation, yet pushed forward with claims of discrimination that resulted in enforcement actions that imposed millions of dollars in fines on auto finance sources, including Ally Financial.

The guidance also caused several finance sources, including BB&T and BMO Harris, to switch to a flat-fee compensation model. BB&T switched back to a dealer spread compensation plan earlier this year, while BMO switched to a three-tiered flat-rate model last summer.

The guidance was also behind consent orders the CFPB entered into with Fifth Third Bank, Toyota Motor Credit Corp., and American Honda Finance Corp regarding their dealer markup policies. As a result of those orders, the bank and two captives agreed to lower their markup caps to 1.25% and 1%. Fifth Third’s consent order, however, is set to expire this September, while Toyota Motor Credit’s and Honda Finance’s consent orders are set to expire in February 2019 and July 2020, respectively. The three finance sources yet to say whether they’ll return to a dealer participation model when they do.

“There’s no question that this is a rule masquerading as guidance. The CFPB never submitted the guidance to the GAO. They could have done so. Had they done so the 60-day clock would have run, we wouldn’t be here,” David Regan, executive vice president of legislative affairs for the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), said last week during a press briefing. “They chose not to submit that to Congress because they did not want the additional exposure to public notice and comment. Within just a few weeks of the guidance being issued in March of 2013, the congressional inquiries started pouring in asking very specific questions about the methodology that we now know was flawed. And yet, the agency repeatedly refused to respond to these questions.”

Congress has attempted to kill the bureau’s guidance through the legislative route. In November 2015, the House of Representatives approved the Reforming CFPB Indirect Auto Finance Guidance Act by a 332-96 vote. The bill, however, was not acted upon by the Senate before the end of the 114th Congress.

Last March, Sen. Toomey asked the GAO whether the CFPB’s guidance on dealer participation falls under the CRA. The agency delivered its answer this past December, writing in a letter to Toomey that it did.

When it initially issued its guidance, the bureau argued that because it had no legal effect on regulated entities, the CRA does not apply. The GAO, however, stated in its response to Toomey’s request that the bulletin “fits squarely within the Supreme Court’s definition of a statement of policy,” because it provides information on the manner in which the bureau planned to exercise its discretionary enforcement power.

And according to the GAO, the CRA “establishes special expedited procedures under which Congress may pass a joint resolution of disapproval that, if enacted into law, overturns the rule.” In a statement posted on its website just after the GAO delivered its answer, Sen. Toomey said he intended “to do everything in my power” to repeal the bureau’s guidance under the CRA.

“The joint resolution is a measured response to the CFPB’s attempt to avoid congressional scrutiny by issuing ‘guidance’ that imposed a new policy without necessary procedural safeguards,” said Peter Welch, president and CEO of the NADA, in a statement issued following the House vote. “Enactment of S.J.Res. 57 will help ensure every consumer’s right to get a discounted loan in the showroom.

“Every customer deserves to be treated honestly and fairly when purchasing or financing a car or truck, and there is no room for discrimination of any kind, period,” he continued. “We continue to encourage all local dealerships to take up NADA’s voluntary fair credit compliance program, which is based on a U.S. Department of Justice model. It helps eliminate fair credit risk in auto lending while ensuring a competitive marketplace.”

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RouteOne, MaximTrak Streamline F&I Process With New Functionality


FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. — Product documents from the 110-plus F&I product providers connected to MaximTrak’s sales and F&I solution can now be included in RouteOne’s econtracting package for a single, electronic consumer signing ceremony, RouteOne announced today.

Designed to deliver a streamlined process to enhance the customer experience, the new functionality enables a fast, easy, and secure consumer signing experience and the distribution of all F&I products from a single portal.

“This is just one of many exciting ways RouteOne and MaximTrak are aligning our combined technologies to benefit our dealer customers by bringing the “F” and the “I” together for one cohesive user experience,” said Imran Mussani, MaximTrak’s vice president of product development and operations.

RouteOne acquired MaximTrak in December 2016. Since then, according to officials, the two companies have been working to unify their technologies to innovate the sales process and deliver on the vision of a complete sales and F&I solution that meets OEM, dealer, and consumer needs — “anytime, any place, and on any device.”

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TD Auto Finance Commercial Services Announces National Expansion


CHERRY HILL, N.J. — TD Auto Finance today announced the national expansion of TDAF Commercial Services, which leverages TD Bank N.A. to provide floorplan financing and commercial lines of credit to automotive dealerships.

“We are incredibly excited to continue growing our commercial business,” said TDAF President and CEO Andrew Stuart. “This decision signifies TD’s strong commitment to the auto space and our desire to offer a full suite of products and commercial lending to our dealer network across the U.S.”

TDAF first began offering commercial loan products in June 2011, primarily in the East Coast, and has since expanded into the Midwest. This move extends TDAF’s commercial services footprint throughout the continental United States to more closely align with TDAF’s current indirect retail model.

“Dealer principals are looking for lenders who understand the full range of their business needs. The commercial loan products are an integral piece of a dealership’s operations,” said Anne Kline, Head of TDAF Commercial Services. “Our Dealer Relationship Managers have a deep knowledge of all facets of automotive finance and we are eager to bring this expertise to our expanded footprint.”

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TD Auto Finance Joins AutoGravity Network


CHERRY HILL, N.J. — TD Auto Finance (TDAF), a subsidiary of TD Bank, is the latest auto finance source to join AutoGravity’s car-shopping and financing platform, the two companies announced this week.

Through the newly forged partnership, indirect financing offers through TDAF will be made available to qualified auto buyers using AutoGravity’s digital platform, which allows consumers to search for and finance their next vehicle from their desktop or mobile device.

“We realize the impact that cutting-edge technology will have for our current and prospective dealer partners,” said Andrew Stuart, president and CEO of TD Auto Finance U.S. “Given consumers’ desire for digital options, our partnership with AutoGravity positions us to reach car buyers right on their smartphones and will help to drive the next wave of innovation in our industry.”

According to AutoGravity, more than one million users, a majority of whom as millennials, have downloaded AutoGravity’s native iOS and Android apps and collectively requested more than $2 billion in vehicle financing in 2017. Recognizing the popularity of comprehensive digital options in auto financing today, TDAF will utilize AutoGravity technology to further its reach to this set of consumers.

The AutoGravity app connects ready-to-buy car shoppers with lenders and dealerships through a seamless digital platform. Consumers can choose any new or used car, browse local inventory, apply for financing and select from up to four personalized indirect auto finance offers. Consumers can then take their chosen offer to the dealership to purchase the vehicle they selected.

“AutoGravity is reinventing the car-buying and financing journey with game-changing technology that effortlessly connects consumers, dealers and lenders,” said AutoGravity founder and CEO Andy Hinrichs. “Our partnership with TDAF reinforces our commitment to empower car buyers with finance options from the most trusted lenders in the industry — lenders that embrace technology to offer a new level of service to digitally savvy car buyers and dealerships alike.”

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Clarivoy Appoints Jessica Ruth to VP Role


COLUMBUS, Ohio — Dealer marketing solutions provider Clarivoy announced it has hired Jessica Ruth, formerly digital program manager at Dominion Dealer Solutions, as vice president of product.

Commenting on the new hire, Clarivoy CEO Steve White said, “Jessica is a vital addition to our leadership team where she will lead product creation and management for all current and new products. These responsibilities are critical to achieving Clarivoy’s strategic goal: to provide dealers with a single complete view of how people buy cars and where to get their next sale.

“Her experience and background make her a perfect fit as VP of Product, where she will pioneer new product development, resulting in demonstrative revenue growth, increased market share and customer adoption,” White added.

Ruth brings more than 10 years of auto industry experience to Clarivoy, having successfully managed, launched and led large software development projects. She previously served as digital program manager at Dominion Dealer Solutions, where she created new processes, products and efficiencies that led to improved customer product delivery. She has also served in executive roles with DealerFire and DealerRefresh.

“As I considered my next opportunity, it was important for me to join an organization that is trustworthy, progressive and rooted in their industry objectives,” Ruth said. “Clarivoy’s mission of helping dealers as an unbiased third-party provider aligned with my personal beliefs and professional goals. They are truly a dealer partner whose only interest is helping dealers succeed. I’m extremely excited to join such a great team.”

Visit Clarivoy at Booth 763N at the 2018 NADA convention in Las Vegas.

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Experian Unveils Tri-Bureau Trended Attributes


COSTA MESA, Calif. — Experian unveiled the industry’s first tri-bureau trended attributes, which are aimed at giving finance sources a wider view into consumer credit behavior and patterns over time. Ultimately, this helps them expand into new risk segments and better tailor credit offers to meet consumer needs.

An Experian analysis shows that custom models developed using Trended 3D attributes provide up to a 7% lift in predictive performance when compared with models developed using traditional attributes only, Experian officials claim.

“While trended data has been shown to provide additional insight into a consumer’s credit behavior, lack of standardization across different providers has made it a challenge to gain those insights,” said Steve Platt, Experian’s group president of decision analytics and data quality. “Trended 3D makes it easy for our clients to get value from trended data across all three credit bureaus in a consistent manner, so they can make more informed decisions across the credit life cycle and, more importantly, give consumers better access to lending options.”

Experian’s Trended 3D attributes help lenders unlock valuable insights hidden within credit reports. For example, two people may have similar balances, utilization and risk scores, but their paths to that point may be substantially different. The solution synthesizes a 24-month history of five key credit report fields — balance, credit limit or original loan amount, scheduled payment amount, actual payment amount and last payment date. Lenders can gain insight into:

  • Changes in balances over time
  • Migration patterns from one tradeline or multiple tradelines to another
  • Variations in utilization and credit limits
  • Changes in payment activity and collections
  • Balance transfer and debt consolidation behavior
  • Behavior patterns of revolving trades versus transactional trades

Additionally, Trended 3D leverages machine learning techniques to evaluate behavioral data and recognize patterns that previously may have gone undetected, according to Experian officials.

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