Tag Archive | "Auto Finance"

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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Auto Loan Interest Rates Soar to Eight-Year High


SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Interest rates on new-vehicle loans were expected to soar to their highest point in eight years in February, Edmunds said last week. The annual percentage rate (APR) on new financed vehicles averaged 5.2% in February. That’s up from 4.9% in 2017 and 4.4% five years ago.

Edmunds experts point to an expected decrease in the number of loans in the 2% to 3% APR bracket and an expected increase in loans in the 4% to 7% range as the driving force behind this rise in the average.

Because this shift is happening in the mid-range of APRs, it means car buyers who qualify can still find deals, and the market isn’t facing a flood of subprime buyers. The percentage of loans with interest rates between zero percent and 2% is expected to remain steady at 22% in February, compared to 21% in February 2017. On the opposite end, the number of loans with interest rates above 7% is also expected to remain steady at 19% in February, compared to 18% in February 2017.

“We’re starting to see a trickle-down effect from the rate increases happening at the federal level,” said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds executive director of industry analysis. “The Fed rate hikes directly affect unsubsidized loan rates offered by third-party lending institutions such as credit unions and banks, and, as a result, we’re seeing loans that were formerly between 2% and 3% being pushed up into higher APR brackets. Additionally, dealerships can match these independent loan rates brought in by shoppers.”

Edmunds analysts say that higher interest rates and near record-high lease returns could also be a contributing factor toward lease penetration levels hitting an all-time high of 33.5% in February.

“Car shoppers tend to have tunnel vision when it comes to their monthly payments,” said Caldwell. “As average transaction prices and interest rates rise, we’re likely going to see more consumers explore the option of leasing. In some cases, this is a result of consumers simply seeking a way to cut down monthly payments, but for many others, this may be the only option available when they discover that they can no longer afford the costs of a new vehicle.”

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FTC Approves Consent Order in Texas Dealer’s Deceptive Advertising Case


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said this week it has approved the final consent order settling its deceptive advertising charges against Cowboy AG LLC, a Dallas-based company doing business as Cowboy Toyota and Cowboy Scion.

The announcement is related to a December 2017 compliant related to Cowboy Toyota’s Spanish-language newspaper ads. According to the FTC, the dealership violated the FTC Act by misrepresenting the cost of purchasing or leasing cars as well as the qualifications or restrictions for financing or leasing cars. It also mispresented the availability of vehicles for sale, according to the FTC’s complaint.

The regulator also charged the dealership with failing to disclose credit or lease terms required under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) or Consumer Leasing Act when it touted certain “triggering” terms of credit or lease, such as the monthly payment. The complaint also alleged that favorable terms were prominently stated in the Spanish-language ads, with material limitations to those terms provided only in fine-print English at the bottom.

The final order settling the FTC’s charges prohibits Cowboy Toyota from misrepresenting the cost of financing, buying, or leasing a vehicle. The order also requires the dealership to accurately represent any qualifications or restrictions on a consumer’s ability to obtain offered financing or lease terms, including restrictions based on their credit history.

The order also prohibits the dealership from misrepresenting the number of vehicles, makes, or models available for purchase or lease. Cowboy Toyota is also required to clearly and conspicuously disclose all financing and lease terms in its ads, as well as all related qualifications or restrictions. And if Cowboy Toyota makes a representation in one language, it must state clearly and conspicuously any material limitations in the same language, the FTC said.

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Judge Again Rules in Favor of Trump in Battle for Control of CFPB


WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge once again sided with the White House in the battle for control of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, denying last Wednesday a request by CFPB Deputy Director Leandra English for a preliminary injunction to remove President Donald Trump’s appointee as acting head of the agency.

The ruling comes less than 50 days after U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly denied English’s request for a restraining order to block President Trump’s appointment of White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney as acting director. It now sets the stage for an appeal by English, who has said she is the rightful acting director.

“The Court finds that English is not likely to succeed on the merits of her claims, nor is she likely to suffer irreparable harm absent the injunctive relief sought,” Judge Kelly wrote in his 46-page decision. “Moreover, the balance of the equities and the public interest also weigh against granting the relief. Therefore, English has not met the exacting standard to obtain a preliminary injunction.”

Judge Kelly originally denied English’s request for a temporary restraining order to block Mulvaney’s appointment on Nov. 28. The ruling, however, pertained to the restraining order and not the merits of the case, with English’s attorney Deepak Gupta hinting that Kelly’s ruling “would not be the final answer.”

Gupta then filed an amendment complaint on behalf of English on Dec. 6 requesting a preliminary injunction. Unlike the temporary restraining order, the injunction can be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit if not granted.  Gupta gave no indication that Wednesday’s ruling would be appealed, although he expressed disappointment in Kelly’s decision in a Twitter post.

“The law is clear: President Trump may not circumvent the Senate confirmation process by installing his White House budget director to run the CFPB part time,” Gupta wrote. “Mr. Mulvaney’s appointment undermines the bureau’s independence and threatens its mission to protect American consumers.”

When Cordray formally resigned as CFPB director on Nov. 24, he elevated English, his former chief of staff, to deputy director. The move established her as acting director until the Senate confirms Trump’s permanent appointee.

Hours after Cordray’s announcement, Trump appointed Mulvaney as acting director, citing his authority through the Federal Vacancies Reform Act (FVRA). English filed suit two days later to block the appointment, arguing that she was the rightful acting director due to a successor statute in the CFPB-creating Dodd-Frank Act.

English’s attorneys also questioned whether allowing Mulvaney, who once characterized the bureau as a “sick joke,” to continue serving as a White House official would compromise the bureau’s independence. The argument was backed by the former lawmakers who championed the CFPB-creating Dodd-Frank Act.

“That was our intent, to strip this away from the politics of the moment, to give consumers the sense of confidence that there was one place here — when it came to their financial services — [where] there would be people watching out for them, regardless of political party or partisanship,” said former Sen. Chris Dodd during media call on Nov. 30.

Dodd joined former Rep. Barney Frank and more than 30 current and former members of Congress in writing one of five separate amicus briefs in support of English’s position. In Wednesday’s ruling, however, Judge Kelly said that argument is completely without support in the text of the Dodd-Frank, adding that the court “declines to create such a restriction out of whole cloth.”

“Simply put, Dodd-Frank does not prohibit the director of the OMB from also serving as the acting director of the CFPB,” Kelly wrote in his ruling.

“The President has designated Mulvaney the CFPB’s acting director, the CFPB has recognized him as the acting director, and it is operating with him as acting director,” Kelly continued. “Granting English an injunction would not bring about more clarity; it would only serve to muddy the waters.”

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