The Car Was Repossessed, but the Debt Remains

Many of these auto loans, it turns out, have a habit of haunting people long after their cars have been repossessed.

News Story (New York)

Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Michael Corkery
New York Times (NYT)
June 18, 2017

Tags: Consumer Protection, Debt Collection

Organizations mentioned/involved: New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG), Urban Justice Center (UJC) (New York City)


The reason: Unable to recover the balance of the loans by repossessing and reselling the cars, some subprime lenders are aggressively suing borrowers to collect what remains — even 13 years later.

Ms. Harris’s predicament goes a long way toward explaining how lenders, working hand in hand with auto dealers, have made billions of dollars extending high-interest loans to Americans on the financial margins.

These are people desperate enough to take on thousands of dollars of debt at interest rates as high as 24 percent for one simple reason: Without a car, they have no way to get to work or to doctors.