Purchasing a vehicle using dealer financing is certainly convenient. A customer can handle the whole matter right at the dealership, and often the dealer will even agree to finance someone with shaky credit. However, auto loans often come with some harsh consequences for missed payments, including the threat of repossession. However, some consumers in Pennsylvania and across the country are finding that even following the terms of the loan does not protect them from illegal repossession.
Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation, a major subsidiary handling over $49 billion worth of auto loans and leases for the Nissan company, is currently facing legal action related to hundreds of wrongly repossessed vehicles. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau claims that NMAC committed the following violations:
- Repossessed vehicles from consumers whose payments were current on their loans
- Repossessed vehicles from consumers with delinquencies who had taken other legal action to avoid repossession
- Forced consumers to pay a storage fee before returning any personal items they had left in their repossessed vehicles
- Required customers to make payments by phone but gave only options that included high service fees
- Agreed to refinance delinquent loans with the stipulation that the consumer forfeit the right to file for bankruptcy
Illegal repossession can be costly for consumers. Not only are they deprived of necessary transportation, but they may also face high fees and penalties they do not deserve. It is important for consumers to understand their rights related to auto loans and repossession and to know where to turn for help when facing these frustrating situations.