With SubPrime Auto Finance News wrapping up its online endeavors for the year on Friday, it presented the opportunity to delve into the metrics of our website activity, using the capabilities of Google Analytics to uncover what you the reader — our customers — found to be the most noteworthy developments of 2018.
While a couple of reports stemmed from decisions made by some of the most well-known executives in auto financing, half of the Top 10 list contained a connection to regulations — be some sort of enforcement action or the rollback of mandates.
As you can see from the list below, the top two attention-getters recapped actions by the Federal Trade Commission, the long-established regulator with the capability of handing penalties per infraction. You might need the calculator on your iPhone to add up how quickly thousands of dollars in penalties can be levied by the FTC.
And of course, any list of the reports garnering the most interest in connection with auto financing wouldn’t be complete without inclusion of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Whether or not you voted for President Trump or agree with his policies, his signature erased the CFPB’s auto lending guidance that created consternation for finance company executives and industry leaders for about five years.
What reports might fill the list a year from now? No doubt, infractions caught by the FTC, the CFPB or state-level regulators will be included. But here are some other potential elements you might be pondering, too.
— Affordability: How long before monthly payments reach a point where consumers — especially individuals in the subprime space with soft credit files — simply cannot swing a commitment for a used vehicle that’s steadily marching toward surpassing $400 on average?
— Delinquency and defaults: Projections so far include for these metrics to hold steady in 2019. While certainly challenging to predict and navigate, those figures could soften negatively if a string of natural disasters strike and/or international turbulences pinch people at the pump.
— Technological advances and repercussions: You likely are reading this commentary on a device that was in its infancy a decade ago. Now people can use smartphones for everything from ordering pizza to sending documents and other verifying materials to your underwriting department. And if federal regulators can update outdated communications laws, imagine text messaging exploding even more than it already has between finance companies and their customers, especially for collections.
Whether your shop operates only in a couple of states or you’re connected to a nationwide provider with a portfolio well into the hundreds of millions, 2019 ought to be another noteworthy year for auto financing. Please join Cherokee Media Group as we navigate through it with you with updates that we hope you find informative and useful.
Nick Zulovich is senior editor of SubPrime Auto Finance News and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Top 10 Stories of 2018