Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Car-Title Loans

Having seen signs advertising this service in Indiana, I thought Payday Loan Foes Aim at Car-Title Loans might have some interest.

"For years payday lenders have been the bad guy in the predatory lending debate while their close cousin, car title lenders, have cruised along unnoticed - and perhaps more disturbing for some - unregulated in several states. Many efforts to regulate the industry have failed as the lenders pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into legislative campaigns."


Here's how the loans usually work: A borrower gives the title to his vehicle and a copy of its keys to a lender in exchange for a loan up to about half of the car's wholesale value. The borrower agrees to repay the loan plus triple-digit annual interest and other fees and often must pay back the loan in a month or two. If the borrower falls behind, he could lose his car.

There is no nationwide data on the industry. Because the lenders are unregulated in several states, officials have no way of keeping track of the loans.