Microhip shortage hits subprime lender Credit Acceptance as car loan volumes tumble
In its filing disclosing the decline in loan volumes, Credit Acceptance executives noted that the company, “in disclosing this information regarding monthly Consumer Loan assignment unit volume, is not acknowledging any obligation to have done so and is not undertaking any obligation to disclose monthly Consumer Loan assignment unit volume information in the future.”
The external strife impacting the lender comes amid mounting issues that have had the company in the sights of regulators, politicians and activist investors for the last year or more.
In late April, the company simultaneously announced that longtime CEO Brett Roberts would retire, which he said he was doing for “personal reasons,” and that the company had reached a $27 million settlement with the Massachusetts attorney general tied to alleged deceptive loan practices.
Over the last several months, notable short sellers such as Steve Eisman and Andrew Left have taken on positions betting against the company’s stock price, citing expected regulatory crackdowns tied to the company’s alleged business practices. Those include high interest rates, hidden fees and repossessing more than one-third of the vehicles it finances.
While acknowledging some of the issues that have plagued Credit Acceptance, Buckingham with J.D. Power said he sees them as separate from the declining loan volume disclosed Wednesday.
The analyst said his firm is still compiling total May auto loan data, but that based on recent trends, he expects the same dynamic to impact Credit Acceptance’s competitors in the subprime space.
“I tend to think it’s going to be a pattern,” Buckingham said. “I don’t think they’re going to be an outlier.”
— Automotive News contributed to this report