Subprime Auto Loan Crisis Chronometer

Crisis /krīsis/: A turning point that results in a battle over loss allocation.

Will there be a crisis? Are we near one?

Practices and factors similar to those contributing to the subprime mortgage meltdown are now impacting subprime auto lending and related ABS. The gauges reflect our take on how they are impacting risks for lenders and investors.

i
The Subprime Auto Loan Crisis Chronometer shows the risk of battles over loss allocation.
Nov 2018
Lending Practices and Factors i
Subprime originations have trended down but securitization volume continues to increase. Subprime delinquencies in the secondary market are on the rise and have surpassed peak levels. Risky practices are exposing specific lenders and their investors to losses, as evidenced by the closure of a number of smaller subprime auto lenders earlier this year.
ABS Practices and Factors i
Credit enhancements such as excess spread, overcollateralization and subordination have increased in new deals and continue to create a buffer from riskiest lending practices. Investors have not yet felt the sting of riskiest practices.
Auto Market Risks i
New and used vehicle prices are at all-time highs, but sales incentives and high supply of off-lease vehicles are accelerating depreciation and driving up negative equity on trade-ins. Advances in technology will likely accelerate depreciation further.

Joseph Cioffi is quoted in an American Banker article discussing the recent settlement between the Massachusetts Attorney General and Santander, arising from alleged fraudulent auto loan activity at certain “high-risk” car dealerships. Joseph says, “The lesson is that audits and controls in place are not enough, you can’t just monitor a problem. You have to take action.” Click here to view the full article.

Joseph Cioffi contributes to Blueshift Research’s report featuring an in-depth look into subprime auto loans from a diverse range of industry perspectives, including, new and used car dealerships, repossessors and finance companies. Regarding the inevitable comparison to subprime mortgage lending, Joseph notes, “Large financial institutions were making large bets in that market. It was a widespread phenomenon. The subprime auto loan market may become a very large problem for a more contained market. It doesn’t carry the systemic risk of the subprime bubble.” Click here to view the full article.

Joseph Cioffi contributes his insights to this American Banker article that provides perspectives from industry insiders regarding the trends affecting auto loan performance, including longer maturities on used auto loans. “Borrowers can get underwater very easily on a used car with a 7-year loan,” Joseph said. Click here to view the full article.

Joseph Cioffi shared his insights with American Banker, authoring an article, “A Whole Lot of Hurt in Auto Lending May be Coming,” examining troubles on the horizon for subprime auto lenders and investors in subprime auto loan ABS. Joseph draws comparisons and significant distinctions between current market conditions and practices in the auto loan industry and the market forces and industry practices in subprime mortgage lending leading up to the financial crisis of 2008. Joseph anticipates auto lending will follow an inevitable cycle, and in the end the winners will be those who learn from the past and take corrective action now….