Lawsuit Investigation: Credit Union Auto Loan Fraud
Last Updated on October 6, 2020
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are no longer investigating this matter. The information here is for reference only. A list of open investigations and lawsuits can be viewed here.
- October 6, 2020 – Investigation Closed
- Attorneys working with ClassAction.org have decided to close their investigation into this matter. If you have questions regarding your rights, please reach out to an attorney in your area. The information below is for reference only. You can view our open list of investigations here.
At A Glance
- This Alert Affects:
- Anyone who bought a car from a dealership within the last four years and had their vehicle financed through the credit union “preferred” or “recommended” by the dealer.
- What’s Going On?
- Attorneys are investigating whether people who signed up for auto loans with a dealership’s “preferred lender” credit union were charged a marked-up interest rate and, if so, whether class action lawsuits can be filed.
- How Can a Lawsuit Help?
- A class action lawsuit could help auto loan borrowers recover the difference between the dealership’s marked-up interest rate and the lower rate they would have received had they gone to the credit union directly.
If you purchased a car within the past four years and financed it through the credit union recommended by the dealership, you may have overpaid in interest.
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are investigating whether car dealerships are illegally marking up credit unions’ actual interest rates without telling their customers and, if so, whether class action lawsuits can be filed. They need to gather more information from auto loan customers, however, before they can even consider taking action.
What’s Behind the Lawsuit Investigation?
Many dealerships use credit unions as their “preferred lenders” when offering auto loan financing to customers. Now, attorneys are looking into these relationships to determine whether dealerships have created "special deals" with these credit unions that allows them to offer higher interest rates without telling customers about the markup.
A customer is offered financing on a car through the dealership’s “preferred lender.” The dealership says XYZ credit union offers great rates and signs the customer up on the spot if they’re not already a member. The rate offered to the customer is not the credit union’s real rate, but a marked-up rate that allows the dealership to take a cut of the interest. This interest rate markup is never disclosed to the customer.
It’s possible that this practice is widespread and has affected thousands of auto loan customers.
How Could a Class Action Help?
A class action lawsuit could help customers recover some of the money they may have overpaid because of interest rate markups. A lawsuit could also stop this practice from continuing to happen.
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