Letters to the Editor

The Sacramento Bee
August 6, 2014
Re "Subprime auto loans go down road to ruin" (Editorial, Aug. 2):

"Thanks to the Bee for zeroing in on subprime auto lending. We hear from victims of predatory auto lenders, often very hardworking people who are struggling to stay afloat.

Shady car dealers are selling them overpriced junkers at exorbitant interest rates. Sometimes the cars break down within days. When the consumer can't afford the expensive repairs, the car is repossessed. Then they lose their only way to get to work, and their job. Plus their credit is ruined for the next seven years.

Their biggest mistake -- getting financing from a car dealer. Congress gave dealers a special exemption, so the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can't police them. But to its credit, the CFPB is doing what it can, by policing the auto lenders who do business with dealers. So now the dealers are attacking the CFPB."

-- Rosemary Shahan
Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety

Sacramento Bee editorial: "Subprime auto loans go down road to ruin"


Automotive News
August 18, 2008
"The editorial 'End vehicle title washing' (June 30) called for Congress to pass legislation to require insurance companies to disclose all total-loss vehicles. But Congress already passed that legislation in 1992. The Anti-Car Theft Act required the U.S. Department of Transportation to issue rules to require insurers to fork over the data on totaled autos.

But for four years, DOT sat on its hands. Then in 1996, Congress shifted responsibility to the U.S. Department of Justice, which has finally sent draft rules to the Office of Management and Budget. The Office of Management and Budget has just completed its review process and has sent the rules back to the Department of Justice. The next step will be for Justice to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking for public comment.

We don't need a new law. A new law would only slow things down. What we need is for the long-overdue rules to be issued and take effect. Then insurers, salvage pools and junkyards will have to report on totaled vehicles and provide updated data every 30 days. The existing law also requires that the data be made available to the public at cost.

Once a vehicle is listed in the national database of totaled vehicles, the incentive to engage in title washing will greatly diminish. Even counterfeiting a clean title won't alter the fact that anyone with access to a computer can find out a vehicle's checkered past.

Instead of calling for new legislation, Automotive News should be calling on Congress to ensure that the Department of Justice has the funding it needs to do the job right." --

Rosemary Shahan
Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety
Sacramento, CA


The Wall Street Journal
November 14, 2007
"Americans should not have to waive their Seventh Amendment right to a jury in order to enter a nursing home, receive medical care, accept a job or buy a home... For corporations, imposing pre-dispute, binding mandatory arbitration is profitable. But for consumers, it is a pernicious business, and one that should be outlawed."

Read more: TortDeform: Wall Street Journal Readers Trash Op-Ed


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