The Alarming Truth About Income Fraud and Auto Loans

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Auto Loan Application

A recent Wall Street Journal article delved into a subject that we at Cassels Garage hear about all too often – car dealers engaging in income fraud. Some car dealers simply do not put the customer’s best interests first, instead opting to approve them for car loans that they cannot realistically afford.

$809/mo Car Payment on a $660/mo Income?

The article uses the example of a woman named Mirna Lopez, who bought a pre-owned 2018 Pathfinder and found herself with a car payment of $809 a month. The problem was, she only earned about $660 per month. How did she get approved for a loan that she wasn’t even close to being able to make the monthly payments on? The sad truth is that the dealer gave inaccurate information about her earnings to get her approved for a car that would drown her in debt. This is called income fraud, and it happens more often than you might think. In fact, about 1 in 5 auto loans contain income fraud. “The consequence for a lot of people is to ruin them financially for five to 10 years,” lawyer Richard Feferman points out.

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