Banks Are Remotely Turning Off Cars If Payments Are Late
It’s no secret that the late 2000s marked a rough patch for the American economy. Even as we work toward recovery, many US citizens are plagued with damaged credit scores and are thus have difficulty purchasing new cars. Or at least they should be, yet creditors are approving new car loans for seemingly unqualified buyers left and right. But there’s a catch this time: banks are remotely turning off cars if payments are late.
Before you freak out wondering if this could happen to you, it probably can’t, unless you knowingly entered a contract that states so. More than 2 million car buyers have done so to date, according to The New York Times. In these cases, creditors will only sign off on loans for these subprime borrowers, who account for about one fourth of all new car purchasers, if they agree to having a starter interrupter device installed in their vehicles.
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These devices reportedly will not shut off a car in motion, though Candace Smith of Nevada claims that her car was shut off while she was on the freeway. Another woman, Mary Bolender, says that her car will be shut down if she is three days late on a payment, which violates Nevada state law, according to Bolender’s lawyer, who says “default” is defined as 30 days past the payment due date.
Unfortunately, however, the car buyers signed their contracts, so they are likely out of luck in these cases. To the creditors’ credit (ha), they are going out on a limb to even provide a loan to these purchasers in the first place. But does that mean they should be able to remotely shut off the drivers’ vehicles and, even worse, track their every move via GPS? That remains to be decided. For now, the process will likely continue, unregulated.
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