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Nissan Settles Allegations of Wrongful Collections and Repossession Practices

  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) reached a settlement with Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation (“Nissan”) to resolve allegations that it used illegal collections and repossession practices in violation of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
  • According to the consent order, Nissan allegedly repossessed consumers’ vehicles from consumers who either had made payments on the vehicle or otherwise made efforts to stop repossession, and also deprived consumers paying by phone of the option to select a cheaper alternative to the $7.95 pay-by-phone fee and included language in its modified agreements and written confirmations that left consumers with the misimpression that they could not file for bankruptcy. Furthermore, Nissan allegedly allowed its repossession agents to charge an upfront storage fee for personal belongings found in repossessed cars.
  • Under the terms of the consent order, Nissan is required to refund fees and credit any outstanding charges stemming from improper repossessions, pay consumers redress for each day it wrongfully held the car, and pay a civil penalty of $4 million. In addition, Nissan is required to correct its repossession practices, clearly disclose any fees associated with different methods of payment, and prohibit its agents from charging fees for storing personal belongings post-repossession.