I’m not absolving the buyer of responsibility, which I feel I made fairly clear when I said I have no problem with repossession if the buyer stops paying, and so obviously I would not advocate making repossession illegal.
That’s pretty easy. The lending institution is considered the financial expert. It is required to evaluate the borrower’s ability to pay off the loan. If it grants a loan for a brand new Porsche to a guy making 25 grand a year, it obviously failed its obligation and gets penalized. Heavily.
OK. And? I realize this was in response to something I’ve already denied, but I think it should be pointed out that you’re saying this as though it’s a bad thing. I’m not interested in saddling some welfare recipient with 20 grand in debt just because some jerk dealership sees the opportunity to get her to spend her tax return on a down payment shortly before he takes the car back because she misses the first installment.
I have no doubt that there are as you say unscrupulous buyers out there who have no intention of paying back money which is borrowed, but I would submit that they’re very much more rare than the unscrupulous dealers who sell cars on payment plans they know their clients can’t afford. I will also point out that the stereotype which says that only the poor run around scamming people by taking out loans they don’t plan to pay back is bunk - it’s not only the poor. Rich people do it too. I’d wager they do it more often, because they can get away with it.
My sister-in-law routinely borrows money that she has every intention of paying back, but doesn’t, because she’s a financial idiot. She has no intention of scamming people - she’s just completely incompetent when it comes to handing finances. That thing I said up there about spending the tax return on a down payment? That’s her. She just did that, and now she’s spent all that money to buy a car with payments she will never be able to keep up with. They’re going to repossess it any day now, and her tax return will be gone, and the dealership she bought it from will put the car out front again and take some other rube’s tax return - and by the way they won’t be returning her trade-in either, and so she’ll have no car.
You can’t tell me that this is better than “eliminating” her from ever buying a car. I hold her responsible for her actions, but I also hold the dealership responsible because she is their target customer. They prey on the financially stupid. Their business model would collapse if they had to deal with responsible people.
We often say that a child will not learn to stay away from the stove until he burns his hand, but we do not translate that into the belief that we should grab their hands and press them onto the hot burner, nor do we put them in the kitchen and tell them how wonderful life will be after they touch the stove, and use every sales tactic in the book to convince them to touch the stove. Yet that is exactly what we do with the financial illiterate, and it has to stop.