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On November 1, 2018, the US Supreme Court unanimously struck down Texas’s law requiring auto lenders to disclose the full amount of car loans they are charging and to keep them accurate.
The case involved the American Automobile Association, which sued to block the Texas law, arguing that it was a “substantial burden” on the free speech rights of auto lenders.
Lenders must disclose their full total amount of loan debt, but not the total value of the loan.
The court ruled in favor of the auto industry, which argued that lenders are not required to disclose these details to avoid “creating a chilling effect on loan making.”
It is unclear what impact the ruling will have on other states.
In February 2018, a judge in Louisiana ruled that the state’s law on auto loans violated the First Amendment.
“The plaintiffs, who are members of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), allege that their First Amendment rights are being violated by the Louisiana State Legislature,” Judge Charles S. Jones wrote in his ruling.
“The plaintiff, the Louisiana Automobile Dealer Association (LAADA), is a non-profit organization that promotes the interests of its members in the industry.”
The ruling was not surprising.
In recent years, several states have passed laws requiring lenders to keep accurate and complete information on auto loan amounts and costs.
In Texas, lenders are required to report the full loan amount but not how much it is, how much the loan is worth and how long the loan has been outstanding.
While this information is important to the consumer, the new ruling by the Supreme Court could have implications for other states considering similar legislation.
Texas law also required lenders to include information about the state-issued driver’s license number, which was used by most auto lenders in determining whether or not a loan was eligible for a loan.
Some lenders have suggested that the disclosure would have an impact on the ability of borrowers to qualify for loans from them.
As of 2018, more than 60 states require lenders to maintain accurate information about their loans.
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