BAD LOANS: Hey, There Goes My Car!

Hey, There Goes My Car!

The repo men are working overtime. Paul Lamoureux, a Detroit repossessor, is now pulling in 120 cars a month, compared with 80 a year ago. General Motors Acceptance Corp., the biggest U.S. auto lender, repossessed 2.1% of its customers' cars in the nine months ending Sept. 30, which was 25% more than during all of 1987. One reason for the upsurge in bad loans is that auto lenders have gone after riskier customers, among them first-time car buyers and recent college graduates. Another problem is the longer term of today's auto loans: typically 48 or 60 months, instead of 36. Some...

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