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How a Subprime Auto Lender Consumed Detroit With Debt and Turned Its Courthouse Into a Collections Agency

Monday, October 15, 2018
Ryan Felton and Ishaan Jhaveri | Jalopnik
Lisa Stifler

It’s unclear exactly what led to the situation in Detroit, although the tough economic situation for the city and its residents in recent years has certainly contributed. The company has been investigated by regulators for potential wrongdoing, and it has faced accusations in cases across the U.S. of duping car buyers into taking on untenable loans, however no current probes in Michigan against Credit Acceptance appear to exist.

But what’s clear is that, in recent years, Credit Acceptance has sharply increased the number of debt collection cases it has filed in the Motor City—and in a state where its practices have been called into question before. Credit Acceptance’s main debt-collection attorney was indicted in 2005 for falsifying hundreds of court documents, claiming he’d notified consumers to appear in court when he hadn’t.