Thursday, September 25, 2014

Money lending meets the New Barbarism meets robot cars. Hilarity ensues.

Here we have a perfect confluence of crime, greed and technology. Also the burning stupid which is New York City liberalism.  People with bad credit scores are still getting car loans, but they are getting cars with remote shut-off tech in them.

The devices, which have been installed in about two million vehicles, are helping feed the subprime boom by enabling more high-risk borrowers to get loans. But there is a big catch. By simply clicking a mouse or tapping a smartphone, lenders retain the ultimate control. Borrowers must stay current with their payments, or lose access to their vehicle.

Yes, the banks and the car companies have come to the conclusion that they can't stay in business only selling cars to the people who actually have the money to pay for them. Because cars are so expensive now, it takes the average worker several years to pay for the damn things. Furthermore, a third of the working adult population is out of a job right now. So they have to keep making loans. Because making cars that average people can afford to buy would be just crazy, right? Completely nuts! That's the greed part.

But, the quality of the people they're lending to has declined severely even in the last twenty years. The number of people who take out car loans and then just skip out on them, also known as STEALING, has grown so much that the loss can no longer just be written off. General Motors can probably afford to kiss off two to five percent of their loans to deadbeats. They can't possibly afford 20%. That's the crime part.

What to do then? Well, why not tie the car's functionality to the deadbeat jerkoff who took out the loan? Why not kill the engine when Mr. or Ms. Deadbeat fails to pay up on time?  That's the technology part.

Seems reasonable to me. I would never put up with it myself, on my car, but then I'm not a deadbeat loan fraudster desperate for a set of wheels.

Well, the New York Times sees it otherwise. Here's the start of their article:

The thermometer showed a 103.5-degree fever, and her 10-year-old's asthma was flaring up. Mary Bolender, who lives in Las Vegas, needed to get her daughter to an emergency room, but her 2005 Chrysler van would not start.

The cause was not a mechanical problem — it was her lender.

Ms. Bolender was three days behind on her monthly car payment. Her lender, C.A.G. Acceptance of Mesa, Ariz., remotely activated a device in her car's dashboard that prevented her car from starting. Before she could get back on the road, she had to pay more than $389, money she did not have that morning in March.

"I felt absolutely helpless," said Ms. Bolender, a single mother who stopped working to care for her daughter. It was not the only time this happened: Her car was shut down that March, once in April and again in June.

Yes, this is a catastrophe for poor, poor Ms. Bolender because she was marooned in the wilds of Las Vegas, where there are no ambulances or taxis. Or buses. Or neighbors with cars that work. Or friends, relatives, helpful strangers, cops etc. Must be tough. Even though they did warn her before they shut off the car. They warned her a lot, even though the article doesn't mention that part. The car even warned her, it beeps when you're near to getting shut off.

I notice she came up with the cash every time though, because it happened three times. I also notice she took out a LOAN with a 23% interest rate to buy a piece of shit ten year old minivan. That van is worth maybe two grand in mint condition, and she's got a loan on it? Gotta be kidding me. You'd have to be a moron to go for that deal, or have the worst credit history in the universe.

That's the burning stupid part. The idea that a deadbeat woman on welfare is some kind of holy victim of unrestrained capitalism because she won't/can't keep up her loan payments.

Dear New York Times, if you take out a loan you can't/won't pay for it is called "stealing". People who do stuff like that are called "thieves". Generally we put "thieves" in "jail".  C.A.G. Acceptance of Mesa, Arizona was awesome enough to lend this bitch three grand, and all they asked was to be paid back on time. Because they have little things like rent and payroll and interest payments to meet, and so they need their loans paid on time. Right?

Why do you think Ms. Bolander feels all outraged that they put a leash on her to make sure she paid back the money, New York Times? Because you New York liberal MORONS have been propagandizing the entire USA for 70 years that property is theft, capitalism is evil and bankers are Satan, is why.

So, of course there is a legal challenge.

In a lawsuit filed against Western Funding, Swearingen says the experience left Ward with "anxiety, loss of appetite, chest pains, loss of concentration at her job and in her personal life, crying, depression, fear of using the car, fear of being stranded, embarrassment … fatigue, headaches, personal humiliation, insomnia … nausea, nervousness, panic attack, restlessness and loss of sleep."

Swearingen hangs his legal hat on an old common law principle that a lender can't "breach the peace" in a repossession. That means they can't put a person in harm's way. To Swearingen, that would mean "turning off a car in a bad neighborhood, or for a single female at night."

Because lots of liberals have law degrees and are hungry for that awesome lawsuit payoff cheese.

However, for all you budding tech entrepreneurs out there here's an idea for a brand new sideline: spoofing remote shut-off black boxes. Pair of side cutters and an Arduino board, you can probably come up with something. Or you could just rip it the hell out. Never underestimate the power of side cutting pliers.

Because I have only one problem with this remote-shutoff concept: bigger criminals. See, knowing what fools used car dealers are and how lazy they are, it leads me to think that it probably wouldn't be that difficult to hack whatever system they're using and disable ALL the friggin' cars at the same time. This has in fact happened already, so I don't think my concern is particularly tinfoil hat.

What would happen if some gang in South Central LA just ferinstance managed to hack such a system? They'd be able to hold a bunch of people to ransom, wouldn't they? And they'd have the muscle to back it up.

Better yet, what if the City of Toronto decided to have a mileage tax? No pay, no play! Or they just decided to shut off all the cars in town because it furthered their own purposes, political or otherwise?

See? Gets ugly quick doesn't it? Side cutters!

The Phantom

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