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In an automobile dealership, buy here, pay here, often abbreviated as BHPH, refers to a method of running an automobile dealership in which dealers themselves extend credit to purchasers of automobiles. Typically, purchasers of cars at BHPH dealerships have poor credit history, and loans have high interest rates. BHPH can provide options for those unable to meet credit standards elsewhere.
1 History and background
3 Regulations in the United States
History and background
The BHPH Industry originated primarily in the early 1970s during the United States savings and loan crisis. With many similarities to the financial crisis of 2007-2010 credit was difficult to obtain, unemployment was rising & the economy was still in a transformation from a production-based economy to a service-based economy.
Automobile dealers who still wanted to sell cars had to find a way to deal with the increasing price of vehicles relative to income. They had to sell these vehicles to wary consumers who were unwilling or unable to pay cash for the new purchase at the point of purchase. In many cases, when banks would not lend to the consumer, the automobile dealer would start a related finance company (RFC) and have the finance company approve the loan on the vehicle. This represented a step into the consumer finance business for automobile dealers. The advantage to the dealership of having an RFC finance was decreased risk on the sale and finance of the vehicles sold. Since both the RFC and the dealership had the same ownership, the owners could benefit from the profit on the sale of the vehicle and the profit on the loan for the vehicle. Historically, the down payment required on a BHPH loan was generally larger than the total profit on the sale of the vehicle. Therefore, if the buyer didn’t make payments, the RFC could repossess the vehicle and sell it again at the dealership. Since 2008, many outside lending institutions have entered the market and the average down payment on a BHPH loan has significantly decreased, as dealers try to maintain a share of the market. Many of the benefits of separating the RFC out from the BHPH dealership are based in the tax code changes of the Tax Reform Act of 1986. The Act restricted any companies that utilize inventory in their operating business from using cash accounting.
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