Welcome to the Department of Justice, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller

For immediate release - Friday, April 21, 2006.

Contact Bob Brammer - 515-281-6699

More Dan Nelson Customers
Get Better Loan Terms

Tidewater Finance Company and Consumer Portfolio Services, Inc., agree to provide better terms for loans they bought from Nelson's finance company.

DES MOINES.   Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced today that two more companies have agreed to significantly improve the terms of Dan Nelson consumer auto loans that they bought from Nelson's financing company, South Dakota Acceptance Corporation, also known as Car Now Acceptance Company, or CNAC.

Miller said the agreement between his office and Tidewater Auto Finance will provide better loans terms to about 313 consumers whose auto loans were purchased by Tidewater from Dan Nelson's financing company. Miller also said that an agreement between his office and Consumer Portfolio Services, Inc. (CPS), will provide better terms to about 82 consumers. The CPS loans were originally purchased by SeaWest Financial Corp., before being acquired by CPS.

The two agreements mean that about 400 more consumers will receive better loan terms. Similar agreements reached from August to November last year assisted about 2750 consumers whose Dan Nelson loans were purchased by other lenders, for a total of about 3150 all together. [See below for links to news releases on prior agreements.]

The improved terms of consumers' loans will be applied automatically. The loans were originated at Nelson dealerships located in Des Moines, Council Bluffs and Sioux City.

"We appreciate both Tidewater's and CPS's cooperation in providing better terms for consumers," Miller said. He said the Tidewater and CPS agreements to improve loan terms for consumers are the final major agreements that were sought by the Attorney General's Office with financial institutions that now own loans originated by the Dan Nelson companies.

Tidewater's Dan Nelson customers will benefit in several ways under the agreement:

  • The annual interest rate on loans will be cut to 17.95%. (Almost all now are at 24.95%.)
  • The principal amount owed will be reduced by $500 at the end of consumers' loans. (When consumers reach the last $500 in principal owed, their loans will be satisfied and the lien will be released.)

  • All active contracts will be deemed current. Even if consumers haven't made payments for months, they won't have to pay late fees or past-due interest.

CPS's Dan Nelson customers also will benefit in several ways under the agreement:

  • The principal amount owed will be reduced by $1,000 at the end of consumers' loans. (When consumers reach the last $1,000 in principal owed, their loans will be satisfied and the lien will be released.)

  • All active contracts will be deemed current. Even if consumers haven't made payments for months, they won't have to pay late fees or past-due interest.

"This will provide significant relief and savings to consumers," Miller said. The agreement applies to vehicles purchased in Iowa, regardless of the buyer's state of residence. South Dakota is expected to conclude similar agreements on behalf of its consumers.

Tidewater is based in Chesapeake, Virginia, and CPS is based in Irvine, California.

Similar agreements benefitting consumers were reached last year with other lenders who had purchased Dan Nelson loans: MetaBank (about 1400 customers in September); FSB Financial, Ltd. (about 1100 customers in September); EMCC, Inc. (about 250 consumers in November.)

Information for consumers:

Consumers do not need to take any steps to participate in the agreements, and the agreements do not take away any private legal rights or remedies of consumers. The terms of consumers' loans will be changed automatically, and letters have been issued to them with detailed information about the agreements. Consumers will continue making the same payment amount at the same location, but the adjustments will reduce consumers' total payments and shorten the length of loans.

Consumers with questions about the agreements may call Tidewater at 1-800-535-4087, ext. 6452, and CPS at 1-888-211-8075. Consumers also may call the Iowa Consumer Protection Division at 888-777-4590 (toll-free) or 515-281-5926. Consumers also may write to the Iowa Consumer Protection Division, 1305 E. Walnut St., Des Moines, Iowa 50319, or send an e-mail to consumer@ag.state.ia.us . The Attorney General's web site is www.IowaAttorneyGeneral.org.

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