Attorney General Settles with AmeriCredit Financial
Consumer Finance Company Agrees to Stop Collecting Gap Amounts
BALTIMORE, MD (July 30, 2007) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler
today announced that his Consumer Protection Division has reached
a settlement with Texas-based AmeriCredit Financial Services, Inc.
regarding its practice of charging Maryland consumers amounts that
were forgiven under the terms of their original loans. As result
of the settlement, AmeriCredit has agreed to refund monies wrongfully
consumer credit contracts from the original lenders, such as
automobile dealers. Some of the purchased contracts
contained “gap waivers” that protect consumers if they
are involved in an accident and their insurance coverage does not
cover the balance remaining on the loan. The gap waiver excuses
the consumer from having to pay the difference, or “gap,” between
their insurance coverage and the amount they still owe. The Division
alleges that AmeriCredit attempted to collect from consumers amounts
that were not covered by insurance despite the existence of gap
waivers in their contracts.
AmeriCredit denied any wrongdoing but agreed to refund all of
the money that the Division alleged was wrongfully collected from
Maryland consumers. In addition, the company will contact the credit
reporting bureaus and reverse any negative comments it may have
reported. AmeriCredit has also agreed to no longer collect gap
amounts from consumers unless it is specifically authorized to
do so under any contract containing a gap waiver.
Consumers eligible for refunds under the settlement will be contacted
by the Consumer Protection Division. In making today’s
announcement, Attorney General Gansler thanked Assistant Attorney
General Philip Ziperman for his
work on the case.