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The General Motors logo is seen outside its headquarters at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan in this file photograph taken August 25, 2009. REUTERS/Jeff Kowalsky/Files (© Jeff Kowalsky / Reuters)
The General Motors logo is seen outside its headquarters at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan in this file photograph taken August 25, 2009. REUTERS/Jeff Kowalsky/Files (© Jeff Kowalsky / Reuters)

GM unit gets subpoena over subprime auto loans Add to ...

The U.S. government is investigating General Motors Co.’s auto financing arm over subprime auto loans it made and securitised since 2007, the company disclosed on Monday.

General Motors Financial Co Inc. said it was served with a subpoena from the Department of Justice directing it to turn over documents related to underwriting criteria.

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The subpoena, which the company said was in connection with an investigation into possible violations of the civil fraud law FIRREA, also asked for information on the representations GM made about the criteria when the loans were pooled into securities.

Financial services firms have paid billions of dollars to resolve investigations under FIRREA into questionable mortgages pooled into securities in the run-up to the financial crisis. The new subpoena could be one of the first public acknowledgements that investigators are also looking at the securitisation of subprime auto loans.

FIRREA, the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act, allows the Justice Department to sue over fraud affecting a federally insured financial institution.

Separately, regulators have brought some recent cases against auto lenders over allegations of discrimination.

In December, GM’s former financing arm, Ally Financial Inc, agreed to pay $98 million to resolve claims by the Justice Department and the U.S. consumer bureau that it charged minority borrowers higher interest rates than white borrowers.

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