ThunderRoad CEO Spotlights Auto, Powersports Differences Amid Rising Regulation

Donal Hummer Jr., chief executive of ThunderRoad Financial, participates in a fireside chat at PowerSports Finance 2017 in late October.

The regulatory landscape is “getting worse” for lenders, but powersports finance is not “predatory lending,” Donal Hummer Jr., president and chief executive of ThunderRoad Financial, said at PowerSports Finance 2017 last month.

There is a “defining difference” between powersports and auto or home lending, Hummer said. “Predatory lending really applies to a situation when you are taking advantage of something that [consumers] need for their necessity of life,” he said. “These are toys, nobody needs a $20,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycle; they want it. That’s the defining difference right there.”

In terms of regulatory scrutiny, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — as one example — often draws from experiences in other product lines, Calvin Hagins, deputy assistant director for originations in the office of supervision policy at the CFPB, said at the Auto Finance Summit last month.

While the product line most akin to auto is mortgages, according to Hagins, powersports often toes a different line.

Part of what is important for the powersports industry is to “keep defining the narrative,” Hummer said. “We are powersports finance … not predatory lending. We do finance hobbies and toys and passions, but we are not financing something someone needs to feed their family.”

For more coverage on PowerSports Finance 2017click here.

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