A Colorado Springs based credit union and Colorado bank that’s been swept up in a merger must pay millions of dollars in refunds to customers who were overcharged on certain loans, according to a release from Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser on Monday.
Air Academy Federal Credit Union and Compass Bank — which is now part of BBVA and soon to be PNC (NYSE: PNC) — must refund auto loan customers who purchased “guaranteed automobile protection” add-ons to an automobile loan. If the vehicle is wrecked, the protection pays off the difference between what the insurance will pay, fair market value, and the remaining balance on the loan. If the loan is paid off early, or the car is repossessed, financial institutions must refund any remaining “unearned (protection) payments,” according to Colorado law.
Compass agreed to pay more than $1.68 million in refunds to Colorado consumers.
The Pittsburgh-based PNC will complete the buyout of BBVA, based in Houston, by November after finalizing the $11.6 million cash deal. PNC now has more than $560 billion in assets and can serve retail customers and business clients in 29 of the top 30 largest markets in the country, according to a news release.
Air Academy is “currently working to determine what it owes to customers, which involves a manual review of lending files that could take several months,” according to Weiser’s release.
According to an email statement from the company Monday: "BBVA USA is pleased to have resolved the Guaranteed Automobile Protection (GAP) matter with the Attorney General’s office. We look forward to continuing our efforts to serve Colorado residents with the full spectrum of their banking needs."
“We are committed to protecting hard-working Coloradans, especially from unfair, deceptive, and illegal practices that cause them stress, hardship, and financial losses,” Weiser said in a statement. “I am pleased that this money will be returned to Colorado residents and service members who paid for GAP when they purchased a vehicle. We will continue demanding compliance from lending institutions in Colorado to protect all consumers.”
Earlier this year, the department secured for Colorado consumers more than $9.5 million in refunds from Wells Fargo for failure to return unused GAP fees and $121,983 from American Assurance Corporation related to GAP coverage overcharges, the release states.
Calls and emails Air Academy Monday were not returned as of the publishing of this story.
Borrowers who believe they are owed a fee refund because they paid off a car loan early or did not receive a full benefit for coverage should contact the Attorney General's consumer credit unit at email@example.com, or file a complaint here.