In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, auto lenders are stepping up to help Gulf Coast customers affected by the storm.
Informed by their experiences following Hurricane Katrina 12 years ago, captive lending arms including American Honda Financial Services, Ford Motor Credit, GM Financial, Hyundai Capital America and Toyota Financial Services are offering payment extensions, expanded phone and online payment options with no fees, and to redirect billing statements.
"We know customers in the areas hit hardest by Hurricane Harvey may need some assistance such as a little more time making payments, or may need help setting up online billing or getting their billing statements temporarily routed elsewhere," said Anna Sampang, vice president of service operations strategy at Toyota Financial Services.
Banks with large auto lending operations -- such as Bank of America, Santander, Sun Trust Bank and Wells Fargo -- have followed suit.
Santander Consumer USA, Ford Credit, Honda Financial Services, Hyundai Capital, Wells Fargo, Chase Auto Finance, among other lenders, are also temporarily reducing or halting collections activity in the area.
Chase Auto Finance, as well as captive finance companies at Subaru, Mazda, Maserati and Jaguar Land Rover which Chase supports or operates under private-label arrangements, are automatically waiving or refunding late fees through Sept. 10, offering loan payment extensions and lease payment deferrals and suppressing collection calls and repossessions for customers in affected areas, a spokeswoman said.
Chase has identified more than 140,000 customers in Federal Emergency Management Agency-designated areas.
The bank is also allowing its floorplan dealership clients to defer curtailment payments until Dec. 31, she said.