In an effort to aid residents affected by the recent wildfire that swept through Bastrop County during the past few weeks, Auto Remarketing learned the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, Vehicle Titles and Registration Division and various lenders are planning to offer services that will speed up the insurance claim process on vehicles totaled or damaged.
As of late last week, Bastrop County Judge Ronnie McDonald said that the wildfire that burned about 50,000 square miles and killed two people was about 75 percent contained.
The fire burning since Sept. 3 has destroyed nearly 1,600 homes in the area about 25 miles east of Austin.
Further explaining the relief measures that will be taken, VTR officials noted that victims of the wildfire will be able to take simplified steps to obtain a copy of their vehicle title, which “in turn can speed up the insurance claim process on vehicles lost in the wildfire.”
The simplified steps will accelerate a process that could take up to a week or more and require forms of identification that might have been destroyed in a fire. Now, the process can be completed in as short of a time as one day.
The two-week window for the simplified procedure to obtain a certified copy of a Texas Certificate of Title begins today and will go through the end of the month.
The joint effort by lenders and Texas government officials came to fruition when VTR contacted the American Financial Service’s Association’s National Title Solutions Forum Committee to spread the word about plans for this relief program and to encourage lender participation.
AFSA officials noted that it passed on the VTR's request to all its vehicle finance members.
"Dealing with losses from a natural disaster and sorting through mounds of paperwork can be challenging, to say the least," said AFSA director of communications Karen Klugh in an interview with Auto Remarketing Friday.
"AFSA and its members are proud to play at least some part in easing the burden of the victims of the Texas wildfires," she continued.
AFSA membership includes approximately 85 percent of all companies that provide new-vehicle financing in the U.S.
Commenting on the relief program, one lender stressed, “If we can help one victim in Texas, this program will be worth it.”