With guidelines to contain the spread of COVID-19 also suffocating regular activity of financing and retailing vehicles, the auto-finance industry continues to make adjustments to shore up their businesses and maintain contact and services to customers.
Cherokee Media Group gathered together the latest information to surface since Monday. To add your company’s operational update to this news roundup, send a message to email@example.com.
Here is the latest rundown:
In addressing what we can and must do at this unique time, defi SOLUTIONS has begun seeking input from our clients on how we can best serve them at this time.
Right now, and as always, the priority of defi is to ensure the health and safety of the individuals, companies, and industries that comprise and support the defi COMMUNITY of lenders, partners and defi team members. We are continuing to maintain operational readiness and to support the important work of our clients as they continue to address the needs of our communities at large. Led by our Executive Leadership Team and informed by our Pandemic Preparedness Task Force, defi SOLUTIONS is monitoring closely the COVID-19 situation, domestically and internationally, to assess evolving risks and best prepare to respond accordingly.
As a first step beyond maintaining our systems and processes, we are offering our defi DIRECT product — waving all implementation and transaction costs — to those clients whose type of lending and current processes allow them to quickly implement and begin using.
What is defi DIRECT?
defi DIRECT lets lenders reach borrowers wherever they are, whenever they may be shopping – which right now means from the safety and comfort of their homes. Lenders create a personalized application that looks and feels the way they want their businesses to look and feel to consumers and which passes on the data and documents needed to return decisions to the borrowers in seconds.
According to defi client Landon Hammond, SVP, First Financial Bank:
“We saw growth of $7 million in one month after launching defi’s DIRECT product solutions. We couldn’t be happier. Implementation was easy. Getting our processes up and running was simpler than we expected. We’re now better able to attract new borrowers as well as support our existing customers thanks to defi SOLUTIONS services and team."
We’ve been saying “now more than ever” for a long time, but this is truly a “now more than ever situation.” It’s imperative that lenders are available to borrowers and able to make a fast, right decision for their businesses.
Our first-step solution:
We're giving them defi DIRECT with free implementation (for those not currently using) and no transaction fees (for all clients) though June 30th.
As with every day, we continue to maintain our products and processes, take care of our clients and team members, and continue to look for opportunities to positively impact our community.
DRN continues to closely monitor the widespread impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The safety and well-being of our employees, customers, partners and suppliers remain our top priority. Additionally, we are committed more than ever to supporting the critical communications, safety and security needs of our public safety and enterprise customers during this time.
A highly skilled team has been put in place and is closely monitoring the situation around the world. We have taken measures to manage the virus’ impact by the following guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and local governments. These measures include:
Working and Gathering Remotely
We have advised employees and contractors to work from home if they can. Our staff will utilize video-conferencing tools to stay productive and connected with colleagues, partners, and customers. Those with responsibilities that require them to be on-site to support the mission-critical efforts of our customers have received more information about performing their duties during this time.
Heavily Restricted Travel
Employees have been instructed to avoid domestic and international air travel, which currently unless it is business-critical, and all air travel requires leadership approval.
Avoiding Large In-Person Meetings and Gatherings
Employees have been asked to avoid attending large in-person meetings and gatherings. Further, we have canceled our in-person corporate events and will opt for virtual events and product showcases instead. Our staff will utilize video-conferencing tools to stay productive and connected with colleagues, partners and customers.
Implementing Extra Cleaning and Hygiene Measures
We have implemented are implementing additional cleaning procedures at our facilities and continue to share guidance from public health authorities to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Business Continuity Planning
We are committed to supporting our public safety and enterprise customers during this time, as we do during natural disasters and other widespread emergencies. Business continuity plans we already have in place are being expanded, so we can adjust to changing circumstances and restrictions while striving to ensure we can continue to operate and meet the varied needs of our customers. We encourage our customers to plan ahead and contact their account managers with questions.
It has been said that adversity is the true test of character. It’s easy to be well mannered and soft spoken on beautiful, sunny days when you don’t have a care in the world. But what we say and how we behave when times are tough speak volumes about who we really are.
At Exeter, not unlike companies across the nation and around the world, our most-recent test of character began about two weeks ago. The number of cases of COVID-19 was increasing and health concerns were growing. So, we joined many other organizations in announcing that we would immediately begin taking steps to protect the people who matter most to us.
On March 12, we initiated steps to have our employees work from home. Despite the challenges of implementing such a step, we told our team members that we were doing what we could to take care of them so they could continue taking care of our dealers and customers.
Today, nearly all of our employees are working remotely — still supporting auto dealerships, providing service to our nearly 400,000 customers and helping one another operate our business. It has taken flexibility and patience to get to this point, and candidly, we’re not all fully comfortable with everything yet. It is becoming the new normal, though, and I know it won’t take long for us to get used to our new routines.
Through it all, I have been encouraged by the commitment and ingenuity our employees have demonstrated as we find new ways to take care of our various stakeholders. Our Dealer Sales Managers are using Facetime, Skype and other technology to keep in touch with their dealers. Our Customer Service Representatives are taking calls at their kitchen tables. And our corporate team members are holding what seem like record numbers of conference calls to collaborate and manage our business!
I know it isn’t easy for anyone, least of all the people we serve. Yet, as an organization, we are adapting and adjusting — and will continue to do so for as long as it takes. Our Exeter team remains focused and ready to help, and we are grateful for the opportunity to work with you and be of service to your customers.
General Motors announced that it intends to draw down approximately $16.0 billion from its revolving credit facilities. This is a proactive measure to increase GM’s cash position and preserve financial flexibility in light of current uncertainty in global markets resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will supplement the company’s strong cash position of approximately $15 billion to $16 billion expected at the end of March.
“We are aggressively pursuing austerity measures to preserve cash and are taking necessary steps in this changing and uncertain environment to manage our liquidity, ensure the ongoing viability of our operations and protect our customers and stakeholders,” said Mary Barra, GM chairman and CEO. “Over the past several years, we have made necessary, strategic decisions and structural changes that have transformed the company and strengthened the business, better positioning us for downturns.”
In addition, GM Financial has strong liquidity and capitalization. GMF had $24 billion of liquidity at the end of 2019 and expects to end the first quarter with similar levels of liquidity. Its liquidity level is targeted to support at least six months of cash needs, including new originations, without access to capital markets. GM Financial is managing below its target leverage ratios.
“GM Financial has prepared for times like this by maintaining a strong financial position and ready access to cash. We are confident that we will be able to navigate the challenges created by this environment without capital from GM,” said Dan Berce, GM Financial president and CEO.
GM is also suspending its 2020 guidance due to uncertainty around the business impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The legal team at Hudson Cook is increasing its Compliance Coffee Break series, adding more webinar sessions to address the ongoing and future impact of legal issues related to COVID-19.
The next session is set for Friday, focused on Bank Regulatory Compliance in the Shadow of COVID-19 and featuring Tom Quinn and Ryan Stinneford.
The next two webinars will discuss Payment Accommodations and Modifications and include Patty Covington, Anastasia Caton and Robert Gage. The fourth will be on Fintech Innovation Opportunities in the COVID-19 Era, with Cathy Brennan.
More details about the sessions as well as registration can be completed on this website.
Open Lending’s top priority during this time is to ensure the health and safety of our customers, community and employees. As more cases of COVID-19 appear globally and locally, we are relying on virtual meetings and our employees are working from home. That said, we are still fully functional with business taking place as usual. Our technology and infrastructure are designed to function securely in this remote fashion. We have tested our business continuity plan, and we will continue to serve our customers with the first-class service they expect.
While the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic are unprecedented, Open Lending’s Lenders Protection program was built to weather adversity. Our 20 years of proprietary loan performance data includes periods of similar economic downturn. During the great recession, a time when most financial institutions reverted to conservative lending practices, institutions using the Lenders Protection program where able to continue lending to their most vulnerable members.
To circumvent potential risk related to the current economic environment, Open Lending has already implemented risk mitigation changes to the Lenders Protection program. These modest revisions are intended to allow our clients to continue serving the automotive finance needs of their borrowers and protect the institution from the additional risk we foresee related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are grateful for the opportunity to continue serving the under-served in these trying times and encourage you to visit our website for more information.
We cannot avoid the news about COVID-19 and the uncertainty it is bringing to our lives. This virus has caused disruptions to not only our daily lives but, most certainly, the collateral recovery industry. In these challenging times, the compliance team at RISC would like to do our part and help support the industry agents on the frontlines. We realize that the pandemic and its economic impacts will slow assignments significantly. However, it is important to remember that this will not last for long. If we can find ways to weather the storm then we know there is going to be a significant workload in the near future. In fact, it is realistic to say there will be more work than we all can handle. As an industry, we need to help each other survive, prepare, and be ready for the favorable times to come.
To support the agent community, RISC will waive all membership fees including the CARS education subscription fees within the membership for current and new RISC Pro Members starting immediately through the end of May. Billing will resume the first week of June 2020. Our hope is that this will give some financial relief to agents and the chance to use the downtime to get staff trained and ready for when business turns back on.
RISC Pro is a membership for Agents that provides the ability to:
• To manage and store compliance documentation on the MBSi VendorConnect platform. Lenders can see the status and assign more efficiently using RecoveryConnect.
• Showcase a compliance profile and company listing in front of 40+ Lenders and Forwarders that are on the MBSi VendorConnect / RISC Pro platform.
• Quickly share a compliance profile directly with the Lenders on the platform or outside the MBSi platform via email.
• Have unlimited staff access to the CARS National Certification, Continuing Education, and Drivers Safety Certification for a small monthly "pay as you go" subscription rather than the full upfront certification cost.
Membership billing is currently on hold and will begin again the first week of June. There is NO cancellation fee. If agencies decide to cancel the RISC Pro Membership, any CARS certification completed between now and then will require you to pay in full to retain a valid CARS certificate. More details can be found in the RISC Pro Service Agreement at Registration.
For more information, visit www.RISCus.com or call (813) 712-7535.
All of us at RouteOne and MaximTrak want you to know that we remain committed to doing our best to serve you in the manner you deserve while observing best practices and guidance from authorities during the COVID-19 pandemic. We know you are doing everything you can to serve your customers best and we are, too.
Safety of Employees and Customers
We have been implementing measures to promote the health and safety of all of our employees and customers for some time now. Based on guidance received from the State of Michigan, the Center for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization, the following is a partial list of RouteOne actions we have implemented that may temporarily change how we support you:
1. We have restricted all domestic business travel.
2. Work from home protocols are in place, and we have instructed our staff to do everything they can to perform all business activities via phone, web-sharing, e-mail, etc.
Stability of Operations
We have confirmed resourcing and contingency plans to ensure continuity of operations with our hosting team and service desk.
Relief To Our Customers To Enable Remote Processes
RouteOne’s core credit application and eContracting solutions have always been and will continue to be offered at no charge to dealers. Additionally, RouteOne offers supplemental subscription products. These products are on a month-to-month basis, and a dealer can cancel and reactivate at any time, as circumstances change, allowing dealerships to administer their business as needed if forced to close or reduce operations because of mandates or business conditions related to COVID-19.
Outlined below are the actions RouteOne is taking, now through May 31 to further support dealers ability to transact with consumers online and from remote locations:
• Online Credit Applications: All RouteOne Digital Retail subscriptions reduced by 50%. These tools help engage with customers remotely, allowing them to submit lead information, apply for credit, and provide customer quotes.
• Menu Presentations: MaximTrak GO is available at no charge to MaximTrak Menu subscribers. MaximTrak GOTM allows dealer users to deliver a menu presentation to a consumer’s mobile device for the selection of protection products.
• Remotely eSign Contract Documents - Remote eSigning fees are waived. And, as always, RouteOne never charges for access to its base eContracting solution. Remote eSigning allows a consumer to securely review and electronically sign an eContract, along with associated RouteOne-generated ancillary documents, at a time and place of their choosing. RouteOne’s eContracting product is integrated to 100+ finance sources, with 25 offering Remote eSign support.
These measures will help ensure that a dealer’s consumers can complete as much of the transaction as possible from the convenience of their home or location of choice. RouteOne tools allow for self-administered flexibility for dealership staff to access the consumer’s information from RouteOne’s Deal Manager, either from the dealership or home office. RouteOne is also offering bi-weekly web training sessions on remote tools along with our general eContracting training sessions.
Digital Retail and Remote eSigning economic relief will automatically be reflected in your RouteOne billing statement. No action required by the dealer. MaximTrak Menu subscribers interested in enabling a remote menu experience with MaximTrak GO can reach out to support at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please rest assured that we continue to monitor the situation and address our practices as needed. Ultimately, we are here to help in whatever ways we can to keep your business operating during these extraordinary times.
We thank you for the opportunity to serve you. You can reach any of the RouteOne Business Development team at https://www.routeone.com/salesteam, and we invite you to contact our leadership any time we can be of service.
Santander Consumer USA
Santander Consumer USA and Chrysler Capital announced several initiatives to support customers and colleagues as the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) affects our communities.
What we are doing for our customers: We are taking proactive steps to assist affected customers who are suffering financial hardship.
Our Customer Assistance Team is providing additional customer support, including:
—Expanded payment deferrals
—Late charge waivers
We are keeping customers informed about this evolving situation in several ways.
Santander Consumer USA customers should call (888) 222-4227 or log on to SantanderConsumerUSA.com for Coronavirus-related inquiries.
Chrysler Capital customers should call (855) 563-5635 or log on to ChryslerCapital.com for Coronavirus-related inquiries.
What we are doing for our dealers:
We have partnered with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to launch new incentive programs Including:
90 days to first payment on select FCA models
0% Annual Percentage Rate for 84 months on select 2019/2020 FCA models
Our business continuity contingency plans have allowed credit analysts, funders and other essential staff to work remotely, limiting the impact to dealers in the event we are required to close a site.
What we are doing for our employees:
The health and well-being of our colleagues and customers is a top priority for SC and Chrysler Capital. We are doing our part to help curb the virus spread and have instituted work from home and other dispersed work locations to support greater social distance. We also are taking additional steps to ensure a safe and healthy work environment for our colleagues including:
Increasing the frequency and scope of the cleaning protocols at all of our facilities
Eliminating non-essential travel
Established a Temporary Emergency Paid Leave Program that provides employees with up to 80 hours of additional paid time off to use – either continuously or intermittently, and before exhausting other paid time off – to assist with dependent care needs related to the Coronavirus
Providing $250 a week in pay premiums for frontline customer support workers to help defray additional costs incurred while coming to work during the pandemic
“During this unprecedented time, Santander Consumer and Chrysler Capital customers, employees, dealers and partners need our support and the assurance that we will assist them in the days ahead,” said Mahesh Aditya, president and CEO of Santander Consumer USA. “We believe that we have a responsibility to take the steps we are announcing today, and we will continue to work with all our stakeholders as we face the Coronavirus together.”
The SC leadership team, along with the Santander US leadership team, continues to monitor the situation closely and is following guidance from relevant authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and various state and local governments.
Wells Fargo announced additional comprehensive steps to help customers, communities and employees grappling with the impact of COVID-19. The company has suspended residential property foreclosure sales, evictions and involuntary auto repossessions. Additionally, the Wells Fargo Foundation will increase its charitable donations to $175 million to help address food, shelter, small business and housing stability, as well as to provide help to public health organizations.
“The coronavirus is disrupting the daily lives of many people around the world, and Wells Fargo has taken — and will continue to take — the steps needed to support our customers, employees and communities during this difficult time,” CEO Charlie Scharf said. “We will continue to evaluate this fluid situation and take additional action as necessary.”
Wells Fargo is taking several other steps to meet the needs of customers, operate safely and effectively and reduce the risk to employees and customers, recognizing that the company provides critical and essential services to the stability of the economy and the financial wellbeing of customers.
Meeting customer needs
Wells Fargo is working on a daily basis to put measures in place to support the needs of customers impacted by COVID-19 in the most effective ways possible. Wells Fargo is suspending residential property foreclosure sales, evictions and involuntary automobile repossessions. The company also is offering fee waivers, payment deferrals and other expanded assistance for credit card, auto, mortgage, small business and personal lending customers who contact the company.
Additionally, Wells Fargo continues to take the action needed to ensure it can best serve customers, while also prioritizing employee and customer safety. The company is temporarily closing some branches, adjusting operating hours of branches, relocating employees to busier branches and utilizing drive up instead of lobbies where possible. Customers can check Wells Fargo’s branch locator for ATM locations and the status of branches and can use mobile and online banking tools almost anywhere 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Across the company, including in branches, contact centers and corporate locations, the company is taking significant actions to ensure safety, including enhancing social distancing measures, staggering staff and shifts, enabling work from home for as many employees as possible and implementing an enhanced cleaning program.
Wolters Kluwer Lien Solutions
Wolters Kluwer Lien Solutions has been closely monitoring developments of the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, including information and guidance published by healthcare authorities around the globe.
Wolters Kluwer Lien Solutions has well-established business continuity plans in place to help us carry on business operations. Based on the information currently available, we are being proactive regarding the health and safety of our customers, our employees and their families.
In this unprecedented time, we remain a trusted partner in handling auto titling work. Wolters Kluwer Lien Solutions is committed to providing our customers with the same high level of service they have come to expect from us.
We will continue to focus our efforts on minimizing disruption to our customers’ work while providing timely status updates. Our team of experts is closely monitoring each DMV for any closures or changes in operations. When DMV closures do occur, we work with our customers to help mitigate risk and come up with a workaround or an alternative plan.
We are here to help not only with your titling needs, but to provide support and guidance with the ever-changing landscape of DMV closures or limited servicing. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us here.