Tonia Delossantos is a behavioral tech who was laid off from her job when schools closed.
She’s out of cash and can’t make her car payment.
“They’re just on top of me about it. Come up with the money, come up with the money!”
But her lender,CarHop Finance, wants its payment now.
“I don’t expect to be excused from my payments. You have to pay those,” says Delossantos.
“It’s not like I’m saying I don’t have to pay. I just need it postponed until I can,” says Delossantos.
CarHop has used car lots in 15 states, with seven locations in Washington. The company’s lending arm stopped repossessions ten days ago. But it can shut off customers’ vehicles if a customer doesn’t respond to their messages.
“I get scared taking my nephews home. My mom goes – what are you going to do when they shut it off on your way to dropping them off? Then I’m going to be stuck in the car with kids-halfway to Marysville,” says Delossantos.
Tonia says she called CarHop as soon as she was laid off, and is only behind by one payment. In an email to the company, Tonia asked: “So I take it my car is going to shut off?”
The company’s answer: if we don’t have a good faith payment to set up an arrangement, yes.
“They’re just not caring when it comes to people who are struggling. They don’t care,” says Delossantos.
So I called CarHop Headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I asked the company to postpone shutoffs not just for Tonia, but for all of their customers nationwide.
They agreed on the phone. And just today the company sent a statement confirming our conversation.
“Unfortunately, in this one case, one employee threatened to use a device in a way that was a violation of our policies even before COVID-19. We have now paused all use of the devices until we can evaluate the effects of COVID-19 on our customers.”
And that’s a game changer.
Now Tonia and other customers can drive to help friends and family without the fear of being shut off during this stressful time.
I wanted to see what other major lenders are doing to help consumers. Many are offering to defer loan payments for up to 90 days. But you have to call and ask.
Here’s some of the other measures financial institutions are taking: