8 Lenders Offer Aid to Hurricane Harvey Borrowers

More than half a million vehicles in the Houston area are estimated to be a total loss — including motorcycles and other recreational vehicles — in the wake of flooding damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.

“Short-term motorcycle demand from impacted areas will be hurt,” Wells Fargo Securities analyst Tim Conder said in a published report. Demand will also affect off-road vehicles, but to a lesser degree, as the vehicles can be more utilized in recovery efforts.

As water levels recede, Houston and surrounding areas are assessing the damage and beginning to rebuild. As such, it’s not only auto lenders that are offering financial assistance to affected borrowers, but powersports lenders aim to help as well.

Here are eight powersports companies offering assistance to borrowers in the affected areas:

1. American Honda Finance Corp.

In response to the storm, the Honda regional offices in Dallas are “fully engaged in offering loan extensions to those in need of that assistance,” a Honda spokesman told Powersports Finance.

Honda is also “significantly curtailing collection activities in the areas,” and is working with its automobile and motorcycle dealerships that are in need of assistance, he added. “Additionally, the Honda family of companies in the U.S. has pledged $100,000 to the American Red Cross in support of Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.”

2. Sheffield Financial

Sheffield Financial is “actively working” to support its clients and others in the affected area, according to a statement sent to Powersports Finance.

Parent company BB&T Bank is waiving ATM fees for non-clients using the bank’s ATMs in the disaster counties; waiving fees for Texas clients using ATM and debit cards at other bank’s ATMS; and activating its disaster loan policy.

The bank is halting existing and new auto and recreational vehicle repossession orders in the emergency declaration counties, in addition to its usual compliance with the Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act for clients called to active-duty and complying with each state’s insurance department disaster declaration requirements.

“In terms of philanthropic donations, we’ve donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross of Greater Houston in Texas,” according to the statement. “We’ve also delivered two tractor trailers with approximately $60,000 of humanitarian supplies — one delivered to a community organization and the other for our associates in the area.”

Many BB&T branches and offices in the greater Houston area are currently closed, but the bank is “standing by to assist clients in this difficult time,” according to a company press release. The bank also encourages affected clients who may have incurred negative account balance, storm-related overdraft, or late loan payment fees to contact BB&T for assistance.

3. FreedomRoad Financial

FreedomRoad Financial is offering up to three payment deferrals, free of charge, to customers who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey, Executive Vice President and Managing Director Tom Collins told Powersports Finance.

The lender is also offering no credit bureau reporting for the next 90 days in the affected areas, he said.

“We’ve already processed 40 deferrals for customers [on Aug. 31 alone] and these customers have been very appreciative!” Collins said. “We will work with all of our customers in the hurricane area so that their powersports loan with us is the least of their worries and they can deal with this tragedy.”

4. MotoLease

MotoLease is offering affected lessees with several payment relief options, Managing Partner Emre Ucer told Powersports Finance, including payment extensions, redirecting billing statements, and arranging phone or online payments free of charge.

The powersports leasing provider also encourages lessees to contact MotoLease to discuss further assistance and their account options, Ucer said.

“We are concerned about the well-being and immediate safety of our lessees and dealers that have been displaced by this unprecedented storm,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in Texas and all across the Gulf Coast.”

5. American Cycle Finance

American Cycle Finance — formerly known as Ride Today Acceptance — is offer payment deferments to its customers, as well as waiving late charges, Ben Donnarumma, managing director of American Cycle, told Powersports Finance.

American Cycle Finance is a subprime motorcycle lender that entered into a merger agreement with Cardiff International Inc. in February 2017. The lender makes loans for 204 dealers as of January 2017.

6. Dealer Direct Financial

Dealer Direct Financial — the powersports division of Batesville, Ark.-based First Community Bank — also aims to help borrowers impacted by Harvey.

The lender is offering a two-month payment deferment with no fees for the affected customers, National Sales Manager Jon Vestal told Powersports Finance.

7. Speed Leasing

Speed Leasing, a powersports leasing startup that launched operations April 25, announced on its Facebook page that it is offering assistance to those in need.

“On behalf of Speed Leasing company, our thoughts go out to all those affected by Hurricane Harvey,” according to the Facebook post. “For our customers residing in the affected areas, please contact our office so we may assist with payment relief options.”

8. Chrome Capital

While no longer accepting new lease applications — as of September 2016 — the company, which now offers servicing to current lessees, is offering aid to those affected.

“Our thoughts are with everyone impacted by Hurricane Harvey and our customers who have friends and family there,” according to Chrome Capital’s website. “We are committed to doing everything we can to help our customers and associates recover from the catastrophic events that have occurred. We understand that this is an extraordinary time and we encourage you to contact us if you need assistance or have any questions.”

The company also encourages those who have not been directly impacted by Harvey to make donations to the following charities: American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, and JJ Watt’s Houston Flood Relief Fund.

For more insights like this, attend the third annual PowerSports Finance 2017 conference, which is slated for Oct. 24-25 at the Wynn Las Vegas. The full agenda can be viewed here. To learn more — or to register — for this year’s event, visit the PowerSports Finance 2017 homepage here.

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