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Coronavirus - Customer Support

The world continues to face unprecedented impacts from the 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The information below explains how we're helping our customers through this difficult time.

At Close Brothers Motor Finance, we've been doing everything that we can to support our customers through this difficult time, including the introduction of tailored payment plans, based upon individual circumstances. 

To continue helping our customers, we’ve compiled the information below, as well as a series of frequently asked questions. As the situation continues to evolve, we’ll keep this information up-to-date, with the latest ways we’re helping customers.

Guidance from the Financial Conduct Authority

On 25 November 2020, the FCA’s updated guidance for consumers experiencing payment difficulties as a result of coronavirus came into force. 

If you’ve been financially impacted by coronavirus, the options that are available to you will depend on whether you’ve previously received support from us during the coronavirus pandemic. The below points explain the guidance and support available:

  • If you’ve not taken out a Payment Pause (payment deferral) you will be eligible to apply for a Payment Pause of up to 6 months in total. 
  • If you’ve previously had a Payment Pause, you will be eligible to apply for a further Payment Pause, as long as the total length of the Payment Pause doesn’t exceed a maximum of 6 months in total.  
  • We may assess that a Payment Pause is not in your best interests. In such cases, we will instead provide tailored support appropriate to your circumstances.
  • If you’ve already had a 6 month Payment Pause, or are in arrears or receiving tailored support, you will not be eligible for a further Payment Pause. Instead, we will provide tailored support appropriate to your circumstances.  Options may include waiving late payment interest or charges, allowing reduced or deferred monthly repayments, deferring payment of arrears and repayment plans. 
     

Frequently Asked Questions

Below we’ve included a series of frequently asked questions that we hope will help you during this difficult time and we’ll continue to update these regularly as the situation continues to evolve. 

Yes, you should continue to make payments as you would normally. 

If you’re struggling financially please call us on 0333 321 6060 (select option one) to discuss your agreement.

Please call us on 0333 321 6060 (select option one) to discuss your individual circumstances and the options available to you.

Please contact us on 0333 321 6060 (select option one) to discuss your individual circumstances.

We recognise that these are difficult times for everyone, so don't worry. It’s important that you give us a call on 0333 321 6060 (select option one) to discuss the options available to you. 

The sooner you contact us, the better placed we’ll be to find the right support for you. 

Please don’t worry, we understand that this is a difficult time for everyone. Simply give us a call on 0333 321 6060 (select option one) to find out what options are available to you. 

The sooner you contact us, the better placed we’ll be to find the right support for you. 

If you've already agreed a payment plan with us and it will still be in force at the end of your agreement, we'll write to you 10 days before your agreement ends to explain the options available to you. If you're not in a payment plan and are unable to make you're remaining payments, please contact us on 0333 321 6060 (select option one).

If you're still able to make payments, we recommend that you do. However, if you find yourself in financial difficulty, you should contact us to discuss the options available to you, which will vary depending upon your individual circumstances.  

Once we've discussed the options available and agreed upon the most suitable approach based on your circumstances, we may suggest putting in place a Payment Pause, whereby your motor finance payments will be paused for an agreed period of time. 

If you're unsure whether a Payment Pause is right for you, the Navigator Tool, provided by the Money Advice Service, may be useful to you and can be accessed here.

Once your Payment Pause has ended, you’ll need to repay the value of suspended payments within the remaining term of your credit agreement, and usually within a maximum of 12 months. This would be paid on top of your normal monthly payment, which means your payments will increase until the total value of the suspended payments has been paid off. Or, if you’re able to, you could simply pay it all at once in a lump sum.

A Payment Pause does not extend the length of your credit agreement - the term remains the same. For example, if three monthly payments have been suspended, you won’t get an extra three months to repay them at the end your agreement.

As soon as we have agreed a Payment Pause with you, and whilst your arrangement remains in place, any fees and charges accrued during this period will be removed and your credit file won’t be negatively impacted.

If you have reason to believe your credit file has been negatively impacted, please contact us on 0333 321 6060 (select option 4).

To speak to any of the credit reference agencies, they can be contacted using the following details:
www.equifax.co.uk or 0800 014 2955
www.experian.co.uk or 0800 013 8888
www.transunion.com or 0330 024 7574

A Payment Pause does not extend the length of your credit agreement - the term remains the same. For example, if three monthly payments have been suspended, you won’t get an extra three months to repay them at the end your agreement.
 
Once your Payment Pause has ended, you’ll need to repay the value of suspended payments over an agreed period of time, within the remaining term of your credit agreement. This would be paid on top of your normal monthly payment, which means your payments will increase until the total value of the suspended payments has been paid. Or, if you’re able to, you could simply pay it all at once in a lump sum.

When agreeing a repayment plan, if you chose to spread the value of suspended payments over a period of months we may need to ask for information about your current income and expenditure. This is to help make sure you can afford the increased monthly payment.
 

Yes, of course. You can request a payment pause without this affecting any of the terms of our agreement with you, meaning the Guaranteed Minimum Future Value (GMFV) of the vehicle and the end date of your agreement will remain the same.

Towards the end of any agreed payment pause we will contact you to discuss resuming your monthly payments and how you are able to repay the value of the paused payments.

If you are struggling to meet your monthly payments or are concerned about payment of the final larger balloon amount, please call us on 0333 321 6060 and choose option 3. 

Alternatively, if you’re not sure whether pausing payments is right for you, the Money Advice Service has a useful tool to help navigate finance during COVID-19. You can access the tool here.

Your Payment Pause arrangement is forbearance for your current situation due to the circumstances of COVID-19 and we’re not waiving any rights we may have under the agreement. 

Under the Consumer Credit Act, you'll receive some statutory notices through the post as your account will technically show in arrears and could accrue fees and charges during this period. These notices will have titles such as ‘Default Notice’, ‘Notice of Sums in Arrears’ and ‘Notice of Default Sums’ – please ignore these if you have received them during your payment pause, there is no need for you to do anything.  

Whilst your payment pause remains in place, any fees and charges accrued during this period will be removed. Your credit file won’t be negatively impacted as a result.

Once your payment pause comes to an end, you’ll need to start your repayments again. We’ll contact you prior to the end of your Payment Pause to discuss options. If repayments are not made and you fall into arrears, fees and charges will accrue and your credit file will be updated to reflect this. Any subsequent notices received should not be ignored.   

Towards the end of your Payment Pause, we’ll contact you to discuss the options that are available to you.  

If we hold a valid email address for you, we’ll contact you at least 10 days before your Payment Pause is due to end. The email will invite you to complete an online form, where you’ll be presented with three options to repay the amount deferred during your Payment Pause:

  • Spread the amount due from your payment pause equally over 6 months and restart your regular monthly payments at the same time
  • Spread the amount due from your payment pause equally over 12 months and restart your regular monthly payments at the same time
  • Return to your regular monthly payments and discuss the amount due from your payment pause in 3 months’ time.

To complete the online form, you’ll need to have a few details to hand, these are:

  • Your agreement number
  • Your vehicle registration number
  • Your normal Direct Debit amount
  • The number of monthly payments you paused
  • The date your next monthly payment is due

Based on your individual circumstances, if the options presented are not suitable, you can ask us to call you to discuss the best way forward. 

If we don’t hold an email address for you, don’t worry, a member of our team will call you to discuss the options available seven days before your Payment Pause is due to end. 

If you chose to spread the value of suspended payments over a period of months, we may need to ask for information about your current income and expenditure. This is to help make sure you can afford the increased monthly payment and the repayments are tailored to your individual circumstances. If you've already completed an income and expenditure review with another financial services provider, we may be able to use this for your motor finance agreement.

We understand that you may be facing financial difficulties which could affect your ability to repay your finance agreement. 

We have useful information on our website, including free advice from independent organisations, which can be found here.

The FCA has a page on their website offering links to advice and tools for consumers dealing with financial difficulties during coronavirus, this can be found here.

There are numerous free and impartial debt advice bodies that are available to you. Details can be found here. 

The Financial Conduct Authority has also provided information for customers ‘Dealing with financial difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic’.

Additionally, the Money Advice Service has a new tool to help consumers navigate their finances in the wake of COVID-19 and manage the risk of finances worsening in the future. This free tool is designed to help you through situations such as redundancy and job loss, lowered income and temporary income drops. You can access the tool here.

Yes, you’ll still be able to hand back your vehicle. Just give us a call on 0333 321 6060 (select option 4) to make arrangements or alternatively please email us at [email protected] with your name, contact telephone number, agreement number and/or vehicle registration and the reason for your contact and we’ll get back to you.

 

 

Yes, you can still voluntarily terminate your agreement. Please either email us at [email protected] with your name, contact telephone number, agreement number and/or vehicle registration and the reason for your email, or call us on 01302 344 077 (select option one) and we will arrange collection of your vehicle.

 

 

In the first instance try calling the dealership to discuss this with them. They should be able to advise the most appropriate action.

 

Firstly, please contact the dealership to make alternative arrangements for collection. If following this you are still concerned and your finance agreement with us has commenced, then we would like to hear about this. We will work with you and your dealership to get your vehicle to you as quickly as possible. Please call us on 0333 321 6060 (select option 4).

 

 

We are experiencing higher call volumes and therefore the wait time may be a little longer than we’d ideally like, but please try calling us again on 0333 321 6060 and ensure you select option 1. 

Under the Consumer Credit Act, you'll receive some statutory notices through the post as your account will technically show in arrears and could accrue fees and charges during this period. These notices will have titles such as ‘Default Notice’, ‘Notice of Sums in Arrears’ and ‘Notice of Default Sums’ – please ignore these if you have received them during your payment pause, there is no need for you to do anything.  

Once your Payment Pause comes to an end, you’ll need to start your repayments again. We’ll contact you prior to the end of your Payment Pause to discuss your options. If you fall behind on your payment arrangement, fees and charges may start to accrue and you may receive further Notices from us.  These should not be ignored and require your attention.    

If you've registered for Close Online, you can manage your agreement 24/7. 

Request a settlement quote

Update your personal details

Choose a direct debit date that suits you

Access the statement of your account

Make a settlement payment

Settle any outstanding fees or charges

Login Register
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If you've registered for Close Online, you can manage your agreement 24/7. 

Request a settlement quote

Update your personal details

Choose a direct debit date that suits you

Access the statement of your account

Make a settlement payment

Settle any outstanding fees or charges

Login Register