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Frequently asked questions

Affected by Coronavirus?

If you find you are experiencing temporary financial difficulty as a result of coronavirus and are concerned about making payments on your loan because of this we can help. We will look to offer the best payment solution for you, including full or partial payment deferrals for an initial period of up to 3 months.

What is a repayment deferral?

This is when you temporarily stop making some or all of your contractual loan payments. After these payment deferrals, your monthly payments will start again as before. We will be in touch with you to reach the best solution for you to make up the payments you have missed. Your loan is a fixed term agreement so no additional interest will be applied providing the loan is completed before the original end date. Any amounts outstanding after this date will be subject to interest from that date as per the terms and conditions of the Hire Purchase Agreement.

Am I eligible for a repayment deferral?

You could be eligible if:

  • Your income has been affected by the ongoing coronavirus situation.
  • You expect this to only be a temporary problem.
  • Your account is currently up to date.

If you are experiencing longer-term financial difficulties (for example if you are already behind in your loan payments), we need to speak to you to help us find the best solution for your situation.

When will my payments stop and begin again?

We will do our best to start your payment deferral as soon as we have received your request, otherwise you will still need to make your next payment. We will confirm your request in an email. If you pay by Direct Debit, we will stop collecting your payments when the payment deferral begins. Please do not cancel your Direct Debit. If your payment is due within 5 working days and this will cause you financial difficulty, please contact us on 01244 200793.

Can I ask for a repayment deferral if I am currently in arrears or have an arrangement on my account?

You will need to call us to talk about your situation and we will assess each individual situation.

What happens if I am approved for a repayment deferral?

If you pay by Direct Debit we will stop collecting your payments when the payment deferral begins, and contact you to remind you when we will start collecting payments again. Please do not cancel your Direct Debit.

Will a payment deferral affect my credit file?

A payment deferral will not be recorded as a worsening status on your credit file. However, lenders may take into account other information when making future lending decisions, for example information you provide in your application or bank account information.

Will I be charged interest on my loan agreement whilst the repayment deferral is in place?

Your loan is a fixed term agreement so no additional interest will be applied providing the loan is completed before the original end date. Any amounts outstanding after this date will be subject to interest from that date as per the terms and conditions of the Hire Purchase Agreement.

How will this affect my loan agreement at the end of the payment deferral period?

We will ask you to get in touch when your payment deferral ends to discuss what your new monthly payment amount will be and the date payments will begin again. We will ensure that any arrangement for payment is suitable for your needs.

I am coming to the end of my 3 month payment deferral, what happens now?

If you have a payment deferral that is coming to the end of the 3 month period we will aim to contact you around 20 days before your next payment is due to discuss the next steps.

If you are able to, you should resume making your normal contractual payments. You should also think about how you want to pay the amounts that have been deferred, please see ‘What are my options to bring my account back up to date again?’ below.

If you continue to experience temporary financial difficulty related to coronavirus and cannot resume full payments immediately there are a range of options we may be able to provide including a further full or partial payment deferral for a maximum of three additional months. Any such deferral will report on your credit file in the same way as the initial period. We may ask you for additional evidence of your circumstances, as well as income and expenditure information to ensure any arrangement we make with you is the right one for your circumstances.

If your circumstances do not fall within the above categories but you are still experiencing financial difficulty please contact us to discuss your options. If we do not hear from you we will assume you are able to resume normal payments.

I took a payment deferral but no longer need it.

If you want to end your payment deferral and restart payments sooner, or if you still have a question about your payment deferral, you can contact us by clicking on the “Contact” tab at the top of this page or alternatively you can call our payments team directly on 01244 200793.

I have Voluntary Terminated my agreement with you and am waiting for my vehicle to be collected – what should I do?

We are able to collect your vehicle but must maintain social distancing, so there are some things you have to do:

  • You must complete the G3 ‘Go-appraise’ app – find at the App Store for IOS or Android on Google – Voluntary Termination – Self appraisal information
    • The collection agent will call you to advise they have arrived rather than approach your door
    • Both the customer and the agent will be required to hand wash / sanitise
    • The agent will expect you to place the keys and all paperwork (service history, V5 etc.) in the vehicle (preferably in an envelope) only when the collection agent has arrived
    • You will not be asked to sign anything, but it might be possible for an agent to record (on body worn cameras or a telephone) the consent of the customer to take the vehicle or to acknowledge any damage

Your agreement will be placed on hold until the vehicle is sold. We will also ensure that there is no negative impact on your credit file, however, if your vehicle is not in ‘retail’ condition, you may be charged for the equivalent cost of repairs to return the vehicle to ‘retail’ condition.

If you have advised us of your intention to terminate your contract, and we have confirmed acceptance, you must stop using the vehicle immediately.

You will need to keep the vehicle safe and in your possession until we collect it.

You may declare your vehicle as SORN – not use and store in a secure place, off the public highway, do not change the owner as this affects the re-sale value.

If you are unable to do this you must continue to insure the vehicle.

When you told us that you wanted to terminate your agreement we wrote to you explaining how this works. In this letter we explained if any further payments would need to be made. If you were told that you would need to pay further sums you will still need to pay this. We will contact you about this AFTER the vehicle has been collected and sold.

If you have any questions please email adept.agent@smfmotor.com

I have deferred all or some of my payments, but have received a Notice of Sums in Arrears letter, what does this mean?

When we granted a payment deferral we did not change the terms of your contract, we provided a concession which enabled you to defer payments to a later date. As this was not a change to the contract we still need to send you certain notices. A Notice of Sums in Arrears is legally required under Section 86B of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

A Notice of Sums in Arrears is a statement sent to you to let you know that you have missed contractually due payments under the agreement. It is issued when an account is the sum of two contractual payments in arrears. Commonly, this would mean two monthly payments having been missed. A Notice of Sums in Arrears will tell you how much you need to pay to bring your account back in order.

If we’ve already granted you a payment holiday, and you were up to date with your payments before we granted it, please call 01244 200793 to discuss possible options for bringing your account up to date within your original agreement term to avoid additional interest accruing following the original end date of your agreement.

Additionally, if you had missed payments before we granted you a payment holiday and we’ve not discussed how you should repay these please get in touch with us on 01244 200793 to discuss bespoke payment options.

What are my options to bring my account back up to date again?

While we will agree something specific with you, taking into account your circumstances and affordability, we are asking customers to consider these options as potential solutions. If you repay your deferred payments by the original end date of the loan we will not charge you any additional interest.


Option 1

Short Term Solution
If you have less than 12 months to go on your agreement we suggest you consider adding the missed payments onto the end of the term, but you can make additional payments at any time. You will pay interest on the extended payments from the original end date.


Option 2

Medium Term Solution
If you have longer than 12 months to the end of your agreement you may wish to increase the monthly payments to repay the deferred payments within the original term of the loan. To calculate this you take the total of the missed payments and divide by the number of remaining payments and add that to your regular payment. We only want you to take this option if you are confident you can afford the additional payments. No additional interest or related fees will be charged during the original term of the loan and you can make additional payments at any time.

Alternatively, you could make additional payments of what you can afford on top of your monthly payment amount to reduce how much is left after the original term and in turn reduce the amount of interest you are charged.

We may ask you to complete an income and expenditure form to assess whether the arrangement is affordable for you.


Option 3

Default Solution
If you don’t want or can’t afford to take Option 2 then we will extend the agreement by the number of monthly payments you have missed. You will pay interest on the extended payments from the original end date. You can make additional payments at any time.

How do I set up repayments after my payment deferral?

Whatever option is best for you, we will do everything we can to make the process as straight forward as possible. We will also let you know what’s happening so you know where you stand with us.
Please contact us straight away to discuss your options on 01244 200793.

What is a Settlement Figure?

At any time during your agreement you can request a settlement figure. This is the sum needed to pay off the agreement in a lump sum resulting in you owning the vehicle outright. With every settlement figure there is be a rebate of interest calculated. Settlement figures are valid for 1 month after the date of the request, or up until your next due date if specified. We then calculate your settlement figure by taking the current capital element of the balance outstanding, adding the interest due up to the agreed settlement date, the rest therefore being rebated.

The settlement figure includes all fees and incurred charges throughout your agreement. If settled by the agreed upon date the vehicle ownership will transfer to yourself once the funds have cleared and the account closed.

Can I Voluntary Surrender my vehicle?

You have the right to voluntary surrender your vehicle at any point during your agreement. The process is as follows: You will need to submit in writing that you wish to voluntary surrender your vehicle in its current condition. You will then receive instructions from us on where the car will be sold. The site in which the car is dropped off will be specified by us (within reason to your location) or can be collected but a collection fee of up to £200 will be incurred. This fee will be added to the remaining balance on your account.

Once the car is sold at auction, the sales price will be deducted from your outstanding balance on the agreement. After this an affordable arrangement will be agreed upon to settle the outstanding amount.

Can I Part Exchange?

To part exchange your vehicle you will first need to contact us to obtain a settlement figure, this is the sum needed to clear your current finance agreement. Once you have this figure you can then approach any dealership or car sales garage that offers part exchange and sell the current vehicle to them for the price of the settlement figure, which they will need to pay directly to us.

If there is a difference between the price the dealership, or garage, will offer for your car and the price of the settlement figure then you will be liable for that sum. The shortfall will need to be cleared before being accepted by ourselves for more finance, as we do not accept applications with negative equity.

I have a new agreement and want to know when my first payment is due?

You can find the due date of your payments in your Welcome Pack and we will give you a call to confirm this information.  First payments must be made within 45 days of you signing your credit agreement.  The first payment to your agreement must be made from the verified bank account that you provided us with on your application for credit.

I would like to make a change to my Payment Date

If you would like to change the date on which your payment is due to be taken, you can ask us to change it to a more convenient date.  We don’t charge you to make a change but there are a few restrictions:

  • You may request a payment date change as many times as you wish, however payments must be made within the calendar month they are due
  • Any change must be requested at least 5 days before the next payment is due to allow us time to process your request

If you would like to request a change to your payment date please click the button below and complete and submit the form.

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    I have changed my bank account for payments, what do I need to do?

    Please let us know your new bank details as soon as possible so we can continue to receive your payments and prevent your agreement falling into arrears.  You can let us know by calling us on 01244 200746 and we will be happy to set up the new direct debit over the phone.

    How can I update my personal details?

    The accuracy and security of your personal data is really important to us.  We can make changes to your contact details and address online but changes of name will mean that you need to write to us with a little more information.

    To advise us of a change of address or contact numbers please click the button below

      Changes requested

      Please complete for any changes you would like us to make



      Unfortunately, we are unable to accept a name change request online.  Please write to us at the address below advising us of your old and new name and providing a copy of any relevant supporting documentation such as a Deed Poll notification, marriage certificate or Decree Nisi/Absolute.  Please do not send us original documentation.  We also require an example of your old and new signature for our records.

      Can I pay a lump sum off my agreement and what effect will it have?

      You can partially or fully settle your agreement at any time by letting us know that you wish to do so and paying off some or all of the amount that you owe. It is possible to reduce the length of your agreement in this way. The minimum lump sum that we can accept is £100. Please click on the button below to obtain a quote for full settlement or to make a partial settlement.

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        My vehicle has been stolen – what should I do?

        The first thing you should do is to contact the police and report the theft so that you can obtain a crime number which will be required by your insurance company prior to settling any claim.  Until the insurance company has resolved the matter you will need to carry on making your normal monthly payments and it may also be necessary to continue to pay the difference between the insurance settlement and any remaining outstanding monies owed against the agreement to settle the account in full.

        My vehicle was in an accident and has been written off – what should I do?

        Until the insurance company has resolved the matter you will need to continue making your normal monthly payments and it may also be necessary to continue to pay the difference between the insurance settlement and any remaining outstanding monies owed against the agreement to settle the account in full.

        Can I voluntary terminate my Hire Purchase agreement?

        Under section 99 of the Consumer Credit act 1974, you have the right to a voluntary termination of your agreement with us once you are financially half way through. In order to do this the car must be in a good and saleable condition, as per section 100(4) of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. Clause 5.2 of the Hire Purchase Agreement states that ‘good repair and condition’ includes a valid MOT, V5, Service History and at least 1 key.

        If there are any repairs needed on the vehicle you may be liable for these rectification costs. We will take into consideration general wear and tear against the age of the vehicle using the CAP HPI guide. The assessment of the vehicle will be done by an independent third party at the auction site.

        The site in which the car is dropped off will be specified by us (within reason to your location) or can be collected but a collection fee of up to £200 will be incurred. This fee will need to be paid in advance.

        To begin the process you will need to let us know in writing that you wish to voluntary terminate. From there you will be sent an information pack via post, unless you specify that an email is preferable. In the pack, it will contain all the information on the next steps which includes our G3 Self-Appraisal App instructions, the returning of the vehicle and the costed appraisal.

        Voluntary Termination – Self appraisal information

        I am experiencing financial difficulties, can I reduce my repayments?

        We always consider requests for reduced payments on an individual basis.

        We are happy to consider reducing your repayments and whilst we look at every case on an individual basis, there are a number of factors we take into consideration before any decision is made. These factors include:

        • Type of Agreement
        • Reason for financial difficulties
        • Affordability

        Printable Income & Expenditure form

        Can I nominate someone else to talk to you about my agreement?

        Our responsibilities under the Data Protection laws mean that we are only allowed to speak to you about your finance agreements. However, if you would like to nominate a third party to speak on your behalf you can arrange this with us.

         

        There are a number of ways you can nominate a third party. These include:

        • Completing a Third Party Authorisation form. You can either email it to us at collections.admin@smfmotor.com or you can post it to us at the address on the website.
        • Over the telephone
        • Sending in an original, or certified copy of a Power of Attorney

        I am struggling with my finances, where can I find help?

         StepChange Debt Charity

        They’re the UK’s leading provider of genuinely free and independent debt advice, and can offer extra support to their most vulnerable clients, through their dedicated advocacy team.

        Free phone: 0800 138 1111

        Website: www.stepchange.org

        National Debtline

        Monday to Friday: 9am – 8pm

        Saturday: 9.30am – 1pm

        Free phone: 0808 808 4000

        Website: www.nationaldebtline.org

        PayPlan

        Monday to Friday: 8am – 3pm

        Saturday: 9am – 3pm

        Free phone: 0800 280 2816

        Website: https://www.payplan.com/

        Citizens Advice 

        Website: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

         

        What happens if I enter into an IVA or declare bankruptcy?

        As the hire purchase agreement is secured against the vehicle you could not include this into your Individual Voluntary Arrangement (otherwise known as an IVA), Trust Deed, Sequestration Order or Bankruptcy. Only once the vehicle is returned making the debt, in effect, unsecured, could you add the remaining balance into the debt solution.

        By entering into a debt solution you are in breach of our Terms and Conditions and a notice of termination will be issued to you. This means that we would terminate your financial agreement with us and could take back possession of the vehicle.

        We appreciate that these decisions are not made lightly and that retaining your vehicle may be important to you, we are willing to work with you to keep hold of your vehicle if regular monthly payments are maintained and the account remains up to date. Please call our payments team on 01244 200793 to discuss if you are going to be entering into a debt solution.

        There is something else I need help with

        If you need help with something that is not listed in our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) please use this area to let us know how we can help you.

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