Eligible for Honda Finance Settlement for Overcharging Minorities? Here's How to Get Your Money
Corporation must give $24 million in monetary relief to minority borrowers it overcharged for loans
In July 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) settled an action against Honda Finance, which had been charged with overcharging some minority borrowers for auto loans between January 1, 2011 and July 14, 2015. The company must now provide $24 million in monetary relief to the affected borrowers.
The company's settlement administrator will be mailing packets to identified borrowers over the next few days containing instructions for participating in the settlement, i.e. getting their portion of the $24 million. Eligible consumers should look for a packet in their mail that explains the specific minimum amount they may be eligible for. They should note that their actual payment amount may or may not be greater, depending on the number of eligible borrowers who participate in the settlement.
Honda Finance was found to have charged thousands of African-American, Hispanic, Asian, or Pacific Islander borrowers higher discretionary markups for loans for vehicles that it charged non-Hispanic Caucasian borrowers who were in similar circumstances. All parties agreed on the settlement.
To receive their allotted payment, eligible borrowers should follow the instructions contained in the packet, including signing and returning any required forms. These forms may be returned in several ways: postage prepaid mail, email, online submission on the administrator's website, or fax. Required forms must be submitted by January 31, 2017; if an eligible consumer submits his or her form later, he or she will not receive the payment.
Consumers who believe they are eligible for the payment but have not received a packet by October 17, 2016, have a couple of options: either call the settlement administrator at (855) 891-9278 or fill out a claim eligibility form and submit it to the administrator by mail, email, or fax.
Consumers should also be aware that participating in the settlement is 100 percent free. Scammers often arise and target consumers getting settlement money when large numbers are participating in the settlement. Such people may attempt to charge a fee or steal personal information. Consumers should know that, while they can discuss the matter with a lawyer, it is not necessary to hire one or pay anyone any kind of fee in order to participate in this settlement.
Finally, as part of the settlement, the settlement administrator, the CFPB, and the DOJ may contact eligible consumers. Any other person who makes contact claiming to be related to this settlement should be treated as a scammer and reported to the settlement administrator.