A central part of our mission at the CFPB is to stand up for consumers and make sure they are treated fairly in the financial marketplace. One way we do this is by enforcing federal consumer financial laws and holding financial service providers accountable for their actions. In 2015, we found that between Jan. 1, 2011, and July 14, 2015, the American Honda Finance Corporation (Honda Finance or AHFC) overcharged some minority borrowers for their auto loans. We obtained an administrative order and they are now required to provide $24 million in monetary relief to the minority borrowers they harmed.
Over the next few days, the Honda Finance Settlement Administrator will mail packets to identified borrowers with instructions for how to participate in the settlement. If you think you are eligible, you should look for a packet in the mail explaining the specific minimum amount of money that you may be eligible to receive. Your actual payment amount may be greater, depending on how many borrowers participate in the settlement.
This comes after the CFPB and the Department of Justice settled an action in July 2015 against Honda Finance. We found that Honda Finance charged thousands of African-American, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander borrowers higher discretionary markups on auto loans than similarly-situated non-Hispanic White borrowers between January 2011 and July 2015. After all parties agreed on a settlement we ordered Honda Finance to pay $24 million in relief to African-American, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander borrowers whom Honda Finance overcharged.
How to respond if you receive a packet
The participation packets will tell you what you must do to take part in the settlement and receive your payment. To get your payment, you should follow those instructions, including returning any required forms. You can return any forms by postage prepaid mail, email, online submission through the administrator’s website, or fax. Just follow the instructions on the form. Be sure to submit any required forms by Jan. 31, 2017. Only those eligible consumers who return required forms by Jan. 31, 2017, will receive their payment.
What to do if you think you are eligible but do not receive a packet
If you don’t get a participation packet in the mail by Oct. 17, 2017, but think you should get a payment, you can call the Honda Finance Settlement Administrator at (855) 891-9278 to ask about your eligibility. You can also fill out a and submit it to the Honda Finance Settlement Administrator by mail, email, or fax.
Participating in the settlement is free
Watch out for scammers claiming that they will help you for a fee or asking for your personal information in order to get your check. When large numbers of consumers get settlement money, scammers sometimes pop up. The scammer may charge you a fee or try to steal your personal information. While you are of course free to speak with a lawyer, you do not need to hire a lawyer or pay anyone a fee in order to participate in this settlement.
As part of this settlement, the Honda Finance Settlement Administrator, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Department of Justice may contact you. You should treat any other contact claiming to be about this settlement as a scam. Please immediately report any scam to the Honda Finance Settlement Administrator at (855) 891-9278 or firstname.lastname@example.org.