Repossessed cars are usually sold at auction, though most banks have implemented car payment holidays to take the strain off clients. Picture: SUPPLIED
Repossessed cars are usually sold at auction, though most banks have implemented car payment holidays to take the strain off clients. Picture: SUPPLIED

WesBank has refuted claims on social media that it is planning to repossess thousands of vehicles from its customers.

On Monday, Twitter users claimed the bank was to repossess about 45,000 cars, but Lebogang Gaoaketse, WesBank’s head of marketing and communication, says the claims are false and unfounded.

“Repossessions are always the very last resort for WesBank. The bank would rather consult with its customers to make new arrangements for payment than repossess a vehicle,” he said.

“To date, we have received over 100,000 applications and have offered relief to over 53% of customers that have applied and have qualified for assistance. These numbers are a clear indication of where our focus is at the moment, so such allegations are irresponsible at a time where customers are vulnerable and need solutions,” said Gaoaketse.

Customers who need assistance can apply on www.wesbank.co.za.

A number of banks including Absa, WesBank, Nedbank and Standard Bank have implemented payment relief on financed vehicles to temporarily take the pressure off clients. This follows the loss of jobs and income caused by the Covid-19 lockdown that has left many people facing the prospect of not being able to make car repayments.

Even if you are in default, there is still hope of avoiding having your vehicle repossessed. It is best to contact your bank and find out how you can reinstate the loan. In general, it means making up all the missed payments or arranging to integrate the outstanding amount into the total settlement value.

Legal action is generally taken once a client misses three payments. If your vehicle does get repossessed, it is usually sold through an auction where vehicles often sell for a fraction of their resale value. If this happens, you will owe the difference.

WesBank devised payment relief plans from April 1 to June 30 to help customers affected by Covid-19, with the type of relief dependent on the type of product each customer holds. The bank has been inundated with requests for assistance, which has led to delays in getting to each customer.

“It is unfortunate that there have been some delays in responding to all of our customers, and for that we would like to apologise. Amendments to the system have been made to ensure a quicker turnaround time for responses”, said WesBank Motor CEO Ghana Msibi.