This isn’t breaking news, but it can’t be repeated enough – the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic devastation it has wrought has caused many Vermonters to face incredible hardships.
In Vermont, our elected leaders have enacted a number of policies to mitigate the financial impact of this crisis – and VPIRG members have supported several of those efforts. From pushing large companies to take advantage of Vermont’s essential worker hazard pay program to pushing the Public Utilities Commission to reinstate a moratorium on utility shut-offs during the pandemic, you’ve stepped up to help your fellow Vermonters during these difficult times.
But the truth is, there’s so much more that we need to do. That’s why VPIRG is joining our friends at Vermont Legal Aid to support legislation that would put a moratorium on automobile repossessions for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and permanently provide consumers with a 180-day “right to cure” period for delinquency going forward.
Nobody should worry about having their vehicle taken away because they are unable to make car payments during this pandemic.
If you or someone you know is dealing with potential auto repossession during the pandemic, and are willing to share that – please reach out and let us know. We can connect you with Legal Aid, and, if you’re willing, with lawmakers so they can understand how this issue is impacting Vermonters directly.
Finally – let’s also stop and recognize that the auto lending industry is rife with predatory abuses and was even before the pandemic. VPIRG is determined to enact reforms that rein in the worst actions of that industry and make things fairer for consumers going forward. We’ll be supporting other legislation that will do just that this legislative biennium.
But getting an auto repossession moratorium in place now is an urgent priority.
We’ll deliver this petition to lawmakers letting them know that Vermonters want them to act urgently on this issue.