If you take a step back and look at the entire ecosystem of leasing you’ll see that there are so many moving parts that are required for it to operate as it has for years. This event started to sprinkle sand in the gears and it is getting to the point where the entire system is almost shut down.
All of the inspection companies are no longer inspecting vehicles (as of today). Auctions went simulcast only last week and this week have either already shut down or are expected to do so in the coming days/week/weeks. Most vehicles ran through the lanes last week resulted in no sales as sellers weren’t willing to drop prices $2-3k vs prior weeks and buyers were willing to sit on the sidelines and lob low ball offers seeing if they get any bites. So inventories of units waiting to sell at auction are swelling. Luckily for companies like mine, sellers have held their floor prices, avoiding a firesale price crash which would be more salt on the wounds. I’d rather sit on inventory for a month or 2 (or 3) and then sell than try to find the true market prices in today’s bottom-feeder pond. Many dealerships have already shut down or will be shutting down in the near term (outside of service departments).
So that means the entire infrastructure to dispose of off lease vehicles is about to be completely halted. Every lessor will be in the same predicament.
The finance companies are trying to figure out how to make it through this with the least blood possible. Reducing residual losses and reducing credit default losses are the primary concern. If a lease is nearing term, the first line of defense is to try and extend that lease through the crisis. Reg M (Consumer Leasing Act) states that the maximum extension is 6 months. They can’t force this upon the lessee so if that isn’t an option for you, expect to be asked to park the vehicle at your house or possibly some specific location until the infrastructure starts to open back up. Some lenders may have a way to pick up vehicles but I wouldn’t bet on this.
Some lenders may allow you to waive one or more payments but these payments will need to be made before your termination date. I don’t know of any lender that will let you skip payments entirely without paying those at some point.
I could be wrong on any number of these statements.
Regardless, this is going to be a very interesting time in history that is unlike anything anyone alive has had to experience and hopefully will not be repeated in our lifetimes. Predicting how the industry will act/react to what is happening, what might happen and what will happen is impossible at best.