Dealers received notice from Wells Fargo Auto Finance that it would “discontinue its indirect lending business December 17, 2008,” according to a fax dealers received Wed. Dec. 10, 2008. Dealers working with Wells Fargo need not worry because Wells Fargo has decided to combine the dealer services businesses of Wachovia and Wells Fargo, effective Jan. 1, 2009, upon completion of the merger between Wells Fargo and Wachovia Dealer Services.

According to a notice dealers received from Wachovia the same day, “The merger is scheduled to be completed by the end of this month, pending approval by Wachovia shareholders.”

Furthermore, the Wells Fargo notice stated, “All contracts that originate on or before December 17, 2008 will be funded if received by December 23, 2008.” It also instructed dealers to send “all loan applications to Wachovia Dealer Services” as of Jan. 1, 2009 and “upon completion of the merger.” That means there’s only 15 days during which dealers won’t be able to send deals to Wells Fargo.

While they’ll technically be sending the deals to Wachovia after the first of the year, Wells Fargo stated, “We believe the Wachovia Dealer Services model is the model to meet all of the indirect auto finance needs of both Wells Fargo and Wachovia dealer customers after the merger.”

The Wachovia notice stated that Wachovia will continue to operate under its existing names and brands until an official name change, expected to take place in 2009. “Wells Fargo Auto Dealer Commercial Services also will continue to operate under its current name and brand until the merger is complete.”