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Santander Settlement Announced

Posted on May 20, 2020

  • Have you had a car financed through Santander Consumer USA?
  • Did you feel pressured to buy a vehicle service contract?
  • Was your income exaggerated, to seem more than it was, in order for you to qualify for an auto loan?
  • Do you have a negative report on your credit report, due to money owed on an auto loan to Santander?
  • Was your vehicle repossessed when you defaulted on a loan furnished by Santander?

An important settlement was announced in the following press release (see link below). This settlement provides potential relief to consumers in various states including Virginia who received auto loans from Santander Consumer USA, Inc.

The full press release can be found by clicking on this link:

https://ag.ny.gov/press-release/2020/attorney-general-james-announces-over-550-million-settlement-nations-largest

Here is an excerpt from the press release:

Attorney General James Announces Over $550 Million Settlement with Nation’s Largest Subprime Auto Financing Company, Delivering Relief to Hundreds of Thousands of Struggling Consumers

Settlement with Santander Includes More Than $27 Million in Relief for
Thousands of NY Consumers While Many Battle Financial Insecurity Due to COVID-19

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James, along with a coalition of 33 additional attorneys general from around the nation, today announced a settlement with Santander Consumer USA Inc. that will provide approximately $550 million (possibly up to $780 million) in relief to consumers nationwide — more than $27 million (possibly up to $38 million) of which would be allocated to New Yorkers. The settlement resolves Santander’s subprime lending practices that violated consumer protection laws by exposing consumers to unnecessarily high levels of risk and knowingly placing these consumers into auto loans that had a high probability of default.

End of Excerpt

The claims process under this settlement will be made through a Claims Administrator to be appointed by the Attorney General’s office in the coming weeks. It is believed that eligible consumers will be able to make claims themselves, once that process is up and running. However if you need help in the claim application process, our firm will be glad to help. Please be aware that the settlement agreement does NOT provide legal fees for consumers that hire someone to make a claim on their behalf. But, if you feel you need help in making a claim, please contact our firm.

A​ttorney John Cole Gayle, Jr. of The Consumer Law Group, P.C. is available to serve all consumers in Virginia. If you would like to hire our firm to make a claim on your behalf, please contact our firm by calling 804-282-7900.

Here is an excerpt from the Settlement Administrator's website (https://www.santandermultistateagsettlement.com/Information-for-Consumers):

Consumers may be eligible for the following types of relief:

1.    Restitution:

Santander must pay $65 million in restitution to be divided amongst the 33 states and the District of Columbia. Over 280,000 consumers across the settlement states will be eligible for this restitution.

a.    Who qualifies? You must have a gotten a loan with Santander between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2019 and Santander must have given you a certain internal score at the time you got the loan. Consumers will NOT know their own internal score. Additionally, states do not know consumers’ internal scores. This is why consumers will have to wait for notice from the settlement administrator.

b.    How much will restitution be per consumer?

i.    The final restitution amount per consumer is not yet known, but the amount will be at least $224.80 per consumer.

c.    When can I expect restitution?

i.    We do not yet have a date certain by which eligible consumers can expect a notice from the settlement administrator. Please check this website for updates. 

2.    Deficiency Waivers:

Santander is required to forgive the remaining balance on certain loans. Santander will also request that the loans be removed from consumers’ credit reports. As with Restitution, consumers who qualify for this relief will have to have a certain internal score. Consumers will NOT know their own internal score. Consumers who qualify for this relief will receive notice. We will update this website when we know of an anticipated timeline for said notice. At a minimum, to qualify for this relief, you must meet the following: 

a.    You got your loan between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2019; and

b.    Your car was repossessed or your account was charged off by Santander within the first 12 months after you got the loan. Making a late payment or missing payments does not qualify you for a Deficiency Waiver; and

c.    You had a certain internal score. Consumers will NOT know their own internal score. Additionally, states do not know consumers’ internal scores.

3.    Loan Forgiveness and Car Title:

For certain consumers, Santander will give the consumer title to the car and forgive the balance of the loan. We do not yet know the identity of consumers who qualify for this relief. Santander will do this until the value of the loan forgiveness reaches $45 million. Santander will also request that the loans be removed from consumers’ credit reports. To qualify for this relief, you must meet the following:

a.    You defaulted on your loan but your vehicle has not yet been repossessed; and

b.    You had a certain internal score. Consumers will NOT know their own internal score. Additionally, states do not know consumers’ internal scores.