JACKSON, Mississippi (WJTV) – Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch has announced that a settlement has been reached with Santander, an auto loan company that allegedly violated Mississippi consumer protection law. Fitch said the company exposes consumers in Mississippi to a high probability of default.
“I remain steadfast in my commitment to protect Mississippi consumers from unfair and deceptive business practices that seek to defraud them with their hard-earned money,” Fitch said. “This settlement will bring significant relief to aggrieved consumers and provide future protection against abusive lending practices.”
Under the terms of the deal, Santander will pay Mississippi $ 3.7 million, including $ 1.8 million in direct returns to consumers. Santander also agreed to cease collection efforts for any loans extinguished under Mississippi law, relieving thousands of Mississippi consumers.
In addition, in the future, Santander must:
- Take into account a consumer’s ability to repay a loan
- Set a reasonable threshold of debt in relation to income to reasonably assess the consumer’s ability to pay
- Do not force dealers to sell ancillary products (for example, vehicle maintenance contracts)
- Watch dealers for possible revenue inflation, power reservation, or expense deflation
- Do not distort a consumer’s perspective of buying back a vehicle that has been repossessed
- Do not force consumers to make payments by methods that require the consumer to pay additional fees to third parties, such as a money order
- Do not attempt to collect loans that have been extinguished under Mississippi law and must notify all relevant credit reporting agencies that debts have been extinguished
- Over the next several months, eligible consumers will be contacted by the Mississippi attorney general’s office to inform them that they are eligible for restitution.
If you have any questions about returns, we invite you to visit their website online or call 1-877-465-4894 to speak to a representative.