BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced March 29 that Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc. will pay $22 million after allegations it was involved in facilitating unfair, high-rate auto loans for thousands of car buyers in the state.
Santander, a major subprime auto lender in the state, purportedly conducted a scheme in which it funded auto loans to thousands of consumers despite knowing the consumers did not have the basis to afford them.
According to Healey’s office, the company knew that much of the consumer information provided by car dealers was incorrect or inflated.
“After years of combating abuses from subprime mortgage lenders, these practices are unfortunately familiar,” the attorney general said. “We found that Santander, a leading player in the business of packaging and reselling subprime auto loans, funded unfair and unaffordable auto loans for more than 2,000 Massachusetts residents.
"This first-in-the-nation settlement relating to subprime auto loan funding will provide relief to thousands of car buyers in Massachusetts and prevent these practices from being used against our residents.”
Of the $22 million settlement, $16 million will be awarded to consumers as restitution and the other $6 million will go to Massachusetts.