Santander Consumer USA is a financing company that provides new and used car loans and other automotive financing. They’ve had legal issues before, and most notably Santander settled a $550 million multistate investigation by various state attorney generals into their subprime lending practices, including the attorneys general of California and Georgia.

But like a lot of companies, Santander has arbitration clauses in its contracts that keep consumers from going to court. Instead, you have to go to arbitration, which is like a shorter version of a regular lawsuit—but just as complicated. And Santander regularly enforces its arbitration clauses if you try to file a lawsuit. For example, a customer without a lawyer tried to sue them in federal court in Augusta, Georgia in March 2021—and was forced to arbitrate. White v. Santander Consumer United States, Inc., No. CV 120-115, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47905 (S.D. Ga. Mar. 15, 2021). In another lawsuit in Atlanta, Georgia, a plaintiff sued in court and alleged that Santander made “misrepresentations regarding financing and the lien holder…” Santander Consumer USA moved to compel arbitration and won.

Arbitration isn’t the end of the world—but it’s extremely complicated, and your chances of winning are much higher with a lawyer. If you’re having problems with Santander Consumer USA, our firm can help. We’ve represented numerous consumers against companies including Santander in arbitration. Our firm has represented numerous consumers before the American Arbitration Association. If you have a legal claim against Santander, Click Here to Submit Your Claim.. We may be able to help. We don’t charge for consultations and don’t charge to evaluate your case.

Having a lawyer helps you win your arbitration. 

The California Law Review has published a study showing that consumers who try to represent themselves in arbitrations win just six percent of the time. So-called “repeat player law firms” that regularly arbitrate have a huge advantage and tend to win more cases. Kneupper & Covey is a “repeat player,” and we’ve got dozens of arbitrations at any given time. 

An arbitration is like a mini-lawsuit. The rules for what to do are 50 pages long. You may have depositions or even expert witnesses to deal with, at least if you want to win. And if the other side has a lawyer and you don’t, you’re fighting with one hand tied behind your back.

What kinds of lawsuits might I have against Santander Consumer USA?

Companies that lend money to consumers are heavily regulated, and they have to follow the rules. Here are some examples of things you might have experienced.

Illegal Repossession

One consumer in Savannah, Georgia, alleged that their car was illegally repossessed. See Mobley V. Santander Consumer Usa, Inc., No. 4:20cv289 (S.D. Ga.). There are rules under the law about both whether and how you can repossess a car. A legal claim called “conversion” is a very old kind of lawsuit that can help you get your property back, including cars in some cases. Another example that could be an issue is “breach of the peace,” i.e. causing a disturbance during the repossession. 

Inaccuracies on Your Credit Report and the FCRA

Santander has also been sued before under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. A consumer sued them in Atlanta alleging that Santander had been “inaccurately reporting its trade line on Plaintiff’s credit disclosures with an erroneous scheduled monthly payment…” Foster v. Santander Consumer United States, Inc., No. 1:18-CV-4146-JPB-JFK, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 229602 (N.D. Ga. Dec. 17, 2019). Federal law—specifically the Fair Credit Reporting Act—gives consumers rights when their credit is tarnished with an inaccurate representation.

Kneupper & Covey can represent consumers in arbitrations or lawsuits against Santander.

If you have a dispute with Santander Consumer USA, you may or may not have a legal claim, but we don’t charge to evaluate your case. Click Here to Submit Your Claim. We can help figure out if you have a valid legal claim, and if so, where to file it.