FTC puts the brakes on national subprime auto lender

Talk about a bumpy ride for consumers!

When you get vehicle financing through a dealership, you and the dealer enter into a contract: you buy a vehicle and agree to pay, over a period of time, the amount financed plus a finance charge. The dealer may hold onto the contract, but typically, it's sold to a bank, finance company or credit union. This “assignee” is responsible for the day-to-day management of your account, including collecting and crediting your monthly payments. But sometimes, things don't go exactly as they should.

Enter the FTC, which charged one assignee – Consumer Portfolio Services, Inc. – with doing everything but managing customer accounts properly.  

In fact, CPS will pay more than $5.5 million to settle Federal Trade Commission allegations that it overcharged consumers across the country, and used illegal tactics to collect delinquent amounts. CPS collected money it wasn’t owed, harassed customers and third parties, falsely threatened repossession, and told family, friends and employers about delinquent customer debts. CPS also failed to develop policies and procedures for responding to consumer disputes about information reported to credit reporting agencies and failed to reasonably investigate and respond to disputes.

In the end, CPS agreed to refund or adjust 128,000 accounts more than $3.5 million, and stop collections on an additional 35,000 accounts to settle the FTC’s charges that the company violated the FTC Act. CPS will pay another $2 million in civil penalties to settle FTC charges that it violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which protects consumers from abusive or harassing treatment by debt collectors, and the Furnisher Rule of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which outlines a company’s responsibilities when reporting consumer information to a credit reporting agencies.

Every consumer has the right to be treated fairly when it comes to debt collection. If you think a company is breaking the law, tell it to the FTC. Your complaints help us stop rip-off artists, scammers and fraudsters. In fact, complaints people sent us about CPS helped the FTC’s investigation of the company. Your complaints matter at the FTC.

Tagged with: car, debt collection, loan
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


Please investing Santander Consumer USA for like tactics.

I have a huge priblem with Santander Bank, I havenot be able to resolved this problem and no one wants to check into.

Who do I need to contact to dispute my final car payment.

Thank you

Bravo FTC!

FTC...you did good! However, Seterus, Inc. is doing much worse to mortgage holders they are servicing and absolutely nothing is being done about it. Not one federal agency will do anything to protect the consumer. The CFPB claims their mission is only to improve the laws and they cannot do anything to aid individual consumers. All other agencies have refused to do anything either. We in Florida are really at their mercy...in the past year 20% of all foreclosures in the US have been in Florida. That is more than in the next 3 highest States combined. Can the FTC provide us with any assistance. This involves a lot more money than the auto scams and a lot more people.

Regional acceptance corp from Dallas Tx is a sub prime auto loan co that ripped me off from 2007 - 2013 on a new Susuki that was repo'd in 2013...Loan 16,000. I paid $321.00 per mon allthat time & the car was repo'd....I could not afford to fight w/atty now they claim a 7000+balance? I never borrowed against this

Now when will soldiers as mr dunn whom report all these scams and shysters get their cut? Wat occurs with all this money being payed cuz consumers gota eat.
How Much longer will Ocwen loan servicing group in Florida as a P.o.box gets indicted.a man they refunding thousands via moneygram stating everything ok.then turn around saying a entire house better pay thousands or be evicted and werein default ewhich makes it a commercial activity because their in another country.america you ain't shyt.

Here we go again...
Upon contacting CPS to verify if a refund or adjustment would be done on an account that had been charged off/closed. June the 6th was the last email sent to CPS in an attempt to verify change of address (There had been no contact with CPS since April of 2013 when I was taken to court). When not receiving an reply back with procedures on how to update address...I called CPS on June 9th explained my concerns for an account to receive a credit after it had already been taken to court, and told them my address had changed...guess what...yep, disconnected. So, I called back, spoke to a different person, explained we had somehow been disconnected. This person informs me the account would receive a $16 credit...So, I questioned the account receiving a credit since they had already taken me to court. She tells me that they will have to speak with their attorney and call me back...click, yep...they hung up/disconnected...without getting my updated information.
After going through rough times with CPS (now mind you, I still have the past letters of threats, the saved voicemail threats, such as pay up or else, and we will keep calling you back). Pulled my credit report...the payment history (now remember they took me to court in April 2013)...payment posted 4-2013(what), payment posted 5-2013(what again), charge off 6-2013(ok that would be court), payment posted 7-2013(how is this possible)...So here we go again...12 payments shy of having this loan completed...Original balance was $16,820, Ive paid over $20,500 and the charge off was for $7,048...This has been what seems like a never ending relationship with CPS.

If you have questions about your elgibility for a refund or account adjustment contact CPS directly via telephone at 1-888-806-2367, email FTCsettlement@consumerportfolio.com, or visit the company’s website. Here's a link to the FTC's press release for more information.

This is the last email response(6-6-14)from CPS:
Please be advised that your account is included in the FTC Settlement and your account will receive a credit within 60 days from May 29th, 2014.
I called CPS twice (6-9-13) First call-we were disconnected...Second call they will speak with their attorney and call me back-they hung up or we were disconnected.
The information you provided above is how Ive made contact with CPS.

Bravo, FTC! Now Please do the same with Santander Consumer USA and restore the faith of thousands of citizens who have experienced nightmares while dealing with this company!

My story is way to long, but I have to share. Dealer, Long Beach BMW/Mini, sub-prime lender, Santander Consumer USA. Mini baited me all day with a guaranteed loan of no more than 7%. Considering my $20,000 down payment and bad credit due to my recent divorce, I thought it was a fair deal. I was the last contract to sign for the day. We were all tired by the time I signed the contract. I unfortunately didn't read the contract because my salesperson gave his word. BIG MISTAKE!!! I financed $16,800. My loan was sold to Santander. I purchased my LEMON a 2011 Mini Cooper Countryman, my second mini, in February 2011. In April 2011 my nightmare began when I finally read my finance contract. When my first payment was due I sat down and finally read over my contract. OMG!!!!! not only was my $20,000 down payment, my interest rate was 23%. If I was to pay every payment on time, my total interest on a $16,800 loan was over $12,000. WTF. I called the dealer, so sorry, but it's already too late. Try refinancing it somewhere else is the reaction I got. As this was coming to light, my lovely Mini Cooper Countryman started it's downhill slide to lemon land. My battery was defective and I had to replace it, two months old. That's only the beginning of the repairs, replacements and recalls on my car. TO MAKE IT WORSE, I STILL HAVE TO PAY FOR IT WITH SANTANDER!!! Every day I'm charged $10 in interest, that’s $300/month. If I miss a payment or not I am charged $300 in interest. My payment they add the extra $300 in interest for that month and charge me interest on interest. So now, when I make a payment $476 plus their $10 fee to make the payment. $300 of that car payment goes towards their interest/fees and $176 to the next months payment. If I'm late that month, then it continues the same routine. So in two months I pay $934 in payments and only $342 goes towards my car the rest to Santander. Also, they offer a deferred payment program if you get behind. Great I thought. They say we will just extend the loan by how many months you are behind, plus the fees. Okay? They don't mention that any outstanding fees will automatically be reflected in every monthly statement as the total payment due, when the actual amount due is the regular monthly payment is required. So now, on paper and my CREDIT REPORT it says I’m delinquent until I come up with the extra $2,000 in fees that have been added and compounded with 23% interest. To make matters worse, Santander reports the delinquency to the credit agencies every month and that now has thoroughly demolished my credit giving me no chance of qualifying for a new loan. Today, because of a few late payments, one repossession because a “mailed” payment didn't make it to Santander I OWE MORE FOR THE LEMON I DRIVE THEN I INITIALLY FINANCED 3-1/2 YEARS INTO IT and MY CREDIT IS RUINED.
How can this company continue to do this to the consumer and how unethical and desperate can BMW/MINI USA be to offer this subprime loan shark as a choice for their customers. Shame on BMW USA for their "look the other way to get a deal financed through this despicable company and allowing a car with continued mechanical problems and complaints be put on the street and not honoring their "boot to bonnet" warranty. Lastly, I want to thank Santander for their phone harassment, extortion and greed by taking advantage of people who already are having temporary financial difficulties and need some help in getting their credit cleaned up and finances in order and finally letting me know that I will be paying them more in interest and fees then for the loan itself. OVER $16,000!!!!!!!!! FTC, PLEASE LOOK INTO THIS COMPANY AND SHUT THEM DOWN. Any advice would be greatly appreciated regarding the financing and filing a complaint and grievance about my car under the Lemon Law. Thanks

You can file a consumer complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The details in this complaint could be helpful to investigators who access the FTC's complaint database. Watch this video to learn more about how to report a scam and why it matters.

i cannot get through to customer service by phone or on line to make a payment and find out why i still owe $2500 after 5 years of payment. they sent a letter dated dec 21 but i rexeived dec 31. demanding payment by jan 3 this year. it was a holiday and weekend so mail not an option but i cant pa online or at the number provided. i get hung up on right when i finally reach customer service. doesnt something have to be filed with sherriff before reo of my car is attempted? i have the money, just no time to get it to them in 2-3 days with no mail service and denied internet pay option.

Our payments were done in Sept. I paid two extra months. They still want 1300. It is bull I hate them

Santander USA is holding onto check and money order payments in order to assess late fees. It takes up to 20 days for my check payments to post.

hi i took out a loan for 7500 against my vehicle wich was worth at the time 30,000. after signing and handing over my title i was given a document were it stated i would be paying 23,000 for a 7500 i told the represenative i no longer wanted the loan he said i had no choice as penalties would be made against me. i was charged almost a 300% interest is this legal in california? they failed to credit my first two payments wich allowed them to add more late fees and extra charges. I default i already had money issues and they trapped me on a 613.24 monthly payment. my vehicle was reposed and was denied any access to my property they sold and repossed my vehicle out side of california is this legal? they made false acusations against me with my references claiming i was being investigated for fraud please help. they sold my vehicle accorfing to them for 13000 wich its ridiculous they will not provide me any documents as to how much it sold for. i spoke to the manager last week and he said they have the right to accuse me of fraud .i have this call recorded please help it makes me believe this company has everyone bought off to avoid complaints against them i have been denied any help please investigate Trading Financial Credit LLc

Thank you for sharing your experience. Unfortunately, we cannot address complaints if they are submitted through the blog comments. Please report your experience at ftc.gov/complaint.

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