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

Comments

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

We are in process of a class action lawsuit. If interested email me

I have a ridiculously high interest rate with Regional Acceptance Corp. When I purchased the vehicle, I was earning 1200$/week as a full time registered nurse. I am now out of work after being brutally assaulted by a patient, and I am in the middle of a work comp case that has left me physically, emotionally and financially shattered. I've attempted to catch up on delinquent payments to save my car, but $380 goes to interest and $120 to principal. They will not work with me at all to save my car. Please please any assistance would be beyond appreciated. Thank you for your time

You may want to talk with a credit counselor. A credit counseling organization can advise you on managing your money and debts, help you develop a budget, and offer free educational materials and workshops. Their counselors are certified and trained in consumer credit, money and debt management, and budgeting. Counselors discuss your entire financial situation with you, and help you develop a personalized plan to solve your money problems. An initial counseling session typically lasts an hour, with an offer of follow-up sessions.

This FTC article tells more about coping with debt.

Hello, I am very interested in a class action suit against regional acceptance. I had been paying on a Chevy spark since 2013, originally I applied as a co-signer only and they put me down as the primary. After 2.5 years of paying they say I still owe the same amount as the original sales price. The last 4 payments never even posted to my account and they repoed the car this week.

Hi Bridget, Last week I purchased a car locally with a 4000.00 cash down payment. They used Regional Acceptance for my lender. My credit score was around 526 so I knew i wasn't going to get 0% interest. The interest rate I did get was 18.9%. I was very uneasy and told them I needed to think it through. Thats when I was assured by the salesman, the F&I guy and the F%I manager that in 6 months of good payments I could refinance. I was told if I paid it off early that the payoff would be nowhere near the final price on my agreement. The F&I manager kept pointing to the contract saying "see, your only financing 12,xxx.xx" if you pay it off early. In short, the F&I manager called me yesterday telling me I needed to call Regional Acceptance for my welcome call (noone ever mentioned a welcome call). I jokingly said, nah, i think i will pass. He said you cant pass, if you don't call they wont pay us for the car. Well, something didn't seem right about the entire welcome call. This prompted me to do some research before calling. I wondered why they wouldnt contact me for this welcome call instead, im the customer. It seems they ruin your credit on purpose so you are unable to get out from under them. I haven't made that call yet, im almost afraid to after reading the hell all the others went through. If I dont call and they really dont pay the dealership for the car seems id be better off. Can you point me in any direction? Im so stressed out by reading what they have put others through, i dont know what to do.

You don't say if you already signed a financing contract.

If you signed a contract with a lender, and now you want to end the contract, you might talk to a lawyer or financial adviser. To find a lawyer, you could use this state-by-state list from the American Bar Association or visit this site from the State Bar Associations. You may need to talk with the dealer about what happens to your cash deposit and any vehicle you traded in.

This FTC has information about Vehicle Financing. It tells about what happens when you apply for financing at the dealership. You also have a choice to get a loan directly from a bank, finance company, or credit union. Once you have a contract to buy a vehicle, you use the loan from the direct lender to pay for the vehicle.

Direct lending may offer you:

  • Comparisons. You have the chance to shop around and ask several lenders directly about their credit terms before you agree to buy a specific vehicle.
  • Credit terms in advance. By getting financing before you buy the vehicle, you will know your rate and other terms when you are shopping.

Good morning Bridgette,

Thank you for responding so quickly. I appreciate all of the information you provided. I spoke with the finance manager from the local dealership yesterday 4/12/2016.
I informed him of my concerns with the out of state finance company they have me with and the legal issues being brought against them. I also expressed concern how he never explained how the interest rates were applied along with additional charges that went unspoken.
He began to get very irritated. I told him I didn't want to return the vehicle, i just wanted an opportunity to finance with a reputable company.
Here are my 3 choices he gave me 1. Make my welcome call and finance through Regional, 2. Bring him 12,183.00 and keep the vehicle or 3. Return the vehicle by close of business 4/13/16 and he will deduct mileage driven as well as a deduction for each day i have had it from my down payment. Seems reasonable but im not sure of how much that will be .
Although im happy I wont have to deal with Regional Acceptance, he refuses to apply my 4000.00 I already gave him to my new loan. In short, if i keep the vehicle he keeps my 4000.00 and I start all over. Am I being unfair to ask that my down payment be transferred to new loan with same vehicle?

I wanted to give you guys an update. I received a text from the finance manager stating he spoke with his GM and was told that I could pick up my entire deposit of 4000.00 upon return of vehicle. I picked up my check and once searching for a vehicle. Thank you for all the insight, I am so much more knowledgeable of the buying process because of you. It was truly heart breaking when i went to get the check seeing all the prospective buyers sitting there just as I was just 13 days prior. Is there anything that can be done about the dealerships that knowingly use these so called banks?

Thank you for letting us know how you resolved the situation. If you think a business has broken the law, or isn't giving you what it promised, you can file a complaint with the FTC. Go to ftc.gov/complaint and give as many details as you can. The information you provide goes into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

You have a lot of details here in your blog comments. You could take information directly from your blog comments and put that in a formal complaint. The blog comments don't go into the law enforcement database, so the best way to get word to law enforcement about problems you see is by going to ftc.gov/complaint.

I want to be involved in the class action lawsuit. I got a loan through Regional acceptance Corp in Oct of 2011 . The loan was for 12000 four years later my loan about is still 12000. I was paying 406 a month on a 60 month term . How can I still owe this much? This is the worst company every. How can they take your money and put it to interest only is this even legal? I over paid for the car they need to be stopped

I currently have a loan with regional accept Corp is this suit still on going.

The blog post is about a case the FTC settled with Consumer Portfolio Services, Inc. in 2014.

If you have a complaint about a business, please report it to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.  Your complaints help law enforcement learn about problems in the marketplace.

We just took a car back to regional finance, Lancaster, sc they told us to then after they got it back they threatened me and my husband by saying they can take my home!I really feel cheated by them.

Thank you for sharing your experiences. Please file a complaint with the FTC.  Unfortunately, we cannot address complaints if they are submitted through the blog comments. Complaints help the FTC and other law enforcement agencies bring scam artists to justice. Watch this video to learn how to file a complaint with the FTC and why it matters.

I bought a car from Santander in 2014 I've been making payments but as of Thursday July 14th they came and repossessed my car I got no repossession notice or any paper work
from the repo man and I can't get any answers from this company I get hung up on or given the run-around what do I do now?

Please read the FTC article, Vehicle Repossession, for information about when and how your car can be repossessed.

Having the same issue with Regional Acceptance on a $17,000 loan from 2013 my payment was $580 a month (23.4% interest). I called to Voluntary surrender due to job loss and they let the car sit here for a year before getting it. Now they are suing me for 10K since they let the vehicle go for just at $7,000 - and never informed me of where the sale would be, just the date and time. Wish I had thought to read reviews for them before I signed. Hope you get yours sorted out!

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 just read your comments, todays date is March 4, 2016, I wish you could get in touch with me because that is the exact thing that is happening to me with Santander Consumer USA, Inc. Everything you said word for word. Can anyone at the FTC assist. I will be sending a letter of my history with Santander Consumer USA soon.

If you want the FTC to know about a problem, please file a complaint at ftc.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

Blog comments don't go into the database.

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.

If at all possible, I think someone should investigate the fraudulent activity of rules and regulations on the debt collecting procedures done by the United credit union in Vandalia and Mexico MO. I Have had nothing but problems with my auto loan. Though I had defaulted I was still trying to pay and they repossessed the vehicle. I had my sister closing and now they are trying to freeze her ppersonal accounts over my debt. They claim we have a joint account in which neither her nor I were even aware of. They refuse to cash our paychecks when they could've gotten some money to pay on this loan. Twice they refused money because they said it wasn't enough. I'm sorry but should they really believe refusing money on a debt nor matter how big or small the payment?

I think someone should investigate the fraudulent activity of rules and regulations on the debt collecting procedures done by Santander Consumer USA . I received a notice that I'm 26 days late on my car payment which is fault's my payment was taken out of my account by Santander come to find out they messed up and now my account is frozen until they fix the problem. Now this months car payment is due at the end of this week but I'm wondering if I should we to pay it until they get this issue resolved. I've had this car for over 2yrs now with out one late payment I'm very upset....

You can report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The information you give goes into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

You can also contact your state and local consumer protection agencies about the company.

Very good article.

REGIONAL ACCEPTANCE IS USING SCAM TACTIC IN ORDER FOR YOU TO OVER PAY YOUR LOAN.PLEASE AUDIT CUSTOMERS FILES TO SEE THE MILLIONS THIS CO HAS RIPPED THEIR CUSTOMERS OFF WITH.

Seriously investigate Santander Consumer. they are the biggest Rup off and scammers and I paid over 20,000 for a vehicle and somehow after 3 yrs of 530 payments I still owe 20,500 NOT 1 penny went to principal. then I paid my payment in Jan 2016 and went to make an additional payment for Feb in Jan and my account said closed.

If you think a company is breaking the law, please report it to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. You can also contact your state Attorney General’s office and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

 

Regional finance told us since we could not pay them the car and we did then they called and said they going to take our home for the difference

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