Santander Auto Loans Pay-to-Pay Fees Class Action

Can a lender charge you extra when you make your loan payments online or over the telephone? Not if that charge is not expressly authorized by your loan contract, says the complaint for this class action. It alleges that Santander Consumer USA, Inc. is not entitled to the fee of up to $10.95 it has been charging its auto loan customers for such payments.

The class for this action is all persons in the US who (a) have a car loan with Santander (b) that provides “Federal and Texas law apply to this contract” and (c) who paid a fee for making a loan payment online or over the telephone.

The complaint says, “An Arkansas federal court recently found that the Texas choice-of-law provision in Santander’s contract is binding on Arkansas residents.” However, the complaint argues that if Texas law applies to Santander’s Texas and Arkansas auto loan contracts, that body of law includes the Texas Debt Collection Act (TDCA).

The complaint quotes the TDCA as prohibiting “debt collectors from ‘collecting or attempting to collect interest or a charge, fee, or expense incidental to the obligation unless the interest or incidental charge, fee, or expense is expressly authorized by the agreement creating the obligation or legally chargeable to the consumer[.]’”

The complaint asserts that the pay-to-pay fee is not expressly authorized by Santander’s contract. It claims that Santander represents it as a fee required by a third-party processor. However, the complaint says, “Santander collects and retains more than 90% of each Pay-to-Pay fee its borrowers pay.”

The complaint argues that Santander knows that these charges are impermissible: “In June 2015, Santander was sued in California for nearly identical violations of an analogous debt-collection law.” That’s not all. “More particularly,” the complaint says, “Santander has been on notice that its collection of Pay-to-Pay fees beyond what is necessary to reimburse a third-party payment processor violates provisions of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and state debt-collection laws analogous to the TDCA.”

The complaint also alleges that Santander’s misrepresentation of the charge imposed by a third-party payment processor “demonstrate th[at] Santander’s violations of the TDCA were made with ill will or gross negligence to the rights of Plaintiffs and the Class as to amount to willful and wanton acts.

Because Santander concealed the fees were not being charged by third-party processors, the complaint asks that the statute of limitations not apply to the claims of class members in this action.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Santander Auto Loans Pay-to-Pay Fees Complaint

February 14, 2020

Can a lender charge you extra when you make your loan payments online or over the telephone? Not if that charge is not expressly authorized by your loan contract, says the complaint for this class action against Santander Consumer USA, Inc., which has been charging its auto loan customers up to $10.95.

Santander Auto Loans Pay-to-Pay Fees Complaint

Case Event History

Santander Auto Loans Pay-to-Pay Fees Complaint

February 14, 2020

Can a lender charge you extra when you make your loan payments online or over the telephone? Not if that charge is not expressly authorized by your loan contract, says the complaint for this class action against Santander Consumer USA, Inc., which has been charging its auto loan customers up to $10.95.

Santander Auto Loans Pay-to-Pay Fees Complaint
Tags: Additional charges in breach of contract