Get Help With Legal Options vs. Santander Consumer USA

Your Santander Consumer USA Lawsuit Questions Answered

If your dealings with Santander Consumer USA are causing you stress or financial harm, it’s important to know everything you can about your legal rights. 

You might want to know how to sue Santander Consumer USA, whether you can join a Santander Consumer USA lawsuit, how to get compensation from Santander Consumer USA, or how to hire a lawyer against Santander Consumer USA.

Below are some commonly asked questions about Santander Consumer USA, and some answers

Editor’s Note: FairShake is not an attorney, law firm, or financial advisor. Our content team conducts research to the best of our ability to ensure this content is accurate, but it does not replace professional financial or legal advice.

What kind of company is Santander Consumer USA?

Santander Consumer USA is a consumer auto finance company, providing financing to consumers who are buying or leasing a card through a dealership. They also specialize in third party servicing—meaning they take over the customer service for loans issued by other lenders.

Santander provides financing through multiple brands of dealers, including through their ownership of the Chrysler Capital brand.

ls Santander Consumer USA legit?

Yes, Santander Consumer USA is a legitimate company, but even legitimate companies can make mistakes and harm their customers. So if you are a Santander Consumer USA customer who’s been financially harmed, you might consider speaking with reaching out to FairShake about your legal options.

Who is the CEO of Santander Consumer USA?

The current CEO of Santander Consumer USA, as of 2023, is Bruce Jackson.

Where is Santander Consumer USA headquarters?

Santander Consumer USA is currently headquartered in Dallas, Texas at:
1601 Elm St.
Suite 800
Dallas, TX, 75201

How do I contact Santander Consumer USA?

If you are a current customer, the best way to contact Santander Consumer USA according to the company is to sign into your account where you can receive follow-up information and secure message centers for correspondence about any issues you have.

Alternatively you can reach out to customer service at 1888-222-4227 from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. CT Monday through Friday and from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CT on Saturdays. There is also an automated system available 24 hours that you can use to make payments on any existing auto loans you have at the same number.

Is there a lawsuit against Santander Consumer USA?

There have been multiple recent government actions and lawsuits against Santander Consumer USA, including:

In September of 2021, the Justice Department settled with Santander Consumer USA over violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. They agreed to pay over $134,000 to settle a lawsuit which alleged that they denied early motor vehicle lease terminations to service members who otherwise qualified.

In 2022, Santander Consumer USA settled a class action lawsuit for $800,000 over claims that the company charged unlawful convenience fees when car loans were paid over the phone versus online.

If you want information on starting a Santander Consumer USA lawsuit, tell us below about your issues with the company.


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What laws apply to Santander Consumer USA?

When taking out a car loan from Santander Consumer USA, you’re protected by a variety of federal and state laws.

Some of the laws that apply to Santander Consumer USA car loans include:

Laws requiring Santander Consumer USA to disclose important information about your loan:

  • The Truth in Lending Act – The Truth in Lending Act (TILA) guarantees your right to get relevant details before taking out a car loan. It requires that creditors like Santander Consumer USA provide a written disclosure of important terms including the annual percentage rate (APR), finance charge, monthly payment amount, payment due dates, amount financed, length of the credit agreement, and any charges for late payment. If Santander Consumer USA fails to provide this information prior to obtaining your signature, they’ve violated the Truth in Lending Act and you may have a legal complaint. 
  • Consumer Leasing Act – The Consumer Leasing Act is another federal law that guarantees you receive additional important information when leasing a car. This law requires whoever is offering a lease (in this case Santander Consumer USA), to disclose certain information including:
    •  the amount due at lease signing or delivery; 
    • the number and amount of monthly payments; 
    • all other fees charged under the agreement, such as license fees, taxes, payments due at the end of the lease, and any charges for excess mileage.
    • penalties charged for late payment or default; 
    • conditions under which the lease can be ended early (and penalties for doing so); 
    • whether you have a right to buy the vehicle at the end of the lease and the price to do so.
  • Credit Practices Rule  – If you’re a cosigner on a Santander Consumer USA loan, the Credit Practices Rule provides important protections. This is a regulation from the Federal Reserve that, among other things, protects the rights of cosigners on loans. Creditors like Santander Consumer USA must provide a written notice to potential cosigners about their liability if the other person fails to pay. The Act also prohibits late charges in some situations and prohibits creditors from using certain contract provisions that the government has found to be unfair to consumers.
  • Consumer Credit Protection Act – If Santander Consumer USA denied you credit, they may owe you information under this law. The Consumer Credit Protection Act requires certain creditors to provide consumers with information if the creditor denies them financing.
  • Santander Consumer USA is bound by Risk-Based Pricing rules. This rule means Santander Consumer USA has to provide you a written notice if they gave you less favorable lending terms than other borrowers with similar credit histories and credit scores. Santander Consumer USA has to explain why you received less favorable lending terms. 

Laws that protect you if the car you’ve financed through Santander Consumer USA is faulty:

  • Uniform Commercial Code (“UCC”) – The Uniform Commercial Code is a set of state laws that provide you fundamental rights in consumer transactions. Every state and DC has adopted all or most of the UCC. Article 2 of the UCC defines key laws that protect you in buying or leasing a car including lemon laws and express warranties. Article 2A of the UCC applies specifically to leases.
    • Lemon laws enable purchasers to have a defect repaired, or to receive a replacement or a refund. You can find more information on your state’s lemon laws here.
    • An express warranty is a fact or promise provided by the seller that becomes enforceable by the buyer as a “basis” of the sale. 
  • Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act – If you’ve been offered a warranty on your vehicle, the Magnuson-Moss Act provides important protections. This federal law applies to any consumer goods with a retail price of $15 or more, and requires a seller making an express warranty to fully disclose the warranty’s terms and conditions. Sales agreements may not limit consumers’ rights under any implied warranties; may not impose any duties on consumers to take advantage of warranties other than notifying the seller of defects; and the seller must attempt repair, replacement, or refund if possible

Laws that protect you against lending discrimination by Santander Consumer USA:

  • Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”) – The ECOA is a federal act that prohibits denying credit, or charging more for credit, based on a list of protected factors including race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, and receipt of public assistance. If you feel you’ve been discriminated against in applying for a Santander Consumer USA loan, this law may apply.

Laws that protect you against Santander Consumer USA debt collectors:

  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) The FDCPA protects you from aggressive debt collection tactics by regulating the ways in which companies like Santander Consumer USA are allowed to collect on a debt. 

If you believe that Santander Consumer USA has punished you or denied you financing because of discrimination, incorrectly reported information on your credit report, or violated any other federal laws that apply to their organization, you may wish to speak with an attorney about how to sue Santander Consumer USA.

Also from FairShake:

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What can I do if a salesperson lied to me about a Santander Consumer USA loan?

If a salesperson lied to you about a Santander Consumer USA loan, you may be able to start a lawsuit.

Some common tactics by creditors that violate the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) include failing to accurately disclose the finance charge and APR, or applying penalty fees exceeding TILA limits.

If Santander Consumer USA misled you to make a sale you are entitled to take action against them. Tell us more about it below for the chance to be matched with an attorney.

If you were sold a car with defects you didn’t know about, you can also pursue your rights under the law.

If your car is under warranty, lemon laws require the vehicle manufacturer to repair it. If your vehicle cannot be repaired or a defect is too severe, you are entitled to a refund or a replacement vehicle. (The specifics of lemon laws vary by state, however. In some states lemon laws only cover new vehicles, while in other states they apply to both new and used vehicles.)


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Can a Santander Consumer USA car loan be discharged in bankruptcy?

How your Santander Consumer USA car loan will be treated in bankruptcy depends on the type of bankruptcy you’re filing for. Unfortunately, you’re unlikely to be able to wipe out the debt while keeping the car.

Under a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or “liquidation bankruptcy,” a car loan will not be discharged because it is a secured debt.

  • Secured creditors—which include car loan holders—can require you to sign a reaffirmation agreement. A reaffirmation agreement between the creditor and debtor waives the discharge of debt in a pending bankruptcy proceeding. You will be required to maintain your monthly payments – upon default, the creditor has the right to repossess your car.
  • However, Chapter 7 grants you the right to redeem your car. To redeem your vehicle, you must pay a lump sum equal to its replacement value, which can be much lower than the amount that remains on your loan.

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy, or “wage earners bankruptcy” allows a debtor to keep the property while restructuring the debts to pay them over time, usually three to five years. 

  • If you default on payment schedule coming out of Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the lender can still repossess your car.
  • If the balance of your loan is more than your car is worth, you can pay back the balance based on the current value rather than the contracted loan balance. This is known as a “cram down” and can lower your payment if you owe more than the car is worth.

How do I file a complaint against Santander Consumer USA?

There are several ways you can file a complaint against Santander Consumer USA. 

  1. You can try your luck with Santander Consumer USA customer service. This ensures the company is aware of your issue, but if you’ve made it this far you’ve probably tried this already and still have serious issues.
  2. You can also file a complaint with your state government. If you believe that Santander Consumer USA has violated state laws, you can reach out to your state attorney general or the other relevant body in your state. This doesn’t guarantee a resolution, but it’s worth knowing about as it could result in punitive action against Santander Consumer USA.
  3. The most effective resource may be to bring a legal action to sue Santander Consumer USA. You should consider working with a lawyer against Santander Consumer USA if you opt for this route, as they’ll know the procedures to follow and can give you an idea of what to expect. FairShake helps match individuals to lawyers – tell us more about your issue below.


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How many payments can you miss before Santander Consumer USA repossesses the car?

There is no specific number of payments you can miss before Santander Consumer USA repossesses your car, but the industry average is three. Once you miss three or more payments, auto loan companies can start the repossession process. However some companies only provide a 60 day grace period (meaning two missed payments).

If you have extenuating circumstances it may be in your best interest to reach out to Santander Consumer USA to let them know what’s going on and try to find a temporary resolution before repossession.

Will missed payments to Santander Consumer USA hurt my credit?

Yes, missed payments to Santander Consumer USA will hurt your credit score. You can improve your credit score by making as many timely payments as you can, and limiting how many/how often you have a missed payment. The best thing you can do in this situation is contact Santander Consumer USA to see if they can make a note in your account or provide some temporary relief if you know you will miss a payment. If you continue to miss payments, your account can be sent to collections, which gets reported to the credit bureaus and will harm your credit score even more. 

Santander Consumer USA has the right to report payment information, including missed payments, to the credit bureaus. If they have incorrectly reported information, though, you can seek a resolution with the Fair Credit Reporting Act

Can I get a lawyer against Santander Consumer USA?

Yes, you may be able to get a lawyer against Santander Consumer USA. A lawyer can potentially help you get compensation and justice from Santander Consumer USA, depending on your circumstances. And an attorney can help you figure out what legal options you have if Santander Consumer USA has broken the law or caused you financial harm.

If you share your issue with FairShake, we may be able to match you with an attorney. Attorneys with whom FairShake partners will never charge you up front. You only pay if you get compensation.


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How do I sue Santander Consumer USA?

If you have an issue with Santander Consumer USA, you might be able to sue Santander Consumer USA. How you sue is based on your circumstances, the issue you have with Santander Consumer USA, and which laws apply to that issue. It is best to speak with an attorney who can look over your loan contract and provide legal advice.

What you are allowed to do and how much you can get in compensation if you do sue Santander Consumer USA varies from one court to the next and depends upon the issue you have, what laws were broken, and what court you use. An attorney can help you review which options work best for your circumstances and the compensation you want. 

Some ways customers sue companies like Santander Consumer USA:

Consumer Arbitration

Consumer arbitration is a legally binding alternative to traditional lawsuits. The terms of your contract might say that you are not allowed to join an existing Santander Consumer USA lawsuit or sue Santander Consumer USA in other courts, in which case, consumer arbitration can help you get compensation or a resolution. With consumer arbitration you can still work with an attorney but your issue will be decided by an independent arbitrator rather than a public court.

Small Claims Court

Another option is to sue Santander Consumer USA in small claims court. Small claims courts are limited in the sort of claims they can take: there are limits for each state on the amount of monetary compensation they can provide, and they may not be able to provide non-financial relief.

Federal or State Courts

If Santander Consumer USA violated state or federal law, you might be able to sue them at the state or federal level.. 

Tell us more below about your Santander Consumer USA complaint:

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