Santander Consumer USA is unethical in their business practices and procedures for doing business. Here is our story.
My husband purchases a vehicle for himself in 2005 through Frham Dodge in Norco, Ca. which was financed by Americredit. Awesome company by the way I would reccomend them 1000 times over. Anyway in February 2007 my husband decided to purchase a vehicle for me.
At the time we were told that we should refinance my husbands truck for a lower payement which in the end would help us to meet our payment goals between the two. So we did, we refinanced his vehicle with Citi Financial also great company to work with. So with the refinance done we were ready to start looking for vehicle number 2. We found a great buy and went through with the purchase.
Vehicle number 2 was financed through HSBC whom we found to be very easy to deal with. Near the middle to the end of 2008. We learned that my husband was going to be deploying with his unit back to Iraq. We went to a military briefing with his unit where they informed us to contact our creditors and let them know that he would be deploying and that we wanted them to be aware that we didn't forsee any arising issues however, there could be within the first month of the deployment with his pay.
At this time both HSBC and Citi Financial chose to have us enroll and sign a contract with them for the sailors and soldiers relief act. Claimed they appreciated his service and wanted to thank him by lowing our interest rate down to 6% on both vehicles and cutting the payments in half. We were both in shock and happy at the same time. Husband is scheduled for an 18 month deployment and this will certainly help with the stress on my end while he's gone.
Spring forward to March of 2010 I just had made my payment to Hsbc a week earlier and I receive a phone call from Santander Consumer USA requesting a payment from me. I respond with I'm not sure if you have the right number I don't have Santander Consumer. I was then told that they had bought all the loans from HSBC because they were no longer doing auto loans ugh really??? Okay so why are you calling me and why didn't HSBC inform me of this transition?
No response but they explained that I needed to make a payment I again told them look I made this months payment with Hsbc at the beginning of the month literally a week ago per my payment statement. Customer Service agent then says you need to contact HSBC and ask them for proof of this payment. I did just as I was told and proof was then sent over to Santander. I think okay little mix up nothing to worry about agent tells me I should be receiving a statement in the mail before my next payment is due.
I didn't receive that statement but I went ahead and called in to make the payment to avoid any issues with a late or missed payment. At that time I was informed that I was late with my payments and not just a little late but a lot late. Im talking 18 months late. I told the man look we have not missed a payment nor have we been late since our first payment was made in 2007.
He then informs me oh yeah you have made payments alright but they were only partial payment and you owe the rest and this must be brought current by the end of the week and that my car was now placed on the Repossession list. I was like whoa whoa wait a minute. I explained that we have a signed contract stating that we were to pay $305.45 per month with an interest rate of 6%. The agent say I'm not sure where you dreamt those numbers up but you behind 18 months pay up or give the car back.
I ask to speak to his supervisor who finally comes to the phone and listens to the situation and tells me that he undestands my complaint but that they don't recognize the sailors and soldiers relief act. I'm like what it's a signed contract and I didn't ask to have you as a finance company. I then tell them that I want to speak to his supervisor. He tells me that I have to pay before the end of the week and that he's pretty much the highest I can go before talking to the president of the company.
I think am in panic trying to figure out what to do. I call my parents for help I send and email to our family readiness officer explaining the situation. He advises to get all the information I can from the company and that my husband would have to seek base legal for further help. Yet, he gives me further options to try and help the situationn while we wait for them to get a hold of my husband.
During this time I'm fighting with Santander day and night. To the point of finally being transferred to the office of the president who then tells me that after they have divulged all the information that have to me that they no longer can speak with me because I'm not listed on the loan. (It is illegal for them to share that information with me without permission.) However, they alreay had broken that rule. Needless to say at this point I intend to fax them my power of attorney's special and general so that I can try to handle the situation.
During the middle of all this I receive a call from Santander regarding another payment. I'm like man I'm working on it. I know your trying to repossess but the office of the president has placed a hold. That is when the agent informs me that now they are the new lein holder on my husbands truck that was with Citi Financial and I need to make a payment.
I again inform them that payment was made and I have to go through the same run down as I did by getting proof of payment from Citi Financial. Then I receive a call two weeks later stating that now I'm behind 18 months on that vehicle and basically the same story ensues as the previous situation. So I borrow money from parents and I'm told by the military to go to Navy Relief to get further help bringing payments current. Due to the husband being deployed and unable to handle the situation I had no other choice at that moment.
So I faxed in the power of attorney's for both accounts (yes they requested that I fax it to them twice each with the account number for each individual acct # on the top of each transmission. After faxing that in I call in and make the payments and bring both vehicles current. Then I'm told thanks for making those payments but now I have late fees on both vehicles that need to be paid for. I'm like look my husband is deployed I have jumped through hoops to get you everything you asked for and still there is a problem.
I demand that they honor the sailors and soldiers relief act and I am told it's not up to them to support the military that's up to the family of those members and if I couldn't make and keep the payments up to date that I should do what i could on my end to help my military husband out like get a job I'm. My response is I have a job and I work full time. Agent responds with maybe you could sell yourself on the street to make ends meet. Do your part lady and then hangs up!
So I struggle and fight with them on a regular basis until my husband returns. No missed payments and at my wits end with these people. So we decide the only way out is to trade the cars in and get a different finance company. While at the local dealership we tell our story and tell the finance manager that we are only trading the vehicles in to get rid of Santander.
After listening to our story he tells us to do him a favor and to request our payment history on both vehicles and to bring it into him. We did in fact do that for both vehicles which we had to pay for to get. We returned to the dealership with copies of all our contracts and our payment history and at that time after review of our documents and payment history and sailors and soldiers relief act contracts he told us that we shouldn't trade out of the cars but to see an attorney. So we went to base legal.
At this time it's now 2012 the car dealer after looking over our information that Santander sent us said that vehicle number 2 should be paid off and that with what we over paid should be applied to my husbands vehicle. We explained the situation to base legal and they offered to call Santander while we were in their office to get things handled at this time they spoke to a person by the name of Ramona in the office of the president who looked over the information and stated that she agreed with not only us but the Jag official and the auto car finance manager and that she would have title for vehicle number 2 sent to us and that we could apply the over paid amount to my husbands vehicle which would mean we only had about 6 more payments to be made on that vehicle. We then go home and talk to one of my parents regarding the situation and telling them the outcome. We are relieved and we have decided to take the amount of money that we had been having to pay on vehicle number 2 and apply it along with the payment amount for my husbands truck to help pay off that vehicle even sooner.
So the very next morning we go to santanders website to login and we are denied access. Can't log in. We no longer are receiving payment statements from Santander on either vehicle. We start the process of calling and entering out account number for vehicle number 2 to see where our title is since we have not received it.
We are told it takes 6 to 8 weeks for that to get processed and that they are backlogged and we should give them a few more weeks. Mind you when we call in and enter our account number it auto directs us to titles. We go back and forth with them for several months. Then our home flooded and we are displaced for several months and my husband is in an auto accident.
Title isn't top priority at that time. Fast forward to 12/08/2016 I am awoken to my car alarm going off and my vehicle number 2 is on the back of a tow truck being repossessed. I call santander and they claim that we owe $17,000 plus on the vehicle! They claim they will not return the car now will they make any arrangements for me unless I choose to settle the loan for another amount.
I say to them you haven't contacted us nor have you even reported any late payments or anything to my husbands credit report and the agent says oh well that's because he was under the sailors and soldiers relief act and now that he's out of the military we don't have to honor that. I'm like wait you wouldn't honor the contract when we first started fighting with you in the beginning of all this.. So before they are willing to move forward we had to pay another $9000.00 to get the car back and they claim that after that was paid then they would discuss with us further about rectifying the situation. I have been in contact with the Texas State Attorney General, I have contacted the Federal Trade Commision, I have also contacted the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
I suggest any and all of you to do the same After I pick up my car from these scam artists I will also be filing a complaint with TDLR! The attorney general informs this isnt the first complaint against them and they encourage everyone to continue to complain and file complaints with the above mentioned organizations to help fight against Santander!
Product or Service Mentioned: Santander Consumer Usa Loan Refinance.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.