According to Statista, approximately 44 percent of Americans rely on a car loan to finance their vehicle purchase. Unfortunately, the fraudulent and misleading business practices of certain auto loan providers have resulted in serious financial consequences for many consumers. If you are a victim of deceptive auto loan practices, consulting with a knowledgeable consumer credit protection attorney is crucial to protect your rights.
Our experienced team of consumer credit protection attorneys at Stecklein & Rapp can provide detailed guidance and help you understand your options. We will determine how best to pursue fraud claims or recover your money. We proudly serve consumers throughout Kansas City, Missouri, Kansas City, Kansas, and Lincoln, Nebraska.
In order to settle allegations of misleading consumers by withholding certain vital information about the terms and costs of auto loans and insurance policies, Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc., a leading subprime auto lender, reached an agreement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to pay a fine of $11.8 million.
The regulatory body discovered that the company failed to properly describe the benefits and limitations of its "Temporary Reduction in Payment Plan" (TRIPP) and "Guaranteed Auto Protection" (GAP) products that were offered to consumers. The TRIPP allowed consumers to pay lower monthly installments. However, Santander Consumer failed to disclose that the installments only included the interest, thus, increasing the tenure and total cost of the loan.
Furthermore, according to the CFPB, the company failed to reveal that it wouldn't accept claims for car-replacement costs in certain accident claims under the GAP insurance policy. Likewise, the insurance company failed to state the maximum claim amount allowed. Santander Consumer later agreed to pay $2.5 million as a civil money penalty and $9.3 million in restitution to affected auto loan customers.
Consumer protection laws were put in place by the federal government to protect consumers' information, prevent fraud, and guard against misleading and discriminatory practices during the lending process. A few of the laws that protect consumers include:
Under the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Commission is empowered to:
Prevent unfair methods of competition or deceptive acts or practices regarding commerce
Seek monetary compensation and other relief for conduct injurious to consumers
Prescribe rules that define acts or practices that are considered unfair or deceptive
Establish requirements designed to prevent such unfair or deceptive practices
Under the Truth in Lending Act, creditors are required to provide consumers a "written" disclosure of important terms of the loan before they sign. Such loan terms include annual percentage rate (APR), monthly payment amount, amount financed, finance charge, payment due dates, length of the loan, and any late payment charges or penalties.
The provisions of the Credit Practices Rule include:
Creditors are prohibited from using certain contract provisions that the Federal Trade Commission found to be unfair to consumers
Creditors are required to advise cosigners about their potential liability if the other person defaults on the loan or fails to pay
Late charges are prohibited in some situations such as a late fee charge for not paying a previous late fee
Being a victim of deceptive auto loan practices can be disturbing. Regardless, you don't have to go through it alone. It is important to hire a knowledgeable consumer protection attorney immediately to protect your rights.
At Stecklein & Rapp, our attorneys have dedicated their career to providing outstanding legal services and handling consumer auto loan matters. We will listen to your story, review your case, and evaluate your unique situation.
Our attorneys will gather the necessary evidence and determine the ideal strategy to pursue your fraud claims and recover your financial losses. We will fight vigorously on your side and attempt to help you get your money back.
Deceptive auto loan practices can injure you financially and jeopardize your dream of becoming a car owner. If you are a victim of misleading business practices by auto loan providers, contact Stecklein & Rapp today to schedule a one-on-one consultation.
Our experienced team of attorneys possesses the knowledge and insight to fight on your side and help you pursue deserved justice. Based in Kansas City, Kansas, we serve clients throughout Kansas City, Missouri, and Lincoln, Nebraska. Call us today to speak with a knowledgeable Kansas consumer credit protection attorney.