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CT: Santander to return $2.9M to patrons

BY Gregory Seay

2/20/2018
The state Department of Banking says the consumer-finance unit of Spanish bank giant Banco Santander S.A. will return or waive $2.9 million in interest, fees and penalties to customers whose vehicles were repossessed and disposed of under questionable circumstances.

Banking Commission Jorge L. Perez announced Tuesday that Santander Consumer USA agreed to the settlement and to pay a $100,000 fine. The lender also agreed to abide by Connecticut's finance statutes.

According to Perez, his agency investigated Santander, beginning in 2016, over allegations that it failed to accurately compute outstanding loan balances on some vehicles slated for repossession.

State investigators also say they probed allegations Santander failed to provide written itemized statements to consumers showing how the proceeds of the sale of their repossessed vehicle were disbursed within 30 days, as required by law.

Finally, the department alleged that Santander improperly charged convenience fees on payments made by credit or debit cards from Oct. 1, 2016 through Jan. 19, 2017.

Santander could not be immediately reached Tuesday for comment.