Santander Consumer USA has been no stranger to Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) violations. Their website describes the company as a “full-service, technology-driven, consumer finance company focused on vehicle finance and unsecured consumer lending products.” The everyday person may prefer to recognize them as a company that purchases delinquent debts with a history of invasive and unfair practices. One can argue that both descriptions are accurate.
Not only have they been previously accused of harassing debt collection tactics, but many consumers have complained about discriminatory lending practices as well. Some individuals claim that extremely high interest rates were given to individuals who were less likely to pay off their loans. They have also alleged the company of charging unclear fees in regards to automotive loan repayments. One consumer in particular says that her debt was transferred to Santander without notice and she was harassed if she was even a day late on a payment.
Henson v. Santander Consumer USA Inc.
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that revolved around the question of whether or not a bank that purchases delinquent debts and collects on those debts is to be referred to as a “debt collector” under the FDCPA. The referenced case is Henson v. Santander Consumer USA Inc. Verbiage such as “owed” and “debt collectors” were argued by the plaintiff in reference to how the FDCPA is worded. Santander refuted that in order for the claims to apply to them, improper loan collection practices would have had to be “substantial” and were not in this specific case.
The court ultimately came to the unanimous ruling that “A party that purchases a debt and attempts to collect the debt for its own account is not a “debt collector” subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).”
This decision has created a loophole in the FDCPA. According to this ruling, the courts do not identify third-party banks as “debt collectors.”
When on the receiving end of a debt collection phone call, it can be difficult to know when your rights have been violated. The experienced Florida FDCPA attorneys at the Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi are here to help. We can analyze your specific case and determine if you are entitled to up to $1000 per FDCPA violation. Take action today against invasive collection calls! We have recovered million for cases similar to yours and will not charge you a dime until you get paid. Contact us at 1-844-JIBRAEL to speak with an attorney who specializes in consumer law.