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Auto lender agrees to pay $5.5M over debt collection





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More than 1,000 Massachusetts borrowers are expected to be eligible for relief under the agreement.

BOSTON (AP) — A subprime auto lender has agreed to pay more than $5.5 million to Massachusetts to resolve allegations that it did not provide proper explanations about its auto loan debt collection practices to consumers, the state attorney general’s office said Friday.

The assurance of discontinuance filed in Suffolk Superior Court alleges Santander Consumer USA failed to give certain consumers sufficient information about the calculation methods for any deficiencies left on their auto loans after their cars were repossessed.

The information is important for consumers trying to determine how to best respond to a lender’s collection efforts, the office said.

More than 1,000 Massachusetts borrowers are expected to be eligible for relief under the agreement.

Santander Consumer cooperated with the investigation without admitting wrongdoing.

An email seeking comment was left with a spokesperson for Santander Consumer.

“Consumers struggling with auto loan debt should get clear information from lenders to help them navigate repossession and other collection actions,” Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement. “This settlement, which combines cash payments with debt relief and credit repair, will help many subprime borrowers in need.”





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