The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau yesterday announced it had issued a consent order against Santander Consumer USA, accusing it of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act by furnishing accurate information to credit reporting agencies and fining the nonprime auto lender $4.75 million.
A copy of the consent order is available by clicking here.
Between 2016 and 2019, Santander furnished errors that “should have been readily apparent” and continued to make them even after it was notified by one credit reporting agency about the issues in the data that was being furnished, according to the consent order. About 35% of the the time in those years, the date of first delinquency that was furnished by Santander was the same as the date of account information. While that can happen at one point for a particular account, it is “extremely unlikely” that it would occur for two or more months, the CFPB noted.
In nearly 1 million instances, the lender reported a date of first delinquency on an account even while it was reporting contradictory information that suggested the accounts were not delinquent.
Santander was also accused of furnishing inaccurate information about whether accounts were open or closed, or whether consumers were carrying a balance on an account or if they were obligated to make future payments.
When it was notified of errors and inconsistencies, Santander continued to report the wrong information rather than update its records, the CFPB alleged.
Along with paying the fine, Santander must correct all of the inaccuracies and errors that have been identified and take necessary steps to update its policies and procedures to improve and ensure the accuracy of the information it furnishes going forward.