A shareholder derivative lawsuit has been filed in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware against current and former officers and directors of Santander Consumer USA Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SC) (“Santander Consumer USA Holdings” or the “Company”). Santander Consumer USA Holdings is named as a nominal defendant.If you are a current shareholder of Santander Consumer USA Holdings and you would like more information about the Santander Consumer USA Holdings Derivative Action, please fill out the form to the left, or contact Sheila Feerick at 1-800-221-0015, or email info@SafirsteinMetcalf.com. Safirstein Metcalf LLP represents individual and institutional clients in a wide variety of litigation, with an emphasis on class, derivative, and other complex actions on behalf of investors and consumers. The firm handles matters on a contingency fee basis.
Santander Consumer USA Holdings is a specialized consumer finance company focused on vehicle finance and third-party financing. The complaint alleges that the current and former officers and directors breached their fiduciary duties to shareholders. These breaches involved serial and systemic violations of law, evidencing a “lawless attitude” and a complete lack of systems, processes and/or quality control measures necessary to ensure legal and/or regulatory compliance.
The problems began when Santander Consumer USA Holdings was unable to comply with Federal Reserve guidelines just as it went public in January 2014, and lacked the proper controls to comply with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Truth in Lending Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, as well as federal securities laws and similar state and local statutes, according to the complaint.
The Fed in 2014 and 2015 subjected Santander Consumer USA Holdings to “sweeping enforcement orders,” citing its widespread failure to maintain governance, internal controls, and risk oversight, and determined that the company wrongly paid a 2014 cash dividend when its capital plan was significantly deficient. Santander Consumer USA Holdings later disclosed that curing its deficient internal controls would cost at least $12.5 million, according to the complaint.
The Company also violated state repossession laws, which led to class actions in California and Massachusetts, and have led thus far to the Company foregoing $223 million in collectable debt and deficiency balances, as well as agreeing to pay $1.8 million to class members.
Santander Consumer USA Holdings also violated the TCPA and similar state consumer protection laws, according to the lawsuit, and has been hit with at least 34 lawsuits under those statutes and another 49 suits alleging FDCPA or related state law violations. Another nine lawsuits claimed breaches of the TILA, which is designed to promote the informed use of consumer credit by mandating that lenders give consumers adequate disclosures about loan terms and costs. The bank was also hit with at least 24 FCRA lawsuits and other securities class action litigation is still pending in Texas.
On September 23, 2016, Santander Consumer announced it would be restating its financial results from 2013 through the first quarter of 2016, saying they could no longer be relied upon.
In all, the Company’s recurring legal failures have: (i) imposed substantial litigation costs and distractions on the Company and its employees; (ii) compelled the Company to pay or forgo hundreds of millions of dollars as a result of settlements and/or court-ordered judgments; and, (iii) exposed the Company to federal securities law violations and material contingent liabilities.