HUNTINGTON – A couple is suing Santander Consumer USA Inc. for allegedly tacking on illegal fees to their loan.

In September 2007, Citifinancial Auto Credit originated a six-year loan to Lauranna Ware and Jeffery Ware for $19,000 at 13.5 percent APR for the purchase of a 2007 Pontiac, according to a complaint filed April 9 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District.

The Wares claim in 2010, Santander acquired the loan and/or servicing rights to the loan, from Citifinancial and at the time, Santander acquired more than $10 billion worth of auto loans and/or their servicing rights from Citifinancial.

Once the defendant began servicing the plaintiffs' loan, they began charging the Wares' account with excess fees, which violated West Virginia law, according to the suit.

The Wares claim the defendant often charged late fees of $19.32, which exceeds West Virginia's $15 statutory maximum.

The defendant also assessed late fees even though the plaintiffs' payment arrived within West Virginia's grace period, which is ten days after the scheduled date, according to the suit.

The Wares claim assessing the late fees violated their contract and, due to the unlawful fees tacked onto their payments, they continue to owe approximately $2,500 on the vehicle.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages. They are being represented by Stuart Calwell, D. Christopher Hedges and David H. Carriger of the Calwell Practice LC.

The case has been assigned to District Judge Robert C. Chambers.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 3:15-cv-04285

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