I purchased my car at Carmax in Burbank, CA, and they provided the finance through Santander Consumer USA. I contacted Carmax after Santander started refusing my calls and told them they were responsible for their vendors. After 5 days Carmax headquarters got back to me and said this (direct quote) "We can't take responsibility for our financial partner so we can't help you. This is the last desperate demand letter I sent to Santander Consumer USA (no response):
Santander Consumer USA (San-Con) repossessed my 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid w/ 60,000 miles
and navigation system on October 24, 2011, while I was traveling on business for my client General Electric. I received written notification from Santander on October 28, which said I could reinstate my loan and request a 10-day extension from the original deadline of November 14, 2011. I believe by law I was to have received a detailed inventory of all my personal belongings that were in my car within 48
hours of San-Con taking possession of it but I never received anything in writing regarding my personal belongings; I would think not providing that inventory listing makes it very easy for people to steal from the cars once they are taken by San-Con. I know many of my own personal and professional items were missing after I was handed a garbage bag full of what was supposed to be all of the contents in my car.
I called Santander on 10/31 and talked to Mike to let him know that I was definitely going to reinstate my loan and I needed to know exactly how I went about that because I was traveling
so much on business. Mike gave me specific instructions including the payout, specific codes to put on the wire transfers depending on which company I used to transfer the money. He also said once I called him from Western Union and once he verified my money had been transferred into his account then
he would tell me where my car was being stored but not until then. I read somewhere that by law the address of where the car was being stored was to have been on the original 10/28 document, fyi.
Before I hung up with Mike, he told me, your car probably is already at auction. I asked why on earth it would have been taken to the auction house 4 days after it was picked up and before I was even served the 10/28 letter. He said, thats what they do.
I submitted the appropriate paper work for the 10 day extension and sent it certified mail on 11/3 and confirmed it was signed for at Santander on 11/7/11 thus extending my deadline to November 24, 2011. On November 17, 2011, San-Con sold my 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid at auction to a dealer. I didnt find this out until I got back into town and called from Western Union on 11/22 to verify what I owed to date.
Since then, San-Con has admitted 100% wrongdoing and fault verbally, in writing, and in initial action, and promised to reimburse me for all costs associated with the wrongful sale (including but not limited to personal items not returned to Customer from auto initially, costs associated with storage fees, temporary alternative transportation costs until comparable car was provided to Customer, etc.), and,
of course, either a) getting original vehicle back (which San-Con would tell me we can get it back one week then the next week we cant get it back to where six weeks into the ordeal and countless we can/we cant conversations, the final conversation I was able to have with anyone at San-Con was them telling me they were still trying to get my car back again (Terri Miller, Office of the President, December 7) or b) providing me with a different but comparable vehicle as a replacement. (I would think with the buyer protection laws in the state of California it would have been easier to rule out whether or not San-Con even could get it back. But why would they want to stall for weeks and weeks instead of rectifying the situation as quickly as possible?). San-Con did partially reimbursed me for the receipts they requested but were $900 short on that reimbursement that was submitted on Dec. 5 and December 7, 2011, and then again on January 18, 2012 not including a replacement vehicle of course.
Not having my car while living in a town as spread out as Los Angeles, and having my own PR company and all of its events, travel and meetings all over the Western U.S. has been incredibly
challenging to say the least. San-Con took possession of my car more than ninety (90) days ago. San-Con has had sixty-two (62) days to make good on the situation and not only has the company
not made good but it has refused to return calls or respond to written requests of mine since December 9, 2011. All I was told was that I could talk only to the legal department and that the legal department doesnt accept incoming calls.
Since December 9, 2011, I have left no fewer than 23 voicemails and sent no fewer than ten (10) written requests, memos or documents, and San-Con has never once responded to any of it
since December 9, 2011.
This ordeal has been incredibly stressful both personally and professionally and completely unnecessary. I need this to be settled. Here are my final demands of Santander Consumer
USA, which must be met within the appropriate legal timeframe. If not met, a national public relations/consumer affairs and automotive industry awareness campaign along with swift legal action will
TOTAL OWED TO CONSUMER SINCE 11/17/11: