Rayburn v. Santander Consumer USA, Inc.
Santander Consumer USA Settlement
2:18-cv-1534

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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  • A class action lawsuit entitled, Rayburn v. Santander Consumer USA Inc., is pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, No. 2:18-cv-1534  (the “Action”).  The Complaint in the Action claims that the “Notice of Our Plan to Sell Property” letter that Santander Consumer USA Inc. (SC) sent to certain Ohio customers after repossession of their vehicle did not comply with parts of the Ohio Uniform Commercial Code (“OUCC”), the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act (“CSPA”), and the Ohio Retail Installment Sales Act (“RISA”) because the notices’ sale date included the phrase “on or after.”  For more detailed information as to Plaintiff’s allegations, you may review a copy of Plaintiff’s Complaint on the Important Documents tab.

    SC denies the claims and contends its notices complied with Ohio law and resulted in no harm to consumers.

    The Parties have now settled this lawsuit and a Settlement Administrator has issued this notice.  In connection with the settlement, SC has agreed to waive each class member’s deficiency balance, request tradeline deletions from the credit reporting agencies, and to make certain cash payments to members of the class. 

  • In a class action, one or more people called “Class Representatives” sue on behalf of other people who have similar claims.  All those people together are the “Class” or “Settlement Class Members.”  The Class Representative and Settlement Class Members together are the “Plaintiffs,” and, in this case, SC is the “Defendant.” One court resolves the issues for everyone in the Class.

  • The Court did not decide in either Plaintiff’s or SC’s favor and will not do so if the proposed settlement is approved.  The Settlement will end all the claims against SC in the Action and avoid the uncertainties and costs of further litigation and any further trial.

    Plaintiff has agreed to a settlement of this action after considering, among other things: (1) the substantial benefits to Plaintiff and the proposed class under the terms of the Settlement Agreement; (2) the risks, costs, and uncertainty of protracted litigation, especially in consumer actions such as these, as well as the difficulties and delays inherent in such litigation; and (3) the desirability of consummating the Settlement Agreement promptly in order to provide effective relief to Plaintiff and the proposed class.

    The proposed settlement does not suggest that SC has or has not done anything wrong, or that Plaintiff and the proposed Class would or would not win their case if it were to go to trial.

  • You are a Settlement Class Member if you are an Ohio resident who:

    1. purchased a motor vehicle;
    2. as part of the purchase transaction, entered into a RISC where the RISC was assigned to SC;
    3. where, during the period of January 1, 2013 to the date the Court certifies and finally approves the class for settlement purposes only, SC repossessed the vehicle and sent, subsequent to repossession, a “Notice of Our Plan to Sell Property” Letter; 
    4. where the “Notice of Our Plan to Sell Property” Letter had a vehicle sale date that included the phrase “on or after.”; and
    5. subsequent to receiving the “Notice of Our Plan to Sell Property” Letter, did not redeem or otherwise recover the vehicle from SC.

     

    The Class expressly excludes any person who is eligible for a Deficiency Balance Waiver in connection with the State AG Actions, unless that individual is also a Cash Refund Eligible Settlement Class Member.

    If you received a deficiency balance waiver in connection with any action initiated by the Attorney General of any state against SC related to your RISC or loan account with SC in or around May 2020, you are not a member of the Settlement Class and your rights will not be affected by the Settlement unless you also made a payment towards your deficiency balance after your vehicle was repossessed.

    If you received a Notice in the mail, Defendant’s records indicate you are a Class Member. If you are not sure whether you qualify as a Class Member, you can contact the Settlement Administrator.

  • If the proposed settlement is approved, then all Settlement Class Members will receive certain benefits.  In addition, some Settlement Class Members will be eligible to receive partial cash refunds, as described below.  If the settlement is not approved, then Settlement Class Members will not get any benefits of the settlement and the parties will go back to Court for further proceedings, possibly including a trial.

    Benefits For All Settlement Class Members:  SC will eliminate the deficiency balance of each Settlement Class Member, setting it to zero.  The deficiency balance is the amount SC claims it is still owed after the car was repossessed and sold.  The deficiency balances are disputed debts, and they are being eliminated to resolve disputed claims in this litigation, including claims for statutory damages and violations of the OUCC, CSPA, and RISA.  More than $333 million in claimed deficiency balances will be eliminated, and SC will ask credit reporting agencies to delete the tradelines for these loan accounts from the Settlement Class Members’ credit reports.

    Cash Benefits For Settlement Class Members Who Made Payments After Car Was Sold:  SC will create a Settlement Fund of $1.9 million.  If you paid any money toward your deficiency balance after your repossessed car was sold, then you will get a cash payment from the Settlement Fund.  Your payment will be calculated by comparing what you paid SC after your car was sold to the total of such payments Settlement Class Members made to SC.  It will also depend on how much money remains in the Settlement Fund after the payment of settlement administrative costs in excess of $65,000 and any incentive payment to the Class Representative.

    IF ELIGIBLE, YOU DO NOT NEED TO DO ANYTHING TO RECEIVE THESE BENEFITS.

  • If you are a Class Member and do not opt out, these benefits are automatic. You need simply wait and not exclude yourself from the Settlement Class and you will receive these benefits.

  • In exchange for the benefits described in the Notice, and if the Court grants final approval of the settlement, all Settlement Class Members who do not opt out of the settlement are giving up (also called “releasing”) their right to sue SC for claims related to the repossession of their vehicle, the collection of a deficiency balance, or the reporting of a deficiency balance to a credit bureau, or any other claims that were or could have been brought based upon the facts alleged in the Action, including any claims under the OUCC, CSPA, and RISA.

    You will be enjoined and barred from initiating or continuing any lawsuit or other proceeding against SC if those claims are included among those released in the Settlement.

    As part of this Settlement, the Court has preliminarily enjoined all Settlement Class Members and/or their representatives (who do not timely exclude themselves from the Class) from maintaining, commencing, prosecuting, or pursuing any Released Claim as Settlement Class Members or otherwise against SC (or against any of their related parties or affiliates).

    Upon final approval of the settlement, Plaintiffs and SC will ask the Court to make this injunction permanent.  All Settlement Class Members will be bound by this permanent injunction.

    The Settlement Agreement is available on the Important Documents page and provides more detail regarding the Release.

  • Following the Final Fairness Hearing on April 5, 2021, the Court granted final approval to the Settlement. Copies of the Court's orders are available for download from the Important Documents page.

    SC will promptly waive your deficiency balance and request that credit reporting agencies remove your tradeline within sixty (60) days of the Final Approval Order.  The Settlement Administrator issued Distribution Checks to eligible Class Members on July 19, 2021.

    We will provide regular updates of the status of the Settlement. Please check the website for the most up-to-date information.

  • You had the right to file a written objection to the Settlement. If you wished to object, you must have done so on or before March 4, 2021.

  • You had the right to not be part of the Settlement by excluding yourself or “opting out” of the Settlement Class. If you wished to exclude yourself, you must have done so on or before March 4, 2021.

    If your request for exclusion is late or deficient, you will be considered a part of the Settlement Class, you will be bound by the settlement and by all other orders and judgments in this lawsuit, and you will not be able to participate in any other lawsuits based on the claims in this case.

  • The Court has decided that the lawyers at Frederick & Berler LLC are qualified to represent you and all Settlement Class Members.  These lawyers have been designated as “Class Counsel” based on a determination that they are capable and experienced in handling complex consumer class actions.

    Ronald I. Frederick
    FREDERICK & BERLER LLC
    767 East 185th Street
    Cleveland, Ohio 44119
    216-502-1055
    216-566-9400 (fax)
    ronf@clevelandconsumerlaw.com

    Daniel P. Goetz
    WEISMAN, KENNEDY & BERRIS CO., L.P.A.
    1600 Midland Building
    101 W. Prospect Avenue
    Cleveland, Ohio 44115
    dgoetz@weismanlaw.com

  • Class Counsel will ask the Court to approve payment of up to $2,500,000 for their attorneys’ fees and costs.  The Court may award less than the requested amount.

  • If, after all cash benefits are distributed, residual funds remain in the Settlement Fund (e.g., because of uncashed checks), up to $65,000 of that residue will revert to SC to cover the costs of settlement administration.  Any residue in the Settlement Fund in excess of $65,000 shall be distributed evenly to the following cy pres charitable recipients: Legal Aid of Columbus and Legal Aid of Cleveland.

  • The Court held a fairness hearing on April 5, 2021 at 9:30 AM Eastern Time, at the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Joseph P. Kinneary U.S. Courthouse, 85 Marconi Boulevard, Columbus, Ohio 43215, Room 301, before the Honorable Edmund A. Sargus, Jr., United States District Judge.  At this hearing, the Court considered whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate.  If there were objections, the Court considered them.  The Court may also decide how much to pay Class Counsel and the Class Representative.  After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approval the settlement.  We do not know how long these decisions will take.  We will provide regular updates of the status of the Settlement. Please check the landing page of this website for the most up-to-date information.

  • No.  Class Counsel represented you and answered any questions Judge Sargus had.  But you were welcome to come at your own expense.  If you sent a comment (including an objection), you did not have to come to the Court to talk about it.  As long as you submitted in on time, the Court considered it.  You may have also paid your own lawyer to attend, but it was not necessary.

  • You could have asked the Court for permission to speak at the fairness hearing.  To do so, you must have sent a letter to the Office of the Clerk, saying that it is your “Notice of Intention to Appear at the Fairness Hearing in Rayburn v. Santander Consumer USA Inc., Case. No. 2:18-cv-1534.”   Your Notice of Intention to Appear must have been postmarked or emailed no later than March 4, 2021 and must have included copies of any papers, exhibits, or other evidence that you planned to present to the Court. 

    You cannot speak at the hearing if you have opted out or excluded yourself, because the case no longer affects you.

  • The Notice is intended to be a summary of the terms of the Settlement.  The Settlement Agreement, Complaint, and the Notice are all available on the Important Documents tab.

    You may also obtain this information by contacting the Settlement Administrator at (888) 681-1076, class counsel at Frederick & Berler LLC at (216) 502-1055 or Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. at (216) 781-1111, by accessing the Court docket in this case through the Court’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system at https://ecf.ohsd.uscourts.gov, or by visiting the Office of the Clerk for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio at 85 Marconi Boulevard, Columbus, Ohio 43215, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Court holidays.

    PLEASE DO NOT TELEPHONE THE COURT OR THE COURT CLERK’S OFFICE TO INQUIRE ABOUT THIS SETTLEMENT.

  • If your contact information changes, please submit your new contact information to the Settlement Administrator or Class Counsel via the Contact Us page, by email at info@OhioNOISettlement.com, or in writing at:

    Rayburn v. Santander Consumer USA
    c/o JND Legal Administration
    PO Box 91389
    Seattle, WA 98111

    Please include the case name, your full name, your previous mailing address, and your current mailing address for verification purposes.

For More Information

Visit this website often to get the most up-to-date information.

Mail

Rayburn v. Santander Consumer USA
c/o JND Legal Administration
PO Box 91389
Seattle, WA 98111