2 states settle with Santander over ‘unfair’ car loans

BOSTON (AP) — Santander has agreed to a nearly $26 million settlement with officials in two states over the bank’s role in unfair subprime auto loans for thousands of consumers.

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn announced the settlement Wednesday with Boston-based Santander, which the officials called the largest packager of subprime auto loans in the nation.

Santander said it did not admit wrongdoing in the agreement and was glad the matter was resolved.

Healey said the settlement was the first of its kind in the U.S. and compared it to abuses by subprime mortgage lenders that contributed to the 2008 financial collapse.

The attorneys general said investigators found that Santander funded auto loans despite knowing that many borrowers could not afford the terms and would likely default.

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