First came Harvey and Irma.
In the 166 years of recorded weather records, two Category 4 hurricanes never made landfall in the continental United States within the same year.
This past August and September that record was broken in just 16 days when the hurricanes struck Texas and Florida, two of the largest markets of Santander Consumer USA (SC).
And then Maria tore through Puerto Rico – where SC has a customer service center – just weeks after the island was hit by Irma. The three hurricanes left an impact unlike any before them, and the efforts to recover and rebuild continue. The aftermath has left many victims confused and heartbroken.
For one Hurricane Harvey victim and Santander Consumer customer, the storm left her separated from her home and out of options.
“I evacuated and had not worked for days due to the flooding in our area,” the customer recalled. “I didn’t know how my employer would recover and be open for business.”
Another SC customer similarly was affected by Hurricane Irma just weeks later.
“My home and the company I work for were without power for weeks,” that customer said. “We had to evacuate, and I needed more time to be able to pay bills.”
Out of power and disconnected from their homes and work, the two customers reached out to the SC customer service team. The team was able to help the customers by assisting with their automotive loan programs, providing some relief in dire situations.
These are just a couple of examples out of the 16 designated emergency areas that accounted for as much as five percent of SC’s active retail and lease loan balance during September.
Santander Consumer continues to work with customers as they try to recover.
“More and more situations like these continue to come in,” said an associate in the SC Office of Consumer Practices. “Many have been affected by these terrible storms, and we’ve been fortunate to provide some assistance to our customers.”
SC also has matched thousands of dollars of employee contributions to storm victims.
Then, this week, Banco Santander Puerto Rico announced it will contribute a $1 million to aid relief efforts in Puerto Rico in response to Maria – on top of a $1 million contribution from Santander US, parent company of Santander Consumer USA.
SC remains prepared to assist its customers, having suspended automotive repossession activities while providing temporary loan assistance to customers in the form of loan modifications and suspended late fees for FEMA-designated areas.
We encourage you to contact us if you need assistance or have questions.
Santander can be reached by phone at 888-222-4227. We also are available online to our MyAccount users through our live chat option for your convenience.