Week Adjourned: 5.15.15 – Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, Bar Exam Software

Wells FargoTop Class Action Lawsuits

Wells Fargo playing fast and loose with customer accounts? Maybe…It got hit with a class action lawsuit this week by a former customer who claims that California’s largest bank engages in consumer banking fraud. What does that mean exactly? Well, Shahriar Jabbari of Campbell, CA, alleges that he and a nationwide class of consumers were victims of Wells Fargo’s tolerance and encouragement of abuses by workers in its branches. The specific allegations are unfair enrichment and violations of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FACTA) and California unfair competition and consumer protection laws.

Here’s the back story…according to the lawsuit, Jabbari began banking with Wells Fargo in 2011, wanting simply to open one checking and one savings account. However, shortly after opening his accounts, he allegedly noticed “some anomalies, such as unwanted fees.” Then in 2013, the lawsuit states that Jabbari visited the Wells Fargo branch in Los Gatos to ask about an unauthorized charge. That’s when an employee showed him how accounts had been opened in his name using a signature that was not his, according to the complaint.

The complaint states that Jabbari discovered seven accounts issued without his permission. A few months later, he received a change of address notification showing several accounts that he had not opened and that he thought had been closed.

Jabbari alleged that bill collectors badgered him to pay fees on Wells Fargo accounts that were opened without his knowledge. The suit alleges that bank employees: Withdrew money from customers’ authorized accounts to pay for the fees assessed by Wells Fargo on unauthorized accounts opened in customers’ names without their knowledge; placed customers into collection when fees and other debts accumulated in unauthorized accounts and went unpaid; and placed derogatory information in credit reports when unauthorized fees went unpaid.

The lawsuit, filed in US District Court in San Francisco, seeks restitution from the profits Wells made on “its unfair and unlawful practices,” In addition to triple damages.

Top Settlements

More banking misconduct…this time it’s a win for the plaintiffs…to the tune of $10.2 million—that’s the amount of the settlement agreed between the plaintiffs in a robocall class action lawsuit and JPMorgan Chase Bank NA.

The bank allegedly made unsolicitied robocalls to more than 2 million customers’ cellphones, in violation of the Telephone Consumer protection Act (TCPA).

According to the agreement, if approved, Chase will pay $10.2 million into a non-reversionary settlement fund, with approximately $45 to $55 to be paid to each of the 2.2 million class members.

Filed by plaintiff Sheila Allen in November 2013, the lawsuit contends JPMorgan Chase and Chase Auto Finance Corp. violated the TCPA by placing approximately 80 calls to Allen’s cellphone from July 2013 through to November 2013.

Allen alleges that the robocalls left voicemails telling her to call back certain numbers to discuss her account, even though she had no auto loan with Chase and never provided her phone number to the bank in connection with any car loan.

Despite Allen contacting Chase repeatedly, requesting the phone calls stop, nothing changed. Further, she contends she was not provided with any instructions on how to opt out of the automated calls, nor was she given the opportunity to opt out.

The case is Sheila Allen v. JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A., case number 1:13-cv-08285 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Law students will be getting some justice it seems after a $2.1 million settlement was reached in a consumer fraud class action lawsuit pending against ExamSoft Worldwide Inc. If the proposed settlement get the final nod, it will resolve allegations that the company failed to adequately respond to glitches reported in its exam software, which prevented state bar applicants from uploading their exam answers.

The defect that triggered the lawsuit is likely ever law student’s nightmare. The target of the lawsuit was SoftTest, currently the only means by which prospective lawyers in dozens of states can take the bar exam electronically. The program failed during last week’s exams, the company acknowledged, and the lawsuit, which contained deceptive marketing and negligence claims, failed to live up to its promises that it would make exam day less stressful.

According to the terms of the agreement each member of the class would receive $90. Class members consist of applicants who took the test in 43 states in July 2014. Tens of thousands of bar exam takers paid between $100 and $150 for a license to use ExamSoft’s software, SofTest, which allegedly failed after the first day of the exam, according to court documents.

Court documents also show that in addition to the $2.1 million payment, ExamSoft has made or is making enhancements to its technology and communications practices that will enable it to better communicate with test-takers and bar examiners.

The case is Amanda West et al. v. ExamSoft Worldwide Inc., case number 1:14-cv-22950, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. 

Hokee Dokee—That’s a wrap folks…See you at the Bar!

3 thoughts on “Week Adjourned: 5.15.15 – Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, Bar Exam Software”

  1. Hello,
    First of all…Wells Fargo’s Business Model is setup to STEAL and EXTORT money from people,
    rather it’s through fees or setting up fraudulent accounts! And they put unrealistic demands on there sales people, so if they do not perform they will lose there jobs! PEOPLE NEED TO BAN TOGETHER, AND BOYCOTT COMPANIES LIKE WELLS FARGO, SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL CREDIT UNIONS OR SMALL BANKS, THAT WAY WE DO NOT HAVE TO DEAL WITH THESE CRIMINALS, BECAUSE IT’S WHO THEY ARE IN THE LONG RUN! THEY SMILE IN YOUR FACE AND STAB YOU IN YOUR BACK!

  2. My wife and I were married in July 2012, her late husband and she had a Wells Fargo reverse mortgage on their home. Soon after we married she decided to turn the house over to Wells Fargo. We were assured several times and by several WF employees the process would take 60 to no more than 90 days. However, it is now May 2015 and Wells Fargo still has not taken the house according to their contract. The house has been empty since July 2012, and was appraised for only $60,000. They have provided many, many excuses, but no reasons, for their actions. An example of some of their requirements; mail them notary certified letters from three disinterested persons of her desire to give up the house, provide the same from all family members they have no interest in the property and many other nebulous requests. Her late husband left a will leaving everything to her and was placed on file with the County Government. It is now termed a foreclosure rather than Reverse Mortgage assumption, probably so they can bill her if and when they do assume the house.

  3. I have or still have a Wells Fargo and or JP Morgan Chase mortgage and car loan accounts over the past 20 years or so and yet have I got a phone call from them on either of my accounts, this is because I pay my loans ON TIME. Besides why sue some company because they called your cell phone. In my opinion if you signed the dotted line for a loan you are obligated to pay that monthly amount. I just do not understand people and being sue happy. Only thing this person is doing are making rates go up for people like me who does PAY ON TIME. The Nerve!!!!!!

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