$142M Revised Settlement in Wells Fargo's Account Fraud Gets Preliminary Approval

This is a settlement for the Wells Fargo Fraudulent Bank and Credit Card Account Fees lawsuit.

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Santa Clara, CA: A revised $142 million settlement has received preliminary approval potentially ending the Wells Fargo consumer bank account fraud class action lawsuit. The Wells Fargo fake bank account scam involved employees setting up unauthorized accounts and transferring customers’ funds from legitimate accounts to the newly-created ones without customer knowledge or consent. Wells Fargo customers were then charged fees for insufficient funds or overdrafts, because they didn’t have enough money in their legitimate accounts.

In March, Wells Fargo announced it had reached a preliminary $110 million settlement resolving 12 putative class actions making similar allegations of fraud. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which shared in a $185 million fine brought against Wells Fargo for the fraud, bank employees set up more than two million deposit and credit card accounts without customer authorization between January 2011 and September 8, 2015. Some 14,000 of those accounts earned over $400,000 in fees for the bank, including annual fees, interest charges and overdraft-protection fees, CNN Money reported.

US District Judge Vince Chhabria has now given the revised settlement deal the go-ahead after the plaintiffs and defendants resubmitted the agreement with several revisions, as requested by the judge. Those revisions include a simplified opt-out process, a more comprehensive class notification procedure and an expanded anticipated scope of credit-impact damages.

Under the original settlement proposal, the class consisted of Wells Fargo bank customers that had unauthorized accounts opened in their names, were enrolled in a product or service or had an application submitted for a product or service in their name without consent between January 1, 2009, and the execution of the settlement. Wells Fargo subsequently agreed to extend the claims to 2002, adding an additional $30 million to the settlement fund in April.

“[T]he parties negotiated a revised settlement that guarantees classwide compensation for actual damages, supplements compensation for noncompensatory damages and provides a better process for claimant input and court oversight prior to final approval,” Judge Chhabria wrote.

The case is Jabbari et al. v. Wells Fargo & Co. et al., case number 3:15-cv-02159, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

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Reader Comments

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I have stolen identity,idenity thieves opened up hundreds of accounts at wells fargo in my name..

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Wells Fargo entered me into a program without my consent, not once but twice! The first time, it nearly cost me my home. The second time, I halted their action once I became aware of what was going on. Their tactics were so crafty, I didn't realize what was happening until it was almost too late. They basically did the same thing as the first time, they told me not to make a payment for two months. They made it seem as if it was an added benefit of joining the program. I had no idea, until recently, that customers must be behind on their mortgages to qualify for these programs, which is the real reason they told me not to pay for two months. I have spent countless hours trying to figure out how its even possible that someone can go from being completely current on their mortgage, to a status of 'ACCELERATED FORECLOSURE' in a matter of just a few months. I spent the next year and a half fighting just to keep my home, while knowing their had to be a bigger problem, with others being affected. They kept my paperwork circulating from department to department in a 'pending' status for over a year, giving no information regarding an end date, but told me to call back weekly, or even daily, because when it came out of pending status, it would either be approved for a new program, or go back into accelerated foreclosure very quickly, which could happen even before they had a chance to notify me. There had been so many glitches in their system, along the way, I knew I couldn't trust anything. I called almost every day the entire 18 months to check the status, hardly ate or slept, only to find that the 'pending' status was actually due to a moratorium on foreclosures. Once the moratorium was lifted, my case went right back into 'accelerated foreclosure' where I almost lost my home, but I saved it by contacting the local law firm handling the case so many times, they knew I was very committed to saving my home, plus I made them aware of the circumstances. I found out I would get to keep my home on the very day I would otherwise have had to move out. It was intensely stressful, and my health and job suffered because of it. I also had to pay an attorney my every last penny, who did absolutely nothing for me. But, I was desperate. WF then entered me into another program that added almost $20,000 to my balance, increased my payment by almost $500, required that I buy expensive flood insurance despite not being in a flood zone, and added an extra 6 years to the life of the loan, with all of that extra interest to boot. It was a sweet deal for them, that made my next several years another living hell trying to keep up with the higher mortgage payment. This past year, I called to inquire about a refinance, and the representative told me I qualified. She told me not to make my payment that day, because I was getting a month of reprieve, and possibly a second one, depending on how much tome it took to process my new loan. By the time I realized what was happening, they had already entered me into another agreement that would end up costing me tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan, and it added another 6 years to the life of the loan! When I protested, they refused to take me out of the program, stating it was too late. I explained to them it must be a mistake, because I never signed up for the program. They insisted I did. I assured them I had not! They bounced me around form department to department for a couple of weeks, all the while I was leaving daily messages for the representative who they said was handling my loan, because the 'Activate' date was drawing near. I kept insisting to every single person I spoke with to notate the fact I had never agreed to this program they put me on, and at this point, my only mission was to find out how it was possible for them to sign me up for something I did not want, did not agree to, and that would end up costing me thousands. It didn't even make any sense for me to accept their terms, it did not help me at all. They kept saying, but it does help you. It lowers your monthly payment by $60 monthly. I explained to them over and over how that did not help me in the least. They actually argued with me, insisting that they were helping me. I repeated over and over again for those two months, to everyone who answered the phone in all those departments that they needed to figure out how this happened because they would NOT be putting me on a program that I hadn't asked for and that would be hurting me, not helping me one bit. Their response to this, over and over, was getting a supervisor, or other representative on the line to 'assist' them in explaining to me what they claimed "I wasn't understanding". In every instance, I would professionally explain to them that this was not a matter of me not being able to understand the program. In fact, it was the exact opposite. "I understand completely what the terms of this loan are, and it simply does not help me". This would trigger them trying to insist that I must not understand, again, because it was saving me $60 monthly. I would repeat to them how saving me $60 did not help me one bit, if it was costing me tens of thousands in the long run and adding years to the life of my loan. I got very specific, in having them calculate precisely what my payoff would be on my current program vs the one they were insisting I was already signed up for, and was too late to get out of, to which I would remind them that, this endless debate about them insisting they were helping me, when they were absolutely not, was all just a mute point because the bottom line was I never agreed to it, and I intended to get to the bottom of who and how this had happened..AGAIN. I told them I'd already been down that road with them, and was still paying the price, and would never have agreed to a program that hurt me, rather than helped. I told them I was beginning to believe all of this was intentional, rather than multiple mistakes, as I'd given them credit for, and that they needed to put me in touch with someone who could halt the process before they did something very stupid in allowing me to be stuck with a program I never agreed to. They eventually told me who the initiating rep was, and that she was the only one who could stop it from happening, and it might even be too late for her to stop it. I called that person daily for weeks with no reply, as the date of initiation was drawing near. She ignored my calls for days, then intentionally called me at the only time I told her I would not be available, then ignored my calls again until I finally said I was keeping a record of the number of calls I'd made with no answer. She called me back, but was still refusing to take me off of the program. She was insisting it was helping me. I was insisting it was not. She eventually broke down and her voice cracked and she didn't cry but sounded as if she was on the brink. She told me I didn't understand what she was going through. Then, revealed she had been extremely stressed out due to her mom being sick. I offered empathy & understanding regarding her situation but reminded her that it had no bearing on my situation, and didn't change the fact that I'd been signed up for a program I didn't ask for. And, that I fully understood, first hand, how sickness could be stressful because the entire time they'd been putting me through all of this, almost 4 full months, I'd been dealing with a cancer diagnosis. I assured her that having to fight Wells Fargo again, to keep my home, would probably be the death of me because it almost killed me the first time around, when I was fully healthy. I told her I cannot take this again. And, that she needed to find a way to get that program stopped, I never consented to, or I would have no choice but to hire an attorney again. She stopped the process, but by this time, they had been refusing my payments for four months, so I had to enter another program to play catch up, which was another stressful process, just wondering if something would go wrong again. I wasn't allowed to make online payments, or participate in auto-draft, as I usually did, because they blocked me out of that service, upon signing me up for the fictitious program. For the next several months, on top of cancer schedules and woes, I had to adhere to this payment schedule they assigned to me which had very strict guidelines, and the consequence of in-adherence could be 'accelerated foreclosure'. It was a nightmare, that caused me to relive the first nightmare, and added an unbelievable amount of extra stress at a time I needed solace. I have pretty good records of all of this, if you need it.

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They open two accounts in my name

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