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Are You Eligible for $142 Million Wells Fargo Settlement?


Written by Dillon Thompson | Published on 1/20/2019

In July 2017, Wells Fargo agreed to pay $142 million to its customers in a settlement over the 3.5 million potentially fake accounts the bank admitted to opening without their permission.

The agreement means a payout for any account holders affected by the scandal, all of whom were given about nine months to file for reimbursement.

The deadline to file a claim was July 7, 2018. That date has passed, but it’s worth knowing whether you’re eligible for the Wells Fargo settlement, how much money you could receive and when you should expect payment. Here’s everything you need to know about the Wells Fargo settlement.

The $142 million Wells Fargo settlement

The Wells Fargo settlement stems from a series of revelations about the bank’s retail sales practices, which found that for years, Wells Fargo employees had created accounts in their customers’ names without their consent.

These accounts included credit cards, lines of credit, checking accounts and savings accounts, with the wrongdoing spanning a 15-year period between 2002 and 2017. There are three reasons a person may be included in the Wells Fargo settlement:

  • You had one or more unauthorized Wells Fargo accounts opened in your name between May 1, 2002, and April 20, 2017.
  • You had one or more unauthorized Wells Fargo accounts applied for in your name between May 1, 2002, and April 20, 2017, regardless of whether that account was opened.
  • You obtained identity theft protection services from Wells Fargo between May 1, 2002, and April 20, 2017.

The original deadline to file a claim was Feb. 3, 2018. But, in March 2018, a California court ruled to extend that date to July 7, 2018, so those affected could have more time to apply.

When will payments be made?

It’s too early to know when payments will be issued, as the Wells Fargo settlement is wrapped up in an appeal that has stalled reimbursement. The appeal, which, among other issues, claimed the court awarded excessive legal fees to certain lawyers involved in the case, must be resolved before payments can begin.

Once that happens, Wells Fargo still has to calculate the total cost of damages for each claimant. The bank will then distribute checks to each person at the same time.

You can check www.wfsettlement.com to track the progress of payments.

How do I know if I’m included?

The Wells Fargo settlement includes anyone who had fake accounts applied for or opened in their name, as well as anyone who obtained fraud protection services during the 15-year time frame.

Exceptions to this include Wells Fargo employees, court officers who have worked with or are related to the case, and anyone who opted to be excluded.

Those who qualified for reimbursement would have been mailed a notice in November 2017. Customers can check their status by calling 866-431-8549 or visiting www.wfsettlement.com.

How much will I be paid if I’m receiving a settlement?

While reimbursements will differ from claimant to claimant, Wells Fargo has announced what each settlement will cover. There are three types of payments a customer may receive from the bank, depending on the extent of the damages:

  • Fee reimbursement: Anyone who was charged fees for an unauthorized account will be repaid for those charges. For fees charged between Jan. 1, 2009, and April 20, 2017, that money will be paid back. Those who had fees charged between May 1, 2002, and Dec. 31, 2008, will receive a flat-rate reimbursement since the bank said it is unable to calculate the exact cost of those fees.
  • Credit impact damages: Customers who paid higher interest rates because their credit score was harmed by a fake account will also receive reimbursements. These payments will vary based on how badly a person’s finances were affected by a reduced credit score.
  • Additional compensation: After the other payments have been calculated, Wells Fargo will divide the remaining settlement money among all the claimants. The amount each customer receives will vary, depending on how many fake accounts were tied to their name and whether they had enrolled in fraud protection services.

Wells Fargo in the news

The $142 million Wells Fargo settlement hasn’t been the only thing keeping the bank in the news lately.

In late December, the bank agreed to a $575 million settlement with the attorneys general of all 50 states and Washington, D.C. That payment is also tied to the fake account scandal, as well as other issues relating to auto loans and mortgages.

Not every state will get an equal share of the settlement, though. California, for example, is set to receive $148.7 million — about $100 million more than the next highest payout. Washington, D.C., will receive the least money, getting $1,112,853.

The fake accounts scandal also spawned a securities fraud suit, which was settled last March. That agreement, filed by Wells Fargo shareholders who said the bank misstated and omitted information related to the scandal, resulted in a $480 million payout.

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Comments
Jennifer
Jennifer   |     |   Comment #1
I simply adore settlements of any type (just ask my first husband!), however, I know from past experience that sometimes group settlements don't give very large proceeds. I'm not sure about this one.
Columbo
Columbo   |     |   Comment #9
Wells Fargo just recently had another big scandal. NBC local news said they were withdrawing monthly fees from customer's checking accounts, for life insurance they never signed up for? They are paying millions for that fraud. I'm surprised they srill have any clients.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #2
This is a great website to see if there are any class action lawsuits that you may qualify for. You would be surprised how often you do qualify for one or two of these. Sometimes they are only about $20 but I have gotten a few around $150-$180. They take forever to work through the legal system but they do eventually pay out many times years later.
https://topclassactions.com/category/lawsuit-settlements/open-lawsuit-settlements/
Get Real
Get Real   |     |   Comment #3
I was part of a class action against my old employer and got a 30k settlement. My wife got $230 for an unsolicited call. I also got about $8 from Wells when I refinanced more mortgage regarding some overcharge.

If the group is defined and you are able to prove damages the class actions settlements can be larger amounts. The ones that almost anyone can join are low.

I'm part of a class against Rayonier Corp. The amount I will be getting will be around $3,000. I had to supply stock transaction statements to prove the damages I'm entitled too. The process is going into 2 years.
111
111   |     |   Comment #4
There have been a number of accounts opened in my name over the years; unfortunately my searches show that none have been vicariously opened by Wells Fargo - and all have been opened by me. Guess I've missed out.
Genie
Genie   |     |   Comment #5
My family has also been scammed & taken by Wells Fargo lawyers who were supposed to settle my dad's estate Trust.....We lost $1 million due to their diddling & not addressing the situation. Most of 7 siblings are senior citizens, and many of us are in need of finances, others have health issues, or the spouse does. This is criminal. Some of my siblings went to court over this, to no avail.
#6 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
losingtrader
losingtrader   |     |   Comment #10
They've actually been doing this a lot longer than the admitted action. The turned me down for a business line of credit in 1994 and 10 days later I opened a UPS package with an open 25,000 Line of credit in my business' name. I'm not exactly complaining . It came in handy.
#11 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
#12 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
Tammy
Tammy   |     |   Comment #13
I personally will love to know how much wells Fargo owe me for opening up a mortgage under my name before I've even financed my first home? It took me forever to clear my name.
mony
mony   |     |   Comment #14
I been with wells Fargo since 2003, I have almost every single account there Is to have with them , I even take a loan before and paid it off timely.. But I remember back in 2006 , someone from the corporate office called me to go over some suspicious activities in my account, they needed to verify a few transactions... so they ask if I purchase some furniture at a store in Chicago where just 46 mins prior to that transaction I withdrew 40 bucks at a well fargo branch in California.. .And there was another purchase of 300 dollars work of Duncan Doughnut..I mean that's alot of donuts, u can probably feed the empire state building with all that... So I confirm that is not me and just overwhelm on how someone can just use my identity, I was transfer to a credit protection specialist after they told me they was going to place a hold on my account and send me a new debit/Visa card and clear those fraudulent charges on me...I was just concern on how this could happen to me.. I never actually signed up or applied for the identity protection but having it charged every year from 2007 til current ... I want thinking clearly but now I'm thinking about it why do I need protection when they called me to inform me about the suspicious transactions, that means they were already monitoring my account... I was vulnerable at the moment and they insured me that credit protection will be something to look into... little that I knew it, I was already enrolled in it ...
Robert  T
Robert T   |     |   Comment #15
It is April 2019. I have had a wells Fargo dealer services auto loan. We lost a home loan to a car payment. Wells Fargo dealer services claimed it was insufficient funds, when it was not. Gave our perfect credit 90 days late. Wont fix it back. Stephanie at president office has Been awful to work with. My bank sent them statements showing that our money cleared. That it did first time. We didnt ask for money , just our credit fixed. They have been nothing but rude and mean. I have gotten off the phone crying 3/4 of every call. Complied with everything they asked of me. And still dealing with them. Its time i get an attorney
Thomas
Thomas   |     |   Comment #16
I received my check today from Wells Fargo Bank. $1.59 one dollar and 59 cents
April 13, 2019
Donnie
Donnie   |     |   Comment #17
I received one yesterday for $46 and some change. I thought that was chump change but can't complain I guess.

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