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Wells Fargo to pay $3.7b for wrongful repossessions, foreclosures

The CFPB ordered Wells Fargo to pay $2 billion in fees to consumers who were affected by the bank’s missteps.

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In a shocking twist of legal fate, Wells Fargo has agreed to pay $3.7 billion in a settlement addressing their mistreatment of customers which includes wrongful repossessions, overdraft fees, and even foreclosures.

According to NPR, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) ordered Wells Fargo to pay $2 billion in fees to consumers who were affected by the bank’s missteps in addition to a $1.7 billion fine for their various and multitudinous breaches of consumer rights.

These breaches include situations in which loans were improperly handled by the bank, leading to houses and cars being repossessed prematurely. NPR also reports that some customers’ checking accounts were subjected to inappropriate overdraft fees.

CFPB director Rohit Chopra described Wells Fargo’s practices as a “rinse-repeat cycle of violating the law” that has harmed “millions of American families” when asked about the settlement.

Another spokesperson from the CFPB explained that each person who lost a car unfairly due to Wells Fargo’s practices will be entitled to a $4,000 base payment with the potential for more compensation “depending on the particulars of their case.”

Charlie Scharf, current CEO of Wells Fargo, released a statement that seemed to praise the settlement in reference to fixing “a series of unacceptable practices” at the firm. Scharf also affirmed that the company is working to “change and provide customer remediation where warranted” in service of their goal to “transform the operating practices at Wells Fargo and to put these issues behind us.”

Over an indeterminate time span, Wells Fargo has had more than their fair share of blunders, not least of which was a 2016 investigation by NPR that concluded that the bank had all but forced employees to open “​​millions of checking, debit, and credit card accounts for customers without their knowledge” due to rigorous sales quotas.

As anyone who has witnessed a settlement of this scale unfolds knows, it will take time for Wells Fargo to contact and reimburse people who were affected by their actions. The CFPB has expressed support for people who encounter difficulties obtaining their due compensation, offering a tool on their website through which customers can lodge their complaints pursuant to this particular settlement.

Jack Lloyd has a BA in Creative Writing from Forest Grove's Pacific University; he spends his writing days using his degree to pursue semicolons, freelance writing and editing, oxford commas, and enough coffee to kill a bear. His infatuation with rain is matched only by his dry sense of humor.

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