A $142 million settlement was reached by parties over allegations that Wells Fargo personnel opened accounts without clients’ consent.
It was stipulated that the settlement will give the proper compensation for Wells Fargo customers who were impacted by the bank’s decision to open unauthorized accounts in customers’ names. These customers allegedly were charged for fees for these accounts created without their knowledge and suffered damage to their overall credit ratings.
Back in May 2015, Shahriar Jabbari filed the Wells Fargo class action lawsuit. According to Jabbari, the bank created corporate culture that drove its employees to meet unreachable sales goals. The pressure on these employees was allegedly so intense that they ended up opening false accounts in the names of existing customers.
The bank allegedly withdrew funds from customers’ preexistent accounts to pay fees associated with the unofficial accounts. The bogus accounts that gather up an excessive debt were sometimes referred to collection agencies, according to the class action lawsuit.
In March 2017, both parties reached a settlement and in April it was determined that the suggested settlement was to be expanded in order to include more compensation for more Class Members.
The settlement requires Wells Fargo to create a settlement fund worth $142 million. After deductions are made to cover court costs, attorney fees and the costs of settlement administration, the remainder of the settlement fund will be distributed among qualifying Class Members.
The notices where sent in early October and in Oct. 6, 2017, class members registered online to receive a Claim Form via mail or to file a claim online.
For this case, it’s considered a class member all of those for whom Wells Fargo or its current or former subsidiaries or agents opened an unauthorized account or submitted an unauthorized application, or who obtained identity protection services from Wells Fargo from May 1, 2002 through April 20, 2017.
It was established that class Members can receive compensation for account fees and damage to their credit, and they may get extra compensation as a distribution of any leftover settlement funds.
In the case of the credit impact damages, this will be established on a case-by-case basis to properly compensate for higher interest rates paid on loans or credit cards attributable to the Class Member’s unauthorized accounts.
Proof of Purchase
A Claimant ID number is required to submit an online claim form, along with ONE of the following:
Date of birth
Last 4 digits of Social Security number.
If you have misplaced your letter regarding this settlement or cannot locate your claimant ID number on the letter, please contact the Claims Administrator at 1-866-431-8549 for help.
There is also a claim form available that can be printed and mailed, but requires a Social Security number:
Claim Form Deadline
Jabbari, et al. v. Wells Fargo & Co., et al., Case No. 3:15-cv-02159, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
Wells Fargo Unauthorized Accounts Settlement
c/o Rust Consulting
P.O. Box 2594
Faribault, MN 55021-9594
Gretchen Freeman Cappio
Daniel P. Mensher
Matthew J. Preusch
KELLER ROHRBACK LLP
David H. Fry
Erin J. Cox
MUNGER TOLLES & OLSON LLP