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Wells Fargo Paying $80M to Customers Over Insurance Snafu

Customers charged for auto insurance without being informed.

by on Jul.28, 2017

Wells Fargo will pay $80 million to resolve problems associated with its auto loan programs.

Wells Fargo is ponying up $80 million in refunds and account adjustments to auto loan customers because the bank charged them for auto insurance without telling them. In most cases, the loan customers already had insurance.

Of the 570,000 customers who were charged, 490,000 had auto insurance from some other provider. The loans had a provision that allowed the bank to charge for insurance coverage if there was no evidence the loan customer had it.

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The actions included loans from 2012 through this year. In some instances, customers had their vehicles repossessed because of problems with the additional payments. The bank will pay $64 million in cash and make $16 million in account adjustments as part of the program.

The bank has had its share of problems in recent months, including paying fines and settlements of more than $325 million related to an illegal practice of opening 2.1 million deposit and credit card accounts in the names of existing customers without their approval.

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Those issues may have sparked auto loan customers to look more closely at their accounts and pressure the bank to review the insurance program last year. After a review, the bank stopped the program.

“In the fall of last year, our CEO and our entire leadership team committed to build a better bank and be transparent about those efforts,” said Franklin Codel, who heads Wells Fargo Consumer Lending, in a statement. “Our actions over the past year show we are acting on this commitment.”

Beyond the customers charged for insurance when they already had coverage, another 60,000 were not told about Wells Fargo’s obtaining insurance for them in violation of state laws. Refunds for this group will total about $39 million.

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The 20,000 customers who had their vehicles repossessed will get payments beyond the financial harm caused totaling $16 million. In addition to having cars repossessed, customers also incurred late fees, insufficient funds charges and credit report damages, according to a New York Times report.

The charges occurred because a customer who set up automatic payments of $275 monthly was charged $325 with the insurance, which was provided by National General Insurance.

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Because they were unaware, the additional fee could result in account overdrafts, the Times noted. Customers could also fall behind on their car payment, since interest and interest on insurance were deducted before payment on the car loan principal.

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One Response to “Wells Fargo Paying $80M to Customers Over Insurance Snafu”

  1. JAE says:

    WOW, will the corruption ever end?