How to Get Your Part of the Wells Fargo Banking Scandal Settlement
Consumers exploited by one of the largest banks will no longer be waiting for a slice of the big pie from a class action settlement.
Wells Fargo’s $142 million settlement — which covers people who had unauthorized accounts opened in their names — received final approval in mid-June from a California district court. Unsubscribe deadlines have passed, but customers have until July 7 to file a complaint.
The bank, which is working to restore its image, has found itself in hot water several times in recent months. In April, he was fined by federal regulators. And in May, Wells Fargo agreed to pay following allegations that it failed to promptly disclose details of the fake accounts scandal to investors. According to a class action lawsuit filed in federal court, its shares were trading at “artificially inflated prices.”
If you think you were a victim of the incident involving fake accounts, visit wfsettlement.com. While you’re waiting to receive your share, there are things you can do right now, like checking your credit report.
Determine if you are affected
As many as 3.5 million credit cards, lines of credit, and checking and savings accounts have potentially been opened without consent. You may be entitled to compensation if, between May 1, 2002 and April 20, 2017, you:
- Had an account opened without authorization.
- Had an account application submitted under your name without authorization.
- Were enrolled in Wells Fargo Identity Theft Protection Services.
If you’ve contacted the feds or the bank about your fake accounts, chances are you’ll be automatically included in the class action settlement. By now, you should have received a claim form in the mail.
Not sure if you are automatically enrolled in the class action settlement? Contact the settlement administrator (1-866-431-8549). And if you’re unsure whether an unauthorized account has been opened in your name, call Wells Fargo Account Services (1-800-869-3557).
If you are not automatically considered a Class Member and need to file a claim, you must do so online or by mail. The deadline – which was originally February 3 – has been pushed back to give customers more time to participate in the settlement.
“Wells Fargo and plaintiffs’ attorneys requested the extension to July 7, 2018, to respond to a request from a group of state attorneys general to allow current and former customers more time to file claims and to send additional notices via email and mail to ensure our outreach is thorough and gives people enough time to file claims,” Wells Fargo spokesman Jim Seitz said. “This demonstrates our commitment to doing things right.”
Reimbursement for victims
Victims who have paid fees associated with unauthorized accounts may receive a lump sum refund or payment based on the amount they were charged. Credit-related damages may also be awarded to customers who ended up with a higher credit card or loan interest rate after the fake accounts were opened.
If you were automatically enrolled in the settlement and do not submit a claim, you will be eligible to receive whatever remains after other cash benefits are paid.
Now that a court has granted final approval for the settlement, Wells Fargo and the plaintiffs will decide how much money each class member will receive. Then, payments will be made to eligible customers, a press release said.
If you requested to be excluded from the settlement, you will not receive any compensation. If you don’t file a claim – and Wells Fargo has no proof that you were actually hurt – you won’t get anything.
Check your credit report
If you think your credit has been damaged, don’t wait (especially if you’re considering applying for a mortgage or auto loan). Get free copies of your credit reports and check for errors. If you find errors, you can dispute them online with each of the reporting offices.
“You need to check all three credit reports from all three agencies, because sometimes different credit agencies may have different information,” says Rachel Kampersal, associate of marketing communications and programs at American Consumer Credit Counseling.
If your credit was actually impacted because an account was opened without your consent, file a complaint and indicate that you allow the Settlement Administrator to view your credit report. Frequently Asked Questions notes that credit impact damages will be calculated by multiplying the “increased cost of credit” by the “likelihood that your credit score will drop to a different level.”