Buying, maintaining, and paying for a car can be a stressful experience – especially if you find out that you fell behind on your payments and had your car repossessed through no fault of your own. You may have a claim against Wells Fargo if you financed your car through Wells Fargo and believe Wells Fargo and National General Insurance improperly forced you to pay for car insurance when you already had coverage. CONTACT FDAZAR IMMEDIATELY.
NATURE OF CLAIMS AGAINST WELLS FARGO
Customers who financed a car loan from Wells Fargo were required to have comprehensive auto insurance to protect their cars in the event the vehicle was damaged. Some customers who purchased this insurance from their own insurance companies were forced by Wells Fargo to purchase a second policy for the same protection they already had. This practice is known as “force placed” insurance, which duplicated the customers’ insurance coverage – generally at a cost far greater than the customer’s own separately purchased insurance. It is estimated that Wells Fargo caused its auto loan customers to pay an estimated $73 million in unnecessary insurance premiums alone.
Many of Wells Fargo’s forced-place insurance victims had no idea they were being charged extra for this car insurance. When a car loan was taken out with Wells Fargo, the customer was given a fixed payment for a certain number of months. Many customers set up automatic monthly payments from their accounts in that agreed upon amount. Certain customers who were forced to buy additional car insurance without their knowledge had their accounts quickly become delinquent because the automatic payments were not sufficient to cover the additional insurance. It is estimated that up to 20,000 vehicles were wrongly repossessed due to defaults caused by this improper additional cost. Many customers suffered damage to their credit.
Wells Fargo customers faced substantial hardship due to being forced to buy duplicative car insurance. Customers faced negative credit reports, repossession, and/or loan defaults, as well as the stress and hardship of being wrongfully deprived of the use of their cars due to the actions of Wells Fargo and National Insurance. Moreover, Wells Fargo has also been in the news lately for other deceptive and unethical practices, including a scandal in which their employees created millions of credit card and bank accounts that their customers never authorized. “Large companies often try to take advantage of their customers and Wells Fargo has certainly been in the news a lot lately for doing just that,” said Franklin D. Azar.
FDAzar, in conjunction with several class action firms in the country, filed a class action lawsuit against Wells Fargo Dealer Services and National General Insurance on August 29, 2017. In addition to a refund of wrongfully charged premiums, Class members may be entitled to damages other damages caused by Wells Fargo’s actions, including damage to your credit. Since our case was filed under the Racketeer influence and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970, class members may also be eligible for triple monetary awards.
Wells Fargo has admitted their wrongdoing in this case and has a proven track record of failing their customers. However, instead of compensating their customers for all of the damages Wells Fargo caused, Wells Fargo is attempting to buy their way out of lawsuits by sending insurance refund checks directly to their customers. A confidential report prepared by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency criticized Wells Fargo’s handling of the problem once it was discovered. The same report indicated that Wells Fargo has likely underestimated the cost to reimburse customers for their losses. See www.nytimes.com/2017/10/20/business/wells-fargo-auto-insurance-comptroller.html.
If you receive and cash this check, you may not be able to participate in the lawsuits against Wells Fargo or National General Insurance or receive additional compensation for your damages. “That is what Wells Fargo wants, to get out cheap so that they face no true repercussions for their admittedly bad behavior,” added Mr. Azar. IF YOU RECEIVE A REFUND CHECK IN THE MAIL, KNOW YOUR RIGHTS BEFORE YOU SIGN THEM AWAY by CONTACTING US HERE.
On December 11, 2017, the parties held a scheduling conference in front of the Honorable Andrew J. Guilford in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. At the conference, Judge Guilford set the general schedule for the case, including a trial date in early 2019. Currently, the parties are preparing for class certification.
FDAZAR’S CLASS ACTION EXPERIENCE
Franklin D. Azar & Associates is well known in the class action community. For over 30 years, our attorneys have protected the rights of individuals who have been taken advantage of by big corporations and during that time, has secured over $1.5 billion in compensation – including over $750 million from Walmart in a wage and hour dispute that spanned approximately 26 states. FDAzar has been and is involved in mass tort and class actions against other large corporations like Toyota, Hewlett Packard, British Petroleum, drug manufacturers, medical device manufacturers, and 401k providers. Our class action department is staffed with experienced and knowledgeable attorneys who focus on litigating large, complex cases.