Many Americans are not too happy with Wells Fargo right now, and with good reason. It was recently uncovered that the bank’s employees opened more than 2 million fraudulent accounts under customers’ names. The public is understandably outraged, and the rights of those affected customers have come into question as a result.
The scandal began to unfold in early September, when the bank was fined $185 million by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for moving funds from existing customer accounts into new ones without proper authorization. Additionally, the bank’s employees reportedly submitted 565,443 credit card applications without informing customers or obtaining consent. Moreover, the applications which were approved racked up a whopping $400,000 in fees.
Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf has since released an apology to Wells Fargo customers, but maintains that the fraud was not an orchestrated effort. In a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, Stumpf assured that an internal review of all accounts would be expanded to evaluate the actions dating back to 2009. However, it remains that the bank knew about the fraudulent actions since at least 2011. Wells Fargo employees have reported that the behavior resulted from pressure to meet sales goals which they deemed unrealistic. Ultimately, they said the opening of these accounts was a means of keeping their jobs.
Protecting Debtor Rights
The bank has begun contacting the massive list of customers under whom fraudulent accounts were opened. Each one of the affected customers has the potential to bring suit; in fact, the first class action suit has already been filed. For those facing credit card debt as a result of the actions of Wells Fargo employees in particular, the actions could prove to be even more costly. Closing a credit card, even one opened due to fraud, could have a negative effect on one’s credit score. The cards could already have impacted the consumer’s credit when opened, with any debts incurred having ill effects as well. However, closing the card has the potential to cause even more damage, depending on the individual’s credit history. There are steps which must be taken to rightfully correct the bank’s wrongs, and strong legal representation will be key for expediting the process.
If you’re facing debt as a result of the Wells Fargo scandal, you deserve retribution. Call a Miami debt defense attorney today to learn more about your rights