Wells Fargo admitted last week that a calculation error involving a mortgage underwriting tool caused over 620 customers to being incorrectly refused modifications to make their loans more affordable. In the majority of these cases, the customers were forced into foreclosure and/or bankruptcy.
The flaw in the underwriting tool was found in an internal review, Wells said. The bank also noted that it has set aside over seven million for customers who were harmed by the error.
Wells also admitted that federal agencies are currently investigating how the bank bought certain federal low-income housing tax credits in connection with the financing of low-income housing developments.
The recent Wells disclosure is just the latest in a long stream of revelations about their practices that have harmed consumers. The U.S. Department of Justice has already imposed over two billion in fines on Wells for mortgages it made and sold to investors based on misrepresentations about the quality of residential loans. Once the loans went bad, investors lost literally billions of dollars.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency have imposed fines of over $1 billion on Wells for bad mortgage and auto-lending practices.
Wells has promised to do better. No one has gone to jail. God only knows how many bankruptcies have been filed and household finances ruined for families across the state of Washington. Many of us still have accounts there.
It doesn’t take much for any family to go under. Most families are ultimately two missed paychecks away from having to file bankruptcy. Maybe not today but some months later as things start to snowball. If you are in a bad car loan or falling behind on a mortgage, let us know. There are options under the bankruptcy code that can even help you with the worst Wells Fargo loan.