Wells Fargo Mortgage Bankruptcy Fee Class Action Lawsuit
By Matt O’Donnell
Wells Fargo & Co. charges improper penalties and fees to mortgage customers who have filed for bankruptcy and later withdraw their petition or have it dismissed, according to a class action lawsuit filed February 19 in New Jersey Superior Court.
Plaintiffs Mark and Suzanne Guralnick allege in the class action lawsuit that Wells Fargo has “conspired to prevent plaintiffs and other members of the class from paying their mortgage loans on a timely basis, with the ultimate objective of imposing late fees prematurely and without basis.”
The Guralnicks claim they filed for bankruptcy in April 2012 in order to repay an IRS lien but continued to send mortgage payments to Wells Fargo as scheduled and only stopped after signaling through an attorney that they intended to satisfy the terms of the mortgage. However, the lender continued to charge them penalties and late fees even after they terminated their bankruptcy proceedings.
Mr. Guralnick also claims the company unlawfully assessed charges for hazard insurance on a property that already had coverage, and then willfully ignored correspondence showing “clear proof” that the home was covered. Guralnick claims Wells Fargo has “openly perpetuated this scheme [on others]…. all in a scheme to frustrate, sidetrack, delay and confuse mortgagers, and to assess and collect unlawful insurance assessments on mortgage loans.”
According to their class action lawsuit, Wells Fargo’s actions violate the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. They are seeking to represent all New Jersey homeowners with mortgages through Wells Fargo who filed petitions for bankruptcy and then terminated their bankruptcy proceedings, and who have ever been assessed hazard insurance charges for unnecessary insurance coverage.
Wells Fargo reached a class action lawsuit settlement last month related to its mortgages, agreeing to pay $500,000 to resolve allegations it tricked delinquent California mortgage holders into making payments on properties that were headed into foreclosure.
The Wells Fargo Mortgage Bankruptcy Class Action Lawsuit case is Mark & Suzanne Guralnick v. Wells Fargo & Co., Case No. L-000811-13, Superior Court of the State of New Jersey, County of Camden.
Updated February 26th, 2013
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