Welcome

Wells Fargo Unauthorized Accounts Settlement
P.O. Box 2594, Faribault, MN 55021-9594
1-866-431-8549
info@wfsettlement.com

Official Informational Website

Wells Fargo Unauthorized Account Settlement


1. When will I receive my payment?

Answer:

Checks will begin mailing at the end of October of 2020 and will continue through December of 2020.

2. How will I be paid for my share of the Class Action Settlement?

Answer:

If you are entitled to payment under the Class Action Settlement, a check will be sent to the address provided on your Claim Form or, if you are automatically enrolled in the Class Action Settlement and did not separately submit a Claim Form, a check will be sent to your last known address.

 

If you believe Wells Fargo may have an outdated or incorrect address for you, contact the Settlement Administrator to provide your updated address.

3. Who is included in the settlement distribution?

Answer:

You will receive a settlement check if:

• You submitted a complete, accurate, timely, and verified Claim Form; and

• You are not a current or former Wells Fargo officer, director, employee, Managed Resource, or Contractor.

4. How were settlement check amounts calculated?

Answer:

Settlement payments were calculated according to the Plan of Allocation outlined in paragraph 9 of the Amended Stipulation and Agreement of Class Action Settlement and Release. This document can be accessed using the link located here or through this Settlement Website under the Court Documents section.

5. What are the tax implications of accepting a settlement payment?

Answer:

While it is the intention of Class Counsel that any payments made as a result of the Class Action Settlement not be subject to taxation, the tax implications could vary based on the amount you may receive, so you should consult a tax professional to assess the specific tax implications of any payment you may receive.

6. Why did I receive a late ineligibility letter?

Answer:

The deadline to submit a Claim in the Settlement was July 7, 2018. According to our records, your Claim Form was received after the claims deadline. As a result, your Claim does not meet the Settlement eligibility requirements and does not qualify for a payment.

7. How do I change my name or the name on the payment since the class member is deceased?

Answer:

If you need to change the name on the settlement payment because of a life event, such as a marriage or divorce, please mail the Settlement Administrator a copy of your marriage certificate, divorce decree, or a copy of your driver’s license along with a written explanation and request to change the name on your check.

 

If you need to change the name on the settlement payment because the Settlement Class Member is deceased, please provide a written request including your name and current address, the decedent’s name and address, a photocopy of the death certificate, and an explanation of your relationship to the decedent along with documentation you may have (for example, a Small Estate Affidavit or Probate Registered Court document) supporting your authority to act on behalf of the deceased.

 

Please mail the requested information and documents to the following address:

 

SETTLEMENT ADMINISTRATOR

PO BOX 2594

FARIBAULT MN 55021-9594

8. Who qualifies for benefits under the Class Action Settlement?

Answer:

All people described in the answers to FAQ 3 qualify for cash payments.

 

The following entities and individuals do not qualify:

 

• Wells Fargo’s officers, directors and employees;

• Judicial officers and their immediate family members and associated court staff assigned to this case; or

• Persons or entities who or which timely and properly exclude themselves from the Class as provided in the Class Action Settlement.

9. What is the deadline to make a claim?

Answer:

The deadline to file a claim was July 7, 2018. This deadline has passed.

10. How are Credit Impact Damages calculated?

Answer:

Class Counsel retained experts to determine how different events associated with an unauthorized credit card, line of credit, or small business deposit account, an unauthorized application for one of these products (an inquiry to a credit bureau, the creation of a credit-card account, and so on), or a derogatory report associated with an authorized credit card as a result of overdraft protection for an unauthorized deposit account, would affect a person’s credit score. If you submitted a claim form and authorized the Settlement Administrator and the experts to access your credit report, the information from your credit report was used to determine whether your credit score was damaged by the unauthorized credit product. You will be eligible for Credit Impact Damages only if your credit score went down and you received credit within 12 months after the relevant Unauthorized Account was opened or within a period of up to 7 years after you experienced a derogatory report associated with an authorized credit card as a result of overdraft protection for an unauthorized deposit account.

 

Impact of Lowered Credit Score: A lowered credit score typically increases a consumer’s cost of credit only if it drops the consumer from one particular credit score range (or “tier”) into another tier. Changes within the same tier usually don’t increase the cost of credit. After research and testing, the experts created a set of tiers like those used by a hypothetical “average” lender in setting the cost of credit.

 

The set of tiers created by these experts is only an approximation, because every lender uses a different set of tiers. Rather than trying to determine what tiers every lender of every Class Member actually used—a nearly impossible task—the experts instead calculated the probability that a particular event moved a customer from one tier to another.

 

The increase in cost of credit caused by a drop in credit score tier will vary from lender to lender and depend on the type of credit. Class Counsel’s experts determined what values to use for the increase in borrowing cost. Damages were computed for the expected time an average consumer had retained the loan.

 

With this information, it was possible to calculate how much the cost of that credit would have increased if the unauthorized credit card, line of credit, or small business deposit account, or an unauthorized application for one of these products, moved the Class Member into a lower credit score tier.

 

Calculation of Credit Impact Damages: To calculate Credit Impact Damages, the increase in the cost of credit was multiplied by the probability that your credit score moved into a different tier, based on the number and kind of events that preceded the extension of that credit. For an example of this calculation, see FAQ 27. Some Class Members had more than one valid loan that was potentially affected by a prior Unauthorized Account and eligible for payment. In that case, the total Credit Impact Damages were equal to the sum of Credit Impact Damages for each valid loan that was affected. To the extent it is not possible to calculate the effect on your credit score (for example, some older accounts), your Credit Impact Damages calculation was based on expert analysis and available data.

11. Why is my Credit Impact Damage calculated based on “tiers” and not my actual credit score number?

Answer:

Lenders use different credit score tiers to determine whether a borrower qualifies for a loan, and if so, what interest rates they will charge. If your credit score falls, but you remain within the same credit tier, your qualification and interest rate will not change. The same is true if your credit score goes up, but not enough to bump you up to the next tier, your qualification and interest rate will not change. If, however, the decrease in your credit score causes you to fall from one tier to a lower tier, you may pay a higher interest rate for loans based on your credit score.

12. How are class members who claimed credit damage compensated for harm to their credit score?

Answer:

Changes in your credit score can impact the interest rates offered by lenders and other creditors, increasing the cost of credit cards, loans, and other tradelines over time. Class members were compensated for those increased costs they likely received as a result of changes to their credit score due to unauthorized accounts or unauthorized inquiries. Only class members who suffered harm to their credit score and had increased costs in subsequently opened credit cards, loans, and other tradelines were compensated. For two examples of how the increased costs were calculated, scroll through the thumbnails below.

 

 

13. What Additional Compensation will I receive if I participate in the Class Action Settlement?

Answer:

After Fee Reimbursement and Credit Impact Damages are paid to eligible Class Members and all fees and costs are paid, the remaining portion of the Settlement Fund will be paid as Additional Compensation to eligible Class Members. The amount of Additional Compensation will be based on how many Unauthorized Accounts each Class Member has or had, as well as authorized enrollment in Identity Theft Protection Services.

14. How do I know if any unauthorized accounts were opened for me?

Answer:

If you’d like to review your open and/or closed checking, savings, credit card, and line of credit accounts, in order to determine whether any may have been opened without your authorization, we suggest you contact Wells Fargo. Please contact Wells Fargo Account Servicing at 1-877-924-8697 at any time, seven days a week.

15. What accounts are included in the Class Action Settlement?

Answer:

The Class Action Settlement covers Wells Fargo consumer or small business checking or savings accounts, unsecured credit cards, or unsecured lines of credit opened without customer consent, or unauthorized applications for these products. These accounts are called “Unauthorized Accounts”. The Class Action Settlement also provides benefits to consumers who purchased Wells Fargo Identity Theft Protection Services.

16. What if I am not sure whether I am included in the Class Action Settlement?

Answer:

If you believe Wells Fargo opened an Unauthorized Account in your name, but you are not sure whether you are included in the Class Action Settlement, you may call 1-866-431-8549 to find out if you will be receiving a settlement payment. Note that the deadline to file a claim was July 7, 2018. This deadline has passed.

17. How can I find out if I am automatically enrolled in the Class Action Settlement?

Answer:

If Wells Fargo has a record of a complaint about Unauthorized Accounts that you made to Wells Fargo, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, or the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, you may be automatically enrolled in the Class Action Settlement. That does not mean you will automatically receive all the Settlement’s benefits. You may call 1-866-431-8549 to find out if you will be receiving a settlement payment.

18. What happens if I am automatically enrolled and did not submit a claim?

Answer:

If you were automatically enrolled and did not submit a claim, you were eligible for Additional Compensation, but you will not receive Fee Reimbursement or Credit Impact Damages.

19. What Fee Reimbursement will I receive if I participated in the Class Action Settlement?

Answer:

Class Members who were charged fees in connection with certain Unauthorized Accounts from January 1, 2009, through April 20, 2017, will receive Fee Reimbursement in the amount of the actual fees they were charged. To determine the proper amount of Fee Reimbursement for this group, the Settlement Administrator will determine the fees, if any, charged in connection with those Unauthorized Accounts that were inactive or went unused. A Class Member in this group will receive Fee Reimbursement only to the extent that two other settlements that Wells Fargo has entered into have not already reimbursed that Class Member for fees. In other words, if you have been identified as having a potentially Unauthorized Account and have already been reimbursed for your fees, you are not entitled to receive additional Fee Reimbursement.

 

Class Members who believe they were charged fees in connection with certain Unauthorized Accounts opened from May 1, 2002, through December 31, 2008, may be eligible to receive a Flat-Rate Fee Reimbursement. The Flat-Rate Fee Reimbursement will be equal to the average Fee Reimbursement payment made to Class Members with an Unauthorized Account opened from January 1, 2009, through April 20, 2017. This Flat-Rate Fee Reimbursement is necessary because Wells Fargo does not have the data necessary to determine the actual amount of fees charged to customers in connection with Unauthorized Accounts from the 2002-2008 period.

20. What is this case about?

Answer:

The lawsuit seeks compensation for Wells Fargo customers effected by the practice of opening consumer and small business deposit accounts, and unsecured credit cards and lines of credit without consent. It also seeks compensation for Wells Fargo customers who obtained Identity Theft Protection Services.

21. Can I receive benefits if I had Unauthorized Accounts or Identity Theft Protection Services before May 1, 2002?

Answer:

No. This Class Action Settlement covers only Unauthorized Accounts and authorized Identity Theft Protection Services opened on or after May 1, 2002.

22. Does this Class Action Settlement cover accounts opened by Wachovia Bank, which was acquired by Wells Fargo in 2008?

Answer:

No, this Class Action Settlement covers accounts opened by Wells Fargo only, not accounts opened by Wachovia or other companies before the companies were purchased by Wells Fargo.

23. Am I included in the Class Action Settlement?

Answer:

You are included in the Class Action Settlement and considered a Class Member if you are in the Class, which is defined as:

 

All Persons for whom Wells Fargo or Wells Fargo’s current or former subsidiaries, affiliates, principals, officers, directors, or employees opened an Unauthorized Account or submitted an Unauthorized Application, or who obtained Identity Theft Protection Services from Wells Fargo during the period from May 1, 2002, to April 20, 2017, inclusive.

 

The three terms that are printed in bold are important to understanding who is included in the Class:

 

“Unauthorized Account” refers to consumer and small business checking and savings accounts, unsecured credit cards, and unsecured lines of credit, so long as they were opened without consent.

 

“Unauthorized Application” means an application for one of those accounts or products, so long as it was submitted without consent.

 

“Identity Theft Protection Services” refers to authorized enrollment in products or services designed to monitor and alert enrolled customers when specific information is reported to credit bureaus.

 

The following entities and individuals are excluded from the Class:

 

• Wells Fargo’s officers, directors and employees;

 

• Judicial officers and their immediate family members and associated court staff assigned to this case; or

 

• Persons or entities who or which timely and properly exclude themselves from the Class as provided in the Class Action Settlement.

24. What Credit Impact Damages can I receive if I participate in the Class Action Settlement?

Answer:

Credit Impact Damages are designed to compensate Class Members who paid a higher interest rate on a loan or credit card because their credit score was hurt by an unauthorized Wells Fargo credit card, line of credit, or small business deposit account, or an unauthorized application for one of those products.

 

Credit Impact Damages are also designed to compensate Class Members who paid a higher interest rate on a loan or credit card because their credit score was hurt by derogatory reporting on an authorized credit card as a result of that credit card being linked to an Unauthorized Account (a consumer or small business deposit account) for overdraft protection.

 

Credit Impact Damages are calculated using data from your credit report. For details on the method for performing this calculation, see FAQ 27: How are Credit Impact Damages calculated? Credit Impact Damages are calculated using data from your credit report. If you actually activated or used an unauthorized Wells Fargo credit card, line of credit, or small business deposit account, you’re entitled to an Additional Compensation payment, but you won’t receive Credit Impact Damages.

 

Please keep in mind that Credit Impact Damages are designed to compensate Class Members for the increased cost of certain credit that they actually received. They’re not designed to compensate Class Members who believe they were denied certain credit entirely.

 

Likewise, Credit Impact Damages are not designed to compensate Class Members for other damages unrelated to increased borrowing costs, such as denial of housing or employment. If you believe you experienced other, non-borrowing-related harm due to the impact on your credit score from an Unauthorized Account and that your damages are large enough to justify bringing suit against Wells Fargo on your own, you would have had to exclude yourself from this Class Action Settlement in order to preserve your right to bring a separate claim against Wells Fargo.

25. Will the Credit Impact Damages cover every year of my loan?

Answer:

The experts’ calculation of Credit Impact Damages uses the average life for each type of loan because most people don’t keep loans for the whole period.

26. What are credit scores and FICO scores?

Answer:

A credit score is an assessment of creditworthiness calculated by credit reporting agencies, such as Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian, based upon information provided to them by banks, creditors, and others. Lenders often use consumers’ credit scores to assess a potential borrower’s credit risk. A FICO score is a commonly used type of credit score.

27. What is an example of what Credit Impact Damages might be?

Answer:

Here is one example of calculation of Credit Impact Damages for one particular credit product: Suppose a Class Member with a 12-point drop in credit score due to an Unauthorized Account took out a three-year used car loan for $18,000 and that the Class Member potentially paid increased interest of 2% due to the 12-point drop moving him into a lower credit tier. For such a Class Member, the calculation of Credit Impact Damages related to this auto loan would be as follows:

 

Principal auto loan amount: $18,000

 

Increased borrowing cost due to dropping to a lower tier: 2%

 

12-point drop in credit score translates to 12/100 probability of dropping to a lower tier: 0.12

 

Average length of loan: 3 years

 

Credit Impact Damages $18,000 × 0.02 × 0.12 × 3 = $129.60

 

In determining Credit Impact Damages, the Class Action Settlement considers only events that occurred within a certain time period after the unauthorized credit card, line of credit, or small business deposit account was opened, or after the unauthorized application for one of these products was submitted. Some events don’t have any effect on your credit score after a particular period. The experts have determined that the relevant period is generally 12 months.

 

Wells Fargo’s unauthorized actions could have resulted in delinquencies or derogatory marks reported on consumers’ credit reports. In these instances, the experts’ calculations will extend until the delinquency or derogatory mark was removed from the credit report, to cover a period of up to 7 years following the delinquency or derogatory mark.

28. What does it mean that this Class Action Settlement is “non-reversionary”?

Answer:

It means that none of the Settlement Fund will be returned to Wells Fargo if the Court provides final approval to the Class Action Settlement. After Fee Reimbursement and Credit Impact Damages are paid to eligible Class Members and all fees and costs are paid (see FAQ 41 How will the lawyers be paid?), the remaining portion of the Settlement Fund will be paid as Additional Compensation to eligible Class Members.

29. What is a Class Action?

Answer:

A class action is a representative lawsuit. One or more plaintiffs (who are also called “class representatives”) sue on behalf of themselves and all other people with similar claims, who are not named, but are described in the class definition and are called “Class Members.” When a class action is settled, the Court resolves the issues in the lawsuit for all Class Members, except for those who leave (opt out of) the class. Opting out means that you will not receive benefits under the Class Action Settlement. More information can be found in the Long Form Notice.

30. How was this Class Action Settlement reached?

Answer:

A settlement is an agreement between a plaintiff (or multiple plaintiffs) and a defendant (or multiple defendants) to resolve a lawsuit. Settlements end all or part of a lawsuit without a trial, and without the court or a jury ruling in favor of the plaintiff(s) or the defendant(s). A settlement allows the parties to avoid the costs and risks of a trial and the very significant time delays of litigation. Class Counsel believe that the proposed Class Action Settlement is fair and reasonable for the Class and that it is in the public interest.

 

This Class Action Settlement was achieved despite the Court dismissing this case and ordering Plaintiffs to individually arbitrate their claims. This result was possible due to months-long negotiations between the parties and the assistance of two mediators: the Honorable Layn R. Phillips, a former United States District Judge, and Ann Julius, a Circuit Mediator at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

31. What am I giving up in exchange for receiving benefits under the Class Action Settlement?

Answer:

If you have not excluded yourself from the settlement by opting out and filing an exclusion, you will be eligible for the benefits described above. By participating in the settlement and not opting out, you will give up your right to sue Wells Fargo and related parties for the claims being resolved by this Class Action Settlement.

 

Section 5 of the Class Action Settlement Agreement contains the complete text and details of what Class Members give up unless they exclude themselves from the Class Action Settlement, so please read it carefully. The Class Action Settlement Agreement is available here. If you have any questions, you may talk to the attorney listed in FAQ 40 for free, or you may talk to your own lawyer.

32. What are my potential legal claims and remedies in this Class Action?

Answer:

There are eight claims for relief in this nationwide Class Action. The listing of claims starts on page 23 of the Consolidated Amended Complaint, filed on July 30, 2015, in the Northern District of California. The Consolidated Amended Complaint is available on this website under the “Court Documents” section. If you have any questions about the claims and remedies in the Class Action, you may talk to the attorney listed in FAQ 39 for free, or you may talk to your own lawyer.

34. If I do not exclude myself, can I sue Wells Fargo for the same thing later?

Answer:

No. Unless you excluded yourself, you have given up the right to sue Wells Fargo for all of the claims that this Class Action Settlement resolves.

 

Wells Fargo has stated that if it is unable to resolve issues directly, customers who believe they received a product or service they did not want or authorize are offered a free mediation service with an independent third-party mediator. This offer is separate from the Class Action Settlement. While Class Members generally must agree to release their claims against Wells Fargo in exchange for getting the benefits of the Class Action Settlement, Class Members may still initiate a mediation with Wells Fargo. However, they will not be allowed to recover twice (“double recovery”) for any damages that were compensated through the Class Action Settlement.

35. If I exclude myself, can I still get full benefits from the Class Action Settlement?

Answer:

No. If you excluded yourself, you will not get any benefits from the Class Action Settlement.

36. If I do not exclude myself, can I still go to private mediation with Wells Fargo about my Unauthorized Accounts?

Answer:

Yes. Remaining in the Class Action Settlement and submitting a claim does not affect your ability to participate in private mediation with Wells Fargo regarding the same Unauthorized Accounts that are the subject of the Class Action Settlement.

 

Wells Fargo has stated that if it is unable to resolve issues directly, customers who believe they received a product or service they did not want or authorize are offered a free mediation service with an independent third-party mediator. This offer is separate from the Class Action Settlement. While Class Members generally must agree to release their claims against Wells Fargo in exchange for getting the benefits of the Class Action Settlement, Class Members may still initiate a mediation with Wells Fargo. However, they will not be allowed to recover twice (“double recovery”) for any damages that were compensated through the Class Action Settlement.

37. How does Wells Fargo’s mediation process for Unauthorized Accounts work?

Answer:

First, you can make a complaint by going to a Wells Fargo bank or calling Wells Fargo’s toll-free feedback number: 1-877-924-8697. Then, once you make a complaint, within 60 days you will be sent a mediation request form. Wells Fargo may resolve your dispute without mediation, but if it does not, Wells Fargo will forward your mediation request and related documents to the mediator, sending a copy to you. Then the mediator will schedule a telephonic mediation session. These usually last no longer than 2 hours, and the parties’ lawyers are not permitted.

38. Do I have a lawyer in the case?

Answer:

Yes. The Court has appointed Keller Rohrback L.L.P. to represent all Class Members as “Class Counsel,” without charge to you. You can reach Class Counsel at:

 

Derek W. Loeser

Keller Rohrback L.L.P.

1201 Third Avenue, Suite 3200

Seattle, WA 98101

1-888-684-6570

WFClassCounsel@kellerrohrback.com

 

You will not be charged for contacting this lawyer.

39. I’ve received solicitation letters from attorneys. Do I need to hire my own attorney to get money from the Class Action Settlement?

Answer:

No. Class Counsel will represent you at no charge to you. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense. It is possible that you will receive less money overall if you choose to hire your own lawyer to litigate against Wells Fargo rather than receive payment from this Class Action Settlement.

40. How will the lawyers be paid?

Answer:

Attorneys’ fees and costs will be deducted from the $142 million Settlement Fund. The lawyers representing the Class will not be asking for more than 15% of the Settlement Fund in fees and costs. The Court has the power to award them less than 15%. Whatever is not awarded to them, and does not go to pay other expenses, remains in the Settlement Fund, out of which Class Members are paid.

44. I received a check for Wells Fargo with a letter saying it was related to unauthorized accounts. Can I still be part of the settlement even if I cash the check?

Answer:

That check is a separate payment Wells Fargo is making to customers who may have been affected by unauthorized accounts. It is not part of the class action settlement, and cashing the check will not affect your eligibility for the settlement. You should go ahead and deposit or cash the check.

46. What are my options under the Class Action Settlement?

Answer:

Your options are summarized below:

 

DON'T FILE A CLAIM: The deadline to file a claim was July 7, 2018. If you didn't file a claim, and Wells Fargo does not have a record of any previous complaint you made about Unauthorized Accounts, you won't get any money.

 

FILE A CLAIM: The deadline to file a claim was July 7, 2018. This deadline has passed.

 

ASK TO BE EXCLUDED: The deadline to exclude yourself has passed.

 

OBJECT OR COMMENT: The deadline to object has passed.

47. What is the difference between objecting to the Class Action Settlement and opting out?

Answer:

Opting out is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Class Action Settlement, and you do not want to receive any benefits. You opt out of the settlement by filing an Exclusion.

 

Objecting is telling the Court that you do not like the Class Action Settlement for some reason. You can object only if you do not opt out of the Class. If you opt out, you have no basis to object to the Class Action Settlement because the case no longer affects you.

 

You cannot file both an objection and a request to opt out of the settlement. If you both an objection and a request to opt out, you will be treated as opting out.

48. When and where did the Court decide whether to approve the Class Action Settlement?

Answer:

The Court held a hearing—called a Fairness Hearing—to determine whether to give its final approval to the Class Action Settlement. This Fairness Hearing was held at 10:30 a.m. on May 30, 2018, at the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, located at the United States Courthouse, 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102. The Court granted final approval on June 14, 2018.

 

At the Fairness Hearing, the Court heard evidence about whether the Class Action Settlement was fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Court also considered objections and listened to people who asked to speak at the hearing.

49. How do I get more information?

Answer:

This Notice summarizes the proposed Class Action Settlement. More details are in the Class Action Settlement Agreement, which is available along with other important documents in this case on this website. You also may write with questions to the Settlement Administrator at P.O. Box 2594, Faribault, MN 55021-9594 or 1-866-431-8549.

 

Important documents in this case are posted on the Court’s website at www.cand.uscourts.gov/VC/Jabbari-v-Wells-Fargo.

 

You may also access the Court docket in this case through the Court’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov, or by visiting the office of the Clerk of the Court for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California Phillip Burton Federal Building, 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Court holidays.