Wells Fargo Ordered to Pay $203 Million in Overdraft Case

May 15, 2013
overdraft news

A federal judge once again has ordered Wells Fargo to pay $203 million to settle charges that it levied excessive overdraft fees, maximizing the penalties by purposefully processing transactions from the largest dollar amount to the smallest. The ruling brings back a penalty that U.S. District Judge William Alsup handed down in August 2012 but that was rejected by an appeals court that said federal law preempted part of the California statute on which Alsup based his decision. The appellate court returned the class-action lawsuit to Alsup, noting that federal law did not replace the state's consumer law in terms of fraudulent or misleading representations. This time, the judge used that state law as the basis for his ruling, saying that the bank "[misled] the class to believe that processing would be done in chronological order." Alsup added, "Because Wells Fargo misrepresented the posting order and overdraft charges to its customers, the appropriate form of restitution is to restore the unexpected charges to Wells Fargo's customers." The settlement is separate from a national case on overdrafts that is pending in Miami federal court against Wells Fargo and nearly 20 other lenders.
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