Chicago, Illinois
10 comments

I can't believe all of the cheerleading because wells Fargo made 3 billion dollars in a quarter we should be pissed and feel violated that a bank took billions of taxpayer dollars at 0% interest and loaned it back to us poor saps at 5 to 20% interest good job with that stimulus package Mr Obama a bank turning a profit at our expense does not create jobs...what a slap in the face!...we should be protesting on the white house lawn like the Brits and the French do when they get screwed by the gov but we just lay there and take it time and time again

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Anonymous
#834862

Texas: Is anyone still having issues with Wells Fargo as of this date? I am looking into some practices they seem to use on unsuspecting home owners - mostly Veterans.

Looking for people who have lost their homes or are having loan modification issues. Don't need personnel information. Just the big picture. Texas especially.

Would like to find other interested parties and take this up further.

I know some have experienced foreclosure while thinking they were still in loan modification - or their escrow amounts changed after the sale/money refunded and then house payments upped after the sale to unmanageable amounts. What's your story?

Anonymous
#200873

I have been in contact with Wells Fargo for the last three months to keep my home from going into foreclosure. I am three months behind in payments due to a hardship.

They tell me that I am about to go into foreclosure status but want me to continue sending them payments and to call them every sixty to ninety days to stay in modification review but unfortunately, they can't stop the foreclosure. I don't have the money to keep sending them if they are going to take my home anyway and not willing to help. They are full of it.

They don't want our properties but not willing to help but they took bailout money from the government but won't help people who really need their help. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Anonymous
#171610

after almost 1 year of dealing with wells fargo. on a home loan modification i too am still with no answers, they tell me i am still in review.

i can not take anymore of this. we are behind and upside down in our house.

any help would be greatly appriciated.. montana mike

Anonymous
#86483

We have been in loan modification since May 2009. They have done absolutlely nothing.

Now in November 2009 they send a letter saying the modification has been cancelled. WTF! Why, they have done nothing but tell us it is under review for the past 6 months. There has to be something we can do about this ***.

The worst part is I would have never gotten my loan with them.

My original loan was sold to them. Go figure.

Anonymous
#78447

July 31, 2009

MADIGAN SUES WELLS FARGO FOR DISCRIMINATORY AND DECEPTIVE MORTGAGE LENDING PRACTICES

Illinois Attorney General Alleges Lender Steered African-Americans, Latinos Into Subprime Loans

Chicago—Attorney General Lisa Madigan today filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders and servicers. The complaint alleges that Wells Fargo and Company; Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., also doing business as Wells Fargo Home Mortgage; and Wells Fargo Financial Illinois, Inc., illegally discriminated against African American and Latino homeowners by selling them high-cost subprime mortgage loans while white borrowers with similar incomes received lower cost loans.

“As a result of its discriminatory and illegal mortgage lending practices, Wells Fargo transformed our cities’ predominantly African-American and Latino neighborhoods into ground zero for subprime lending,” said Madigan. “The dreams of many hardworking families have ended in foreclosure due to Wells Fargo’s illegal and unfair conduct.”

Madigan’s lawsuit, which is the result of an investigation into possible violations of fair lending and consumer fraud laws, cites marked disparities in Wells Fargo’s lending data. In 2005, according to an analysis of Chicago-area data, approximately 45 percent of Wells Fargo’s African-American borrowers and 23 percent of the lender’s Latino borrowers received a high-cost mortgage. That same year, only about 11 percent of the lender’s white borrowers received high-cost mortgages. The trend continued in 2006, with approximately 58.5 percent of Wells Fargo’s African-American borrowers and 35 percent of its Latino borrowers in the Chicago area receiving high-cost mortgages, compared with only 16 percent of white borrowers. In 2007, approximately 49 percent of Wells Fargo’s African-American borrowers and 25 percent of Latino borrowers were sold a high-cost loan in the Chicago area, compared with only 15 percent of white borrowers.

The lawsuit also follows a recent Chicago Reporter analysis of mortgage data submitted by Wells Fargo to the federal government. That study found that, in 2007, Wells Fargo sold high-cost, subprime loans more often to its highest-earning African-American borrowers in Chicago than to its lowest-earning white borrowers. According to the study, in 2007, about 34 percent of African Americans earning $120,000 or more received high cost mortgages from Wells Fargo in the Chicago metro area, while less than 22 percent of white borrowers earning less than $40,000 received high-cost mortgages from the lender.

“These disparities indicate that something is very wrong with Wells Fargo’s mortgage lending,” said Madigan. “They strongly suggest that the predictor of whether a borrower would receive a high-cost home loan from Wells Fargo was race, not income.”

Madigan’s complaint alleges that Wells Fargo established highly discretionary lending policies and procedures with weak oversight that permitted Wells Fargo’s employees to steer African-Americans and Latinos into subprime loans. As cited in the complaint, Wells Fargo’s discretionary policies and procedures included a compensation structure that rewarded employees for placing borrowers into high-cost mortgages.

The complaint also alleges that Wells Fargo targeted African-American borrowers for the sale of high-cost loans by hosting a series of “wealth building” seminars in cities throughout the country, including Chicago.

Madigan noted that high-cost, subprime loans of the kind sold by Wells Fargo are defaulting and going into foreclosure in record numbers, and are largely responsible for triggering the worst economic recession in recent memory. The Attorney General’s complaint comes as the home foreclosure crisis continues to affect hundreds of thousands of homeowners in Illinois and across the nation. Illinois saw almost 69,000 foreclosure filings in the first half of 2009, up nearly 30 percent from the first half of 2008. In Cook County alone, it is anticipated that mortgage foreclosure filings will top 52,000 by the year’s end, compared with 43,876 in 2008.

“By targeting African-American’s for the sale of its highest-cost and riskiest loans, Wells Fargo drained wealth from families and neighborhoods and added to the stockpile of boarded-up homes that are an open invitation to criminals,” Madigan said.

Additionally, the lawsuit alleges that Wells Fargo Financial Illinois, a subsidiary of Wells Fargo and Company that primarily originated subprime loans, engaged in unfair and deceptive business practices by misleading Illinois borrowers about their mortgage terms, misrepresenting the benefits of refinancing, and repeatedly refinancing loans, also known as loan flipping, without any real benefit to consumers. Also, Wells Fargo Financial used deceptive mailings and marketing tools to confuse borrowers as to which division of Wells Fargo and Company they were doing business with – prime or subprime. As a result, borrowers believed they were doing business with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, which offered mainly prime loans, when in fact they were dealing with Wells Fargo Financial, a predominantly subprime lender.

The complaint alleges violations of the Illinois Human Rights Act, the Illinois Fairness in Lending Act, and the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, and asks the court to rescind all contracts entered into between Wells Fargo and Illinois consumers by the use of methods and practices declared unlawful and to grant full restitution to the consumers. In addition, the lawsuit asks the court to impose civil penalties for the violations, permanently enjoin Wells Fargo from conducting the alleged illegal activity, and order Wells Fargo to pay court costs and attorneys’ fees.

Madigan has investigated Countrywide Home Loans, the nation’s largest mortgage lender and servicer, and found evidence that the lender violated fair lending laws. Madigan has provided the results of her analysis to Countrywide and is waiting for the lender’s response. In November, 2008, Madigan negotiated a ground-breaking, national $8.4 billion settlement in a predatory lending lawsuit against Countrywide. The settlement established the first mandatory loan modification program in the country and now serves as a model for other lenders and the federal government for how to help homeowners stay in their homes and stabilize communities.

Illinois homeowners who believe they may be victims of Wells Fargo’s discriminatory and deceptive lending practices can contact the Attorney General’s office via a special e-mail address at wellsfargosuit@atg.state.il.us or by calling Attorney General Madigan’s Homeowners’ Referral Helpline at 1-866-544-7151 for assistance.

Madigan also reminded homeowners that her Web site at www.IllinoisAttorneyGeneral.gov, provides resources to assist homeowners in crisis including access to her Illinois Mortgage Lending Guide, a resource manual containing step-by-step instructions for those struggling to make their loan payments and a list of HUD-certified counseling agencies that offer default counseling services. Homeowners who do not have easy access to the Internet should call the Attorney General’s Helpline, to quickly receive the guide by mail.

Anonymous
#78445

Wells Fargo Customer Data Breached – How Did Cyber-Criminals Get The Access Codes? – Why No Strong Authentication?

Cyber criminals somehow acquired Wells Fargo “access codes” to consumer credit bureau MicroBilt, and logged in and mined the personal data of thousands of individuals. Information accessed included names, social security numbers and addresses.

Here is a link to a notification letter that was sent to the New Hampshire Attorney General on July 31, 2008. What’s ironic is that MicroBilt sells consumer “red flag” identity theft detection services.

One wonders how these “access codes” (I assume this means passwords) were obtained by non-Wells Fargo employees. Could there have been a spear-phishing campaign into the bank to get these access codes? Could there be malware on some Wells Fargo internal computers that is keylogging passwords?

This also highlights the continued need for strong 2-factor authentication to networks and websites. As the world goes more to Software As A Service (SaaS), an increasing number of web services will be hosting critical customer data.

Anonymous
#78444

Only five days remain before workers at Quad City Die Casting are scheduled to lose their jobs, and the battle with creditor Wells Fargo continues to brew. Back in May, the bank opted to cut off Quad City's line of credit, endangering the jobs of 100 employees who work at the 60-year-old aluminum manufacturing plant. In the month since, the bank has refused to explain its decision to the workers or to grant extra time for the owners and officials from United Electrical Workers Local 1174 to find another source of financing.

Now the union alleges that Wells is also withholding vacation pay and health insurance benefits from the workforce. A UE press release explains:

UE Local 1174 filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board today because workers are being denied their benefits. The company informed employees that Wells Fargo would not approve the expenditure of owed vacation pay. In addition, they have refused to comply with a 2% wage increase due the employees under their legally binding collective bargaining agreement, pay a floating holiday, and they have eliminated health insurance coverage.

This situation is developing strong similarities to the Republic Windows dispute last December (also led by UE members). As you may remember, the factory sit-in at the company's Chicago factory came after creditors refused to cover severance and vacation payowed to the works under the WARN Act. After workers occupied that plant for six days, the banks in question agreed to fork over the $2 million in withheld payments. In a recent Huffington Post entry, Mike Elk quoted UE political action director Chris Townsend on the effect of that sit-in:

"One of the most interesting things about the Republic Windows occupation is that the banks wanted to settle in as rapid a fashion as possible. Two giant banks -- in one week -- were forced to pay the workers what they were owed to the tune of almost two million dollars. There are lawsuits and legal actions that have been going on for years against banks for similar things that have never been able to achieve those kind of results. These banks don't want to be in the spotlight, they want to hide at all costs. They wanted to settle as quickly in order to stop the movement of this type of direct action from spreading because they know such a movement could crush them."

The Quad City dispute is now in the hands of the NLRB, which will hopefully investigate the allegation promptly. In the meantime, workers will continue pressuring Wells to help save the factory, pointing out that Moline's local economy will take a significant hit if it closes next week.

Anonymous
#78441

Wall Street has long worried that the hundreds of thousands of foreclosed houses in the U.S. are losing even more value as they become havens for vandals, vermin and drug dealers looking for a place to crash.

But here’s an unusual squatter: A senior vice president at Wells Fargo & Co., who is in charge of many of the bank’s foreclosed properties.

According to an LA times article this morning, a Wells executive, who is responsible for the bank’s foreclosed commercial properties, was seen throwing parties at a $12 million beach house in Malibu, California, which the previous owners had to surrender to Wells to satisfy debts. According to the article, Wells Fargo had refused to show the house to prospective buyers, perplexing local real estate agents.

For the latest update on this controversy, see our latest post: “More on the Wells Fargo Foreclosure Flap”.

Adding fuel to what must be a public-relations nightmare for the bank is the fact that the couple who lost the home in foreclosure had to give up the property because they were victims of Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme.

The Times interviewed neighbors who said they spotted the Wells executive, Cheronda Guyton, throwing lavish parties at the sleek, modern house with a patio overlooking the Pacific. At one party, guests arrived by yacht. (Click here to see pictures of the house)

According to the Times, Guyton couldn’t be reached at her downtown Los Angeles office and Wells Fargo declined to discuss Guyton but said the bank will “conduct a thorough investigation of the allegations.”

It hasn’t been a great week for Wells, one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders. Banks like Wells are taking heat for failing to modify troubled mortgages quickly enough as part of the Obama administration’s $75 billion foreclosure prevent plan. According to the Treasury, Wells Fargo has started trial mediations for 11% of its eligible borrowers who are at least 60 days overdue. That lags behind the average 12% rate of modifications among the nation’s lenders. Congressional leaders say lenders need to move faster to prevent another wave of foreclosures from stalling the housing recovery.

It appears that at least one Wells executive involved in this effort may have been a bit, well, distracted in recent months.

Anonymous
#78433

We also negotiated all summer long with Wells Fargo trying to get a Mortgage Loan Modification. Two months ago they responded saying I do not make enough money to qualify for the Mortgage Loan Modification program.

I have the same job as I did when I first purchased our house four years ago.

Our house is now scheduled for a Sheriff's Sale next month.Wells Fargo took the 3 billion dollars and stuffed in into each others pockets. Wells fargo is run by white collar Criminals plain and simple.

Anonymous
#56093

I agree with the first commentor. I have been waiting for 8+ months for Wells Fargo to help me keep my home and give me a Mortgage Loan Modification.

The trouble is Wells Fargo is NOT lending out that "free" government money for people like me. They are filling their vaults and saying "Yippie" we have 3 BILLION in profits. I don't fault the president for this, these banks are crooks and should be exposed as such.

Someone needs to MAKE THEM use (our money) for it's intended purpose. In the meantime, I'm going to have to "walk away" from my home due to their greed.