Wells Fargo Refunds $10 Million to Vets

Wells Fargo & Co. has agreed to refund up to $10 million in fees to eligible military veterans who refinanced their mortgage with the bank, in settling a lawsuit that alleges the bank harmed veterans by charging improperly high fees on mortgages.

The lawsuit filed in the State Court of Troup County, Ga., claimed the bank failed to use “reasonable care” in assessing attorney fees when complying with the Veterans Administration’s Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan rules.

Veterans who refinanced with Wells Fargo between Jan. 20, 2004, and Oct. 7, 2010, are eligible for the refunds from the settlement.

“Since the lawsuit allegation was raised, we have diligently worked with our veteran customers who inquired about their fees and we refunded them if there was an error in the third-party charges that were assessed,” says Cara Heiden, co-president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. “We hope that by settling this matter, we can demonstrate to veterans our steadfast commitment to doing right by them.”

Banks have been fighting off a number of allegations in recent weeks that they’ve mishandled many mortgages for military families and vets.

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. recently has apologized for overcharging at least 4,500 active service members and wrongly foreclosing on 18 military families.

Laws are in place for veterans and active duty military members to limit their interest rates and fees with mortgages and protect them from foreclosure.

Source: “Wells Fargo Settles Veteran-Related Suit for About $10 Million,” Dow Jones (Feb. 18, 2011)