Wells Fargo Reportedly Charges Overdraft Fees on Accounts Requested to be Closed – Class Action Investigation

Wells Fargo Reportedly Charges Fees on Accounts Requested to be Closed – Class Action Investigation

CSK&D is investigating reports that Wells Fargo will disregard requests to close checking accounts even after consumers withdraw entire balances, and will continue to allow charges against the accounts resulting in overdraft fees to Wells Fargo.

A recent report from The New York Times details how consumers will close their checking accounts, collect the balance of the accounts, and understand these accounts to be closed, but Wells Fargo will actually leave the accounts open and allow debits from auto payments and service providers to continue to hit these closed accounts.  The result of this practice is that Wells Fargo continues to be enriched by overdraft fees on zero dollar balance accounts even after the accounts were requested to be closed.  When consumers have called to complain about this practice and demand that the overdraft fees be returned, Wells Fargo will tell consumers that the account is indeed closed and there is nothing that can be done.

Current and former Wells Fargo employees have suggested that consumers are experiencing these charges because of the way the bank’s computer system handles closed accounts.  A bank account the customer believes to be closed can stay open if it has any balance, even a negative balance.  As a result, each time a transaction is processed for an overdrawn account, Wells Fargo tacks on a fee.  This scheme has gone completely unaddressed by Wells Fargo despite complaints from customers and employees, including one employee in the bank’s debt-collection department who raised concerns about these practices after taking in an estimated $100,000 in overdraft fees over eight months.

While it is not clear how many Wells Fargo customers have been affected, aggrieved customers have brought complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, have made complaints on the websites Reddit and Quora, and have made complaints through the “Community” section of Wells Fargo’s website — a public comment feature which Wells Fargo has now disabled.

Wells Fargo is no stranger to nefarious business practices.  In recent years, it has been a defendant in massive lawsuits arising from misconduct that victimized consumers on a large-scale basis.  In one lawsuit, Wells Fargo was accused of creating of millions of fake bank accounts opened on behalf of customers without their permission.  Another lawsuit arose from Wells Fargo’s admission that it placed unnecessary auto insurance on auto loan borrowers’ accounts, resulting in hundreds of thousands of customers going into delinquency on their loans and thousands of customers losing their vehicles to repossession.

If you are or were a banking customer at Wells Fargo and have experienced overdraft fees that you believe were improper on a closed bank account, please contact the lawyers listed on this page.

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Attorneys for this case:

Benjamin F. Johns
Alex M. Kashurba