Wells Fargo will be forced to pay $24 million dollars after seizing the cars of 413 service members without a court order. They will also pay an additional $4.1 million to the Justice Department to cover the costs of settling the case. The company violated federal law and drew the ire of the entire military community in one fell swoop.
Each service member that was victimized will be paid $10,000 plus any lost equity on the cars. The credit scores of service members that were negatively effected will also be repaired.
According to the Justice Department the repossessions took place between 2008 and 2013. Army National Guardsman Dennis Singleton is one of the service members that was a victim of the predatory practice. He states that the bank repossessed his car shortly before he deployed to Afghanistan in 2013.
The bank sold his car at auction then attempted to force Singleton to pay an additional $10,000 to cover the difference between what the car was sold for an auction and the remainder of what was owed on the vehicle.
The company has apologized for the incident and has stated that they will complete compensating service members that erroneously had their cars repossessed within 60 days.
The company is also in the middle of resolving several other lawsuits from shareholders, former employees, and customers for unrelated incidents.