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Wells Fargo Illegally Took Back 431 Vehicles From Veterans

REUTERS/Jim Young/File Photo

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter

Wells Fargo is now paying out $4.1 million at the request of the Department of Justice for its illegal repossession of 431 cars of servicemembers without a court order.

This is just another event in a slew of bad news for the American bank. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau slapped Wells Fargo with a $185 million dollar fine for opening up 1.5 million fraudulent accounts and issuing over half a million fake credit cards over the course of the last decade. (RELATED: CFPB Fines Wells Fargo $185 Million For Fraudulent Practices)

The Justice Department notes that the car repossessions took place between 2008 and 2015.

Wells Fargo took one man’s vehicle while he was preparing to leave for a tour in Afghanistan, CNN reports. The bank then reportedly auctioned off the vehicle and attempted to collect $10,000 from his family.

The DOJ settlement requires the bank to pay $10,000 to each of the servicemembers effected, including lost equity on the vehicle, and must repair their credit. It must also pay a $60,000 civil fine to the U.S.  and must determine, in the future, whether any car it plans to repossess is owned by an active duty servicemember.

Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Bill Baer says that “Wells Fargo Bank unlawfully repossessed hundreds of servicemembers’ cars without the proper process, and the bank will now rightfully pay for its violations,” the DOJ reports. Baer says the Justice Department is “committed to protecting our country’s servicemembers as they continue to fight for our freedom.”

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