• New Wells Fargo scandal affects motorists' car insurance

    By: Jason Stoogenke

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte's largest banking employer Wells Fargo admitted last week it signed up hundreds of thousands of customers for car insurance they didn’t need.

    There is a lawsuit that says Wells Fargo bilked 800,000 customers out of millions of dollars putting them in a “financial spin.”

    The lawsuit says Wells Fargo teamed up with the insurance company National General to sign up people who already had auto insurance and, that they were forced to pay for policies they didn't need or want.

    It also says the policies were usually more expensive than what the customers already had.

    The lawsuit claims this went on for more than a decade, and that National General gave wells kickbacks along the way.

    People complained but Wells Fargo refused to remove the unlawful charges, and that customers ended up with financial headaches including inflated premiums, delinquency charges, late fees, repossession costs, increased interest rates and damage to customers' credit reports.

    The lawsuit says 25,000 people's vehicles were repossessed illegally because of these allegations.

     Wells Fargo admitted last week it was aware of the situation and knew about it since last summer so they dropped the program a few months later.

    The bank plans to refund customers as far back as 2012.

    "We are very sorry for the inconvenience this caused, impacted customers and we are in the process of notifying them and making things right," Wells Fargo officials said in a statement.

    Wells Fargo says it will reach out to those impacted customers with letters and refund checks starting this month.

    It's planning to pay them $80 million.

    "You don't trust really any of the big banks that far,” Charlotte visitor Pete Keefe said.  “They put us in a bad economy once. I think they'll probably do it again."

    This lawsuit is a potential class action.

    It wants wells to pay people back, give up profits from this situation and pay three times whatever plaintiffs damages add up to. 

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