By: Karen Gullo
Posted Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014
Wells Fargo & Co. must pay customers $203 million for manipulating
debit-card transactions to boost overdraft fees, a federal appeals court
in San Francisco held upholding a lower-court ruling.
A three-judge panel said Wednesday that the case is replete with examples
of false and misleading statements about posting debit transactions and
overdraft charges, justifying a federal judge’s decision last year
to reinstate the restitution he awarded in 2010.
Wells Fargo, the largest U.S. home lender, changed the way it treated customers’
daily debit transactions and cash withdrawals in December 2001, posting
those with the highest dollar amount first rather than in the order they
occurred, customers said in a 2007 lawsuit.
The practice resulted in more overdrafts, with customers overdrawing their
accounts by small amounts multiple times a day, according to the complaint.
The bank ended the practice in 2011.
U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco said last year that
the bank misrepresented the posting order and overdraft charges and must
restore the fees to customers. His original 2010 restitution order was
overturned by the panel, which sent the case back to him to redo the damages.
Alsup awarded the same amount of money, saying the deceitful practice was
proved at trial.
“We are disappointed with the court’s ruling, and we are considering
our options,” a Wells Fargo spokeswoman, Richele Messick, said by e-mail.
Wish to take legal action against Wells Fargo? Call us at Golomb &
Honik, P.C. at (215) 278-4449 today!