Wells Fargo overdraft overreaching

The lawsuit filed in Northern California Federal court, accuses Wells Fargo of devising a system to take advantage of customers’ overdrafts in order to charge them fees.  The key to the claim is that rather than debit an account in the order in which the transaction was made, the bank withdraws the highest amount first, increasing the likelihood of an overdraft.  Then it fails to notify the customer about the impending overdraft that would give them a chance to pay differently; perhaps by adding funds from a savings account or paying with a credit card.

This suit is similar to the one filed against Bank of America earlier this month I mentioned in this post.

Complaint courtesy Courthousenews.

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10 Responses to “Wells Fargo overdraft overreaching”

  1. James Hudson Says:

    I have been reading the particulars regarding your action and find similarities to some issue I have been investigating. I know that the Wells Fargo and perhaps other banks as weel have devised programs that manipulate the sequence of transactions so that fees/fines/penalites can be assessed against account holders. Further, the programs make it impossible to go back and view the sequence of charges prior to the assessment of fines. I would be interested in your opinions on these issues. In the past 20-25 years all the deregulation has allowed the banks, insurance companies, credit card companies to become nothing more than criminal cabals that are destroying the working Middle-Class of America The end result is the current financial collapse than has further raped the working Middle-Class by utilizing our tax money for so called ” bail-outs ” whilst the masterminds recieve multi-milllion dollar bonuses comprised of tax-dollars. The financial institutions of our own country pose a far far greater threat to us than Al-Quida, Taliban, and all the other distractions the Govt. uses to keep us from attacking our true enemies. Thank-You for your time.

    • Randy Wilson Says:

      Yes, there has been criminal and exploitative behavior on the part of these institutions but we (American citizens) aren’t blameless. As long as we could get the credit we wanted when we wanted we didn’t bother worrying about common sense. Unfortunately, “fee money” makes fools of us all. I think I’m paraphrasing someone famous!

  2. Dawn Spiering Says:

    Having credit has nothing to do with Wells Fargo stealing money from anyones account. They aim this fraud at the poor and young many of whom. have automatic deposit from SSI or other institutions This is blantant robbery of those unable to afford legal means to defend themselves. I would really like to see a class action lawsuit or if anyone knows of one I want to hear about it my case is a good one as is all the others but I think theres possibilities here because since this bank has stolen hundreds of dollars from my account I am not able to get the cancer care I need They literally are killing me!

  3. Ty Simons Says:

    Dawn if you read you consumer account agreement and become an informed consumer you wouldn’t run into these problems. I also can GUARANTEE that you dont use a ledger as it would be impossible to over draft your account unless intentionally. I also bet you have had this problem before with other banks, therefore the problem lie with consumers who make assumptions, dont educate themselves and then blame the bank.

    • Randy Wilson Says:

      Pretty arogant Ty. I hope it makes you feel good to act superior when you make a boat load of assumptions.

  4. Ty Simons Says:

    I don’t think so at all Randy. Its impossible to overdraft a personal account if your responsible and keep a register, also Dawn sounds surprised with hundreds of dollars in overdraft fees, but if she was informed and took 20 minutes to read her account disclosure agreement when she opened her account, she would have known and been expecting such overdraft for her mis-calculations. Its hard to hear but American consumers need to take responsibility for their action, live within their means no matter how small those might be and admit when they cant handle something pretty simple like a bank account and either seek help from the bank or close their account and live a cash existence. I can imagine consumers like Dawn are chronically overdrawn and spend a lot of energy blaming the banks instead of seeking assistance or fixing the problem.

    • Michael Says:

      Ty I think you work for one of these wonderful banks and have never had to deal with this first hand. I’m by no means great at keeping a register but I do have to pay bills. So you are basically telling us that if we write a check for 30$ and have 3 small bank card transactions equaling a total 20$ and get overdrawn and have to pay 100$ in overdraft fees it is ok. I understand the overdraft fee and will pay them if legit but when they are this excessive it messes with peoples finances even more. My bank and I are in a huge battle right now because they decided to wait and cash all of the smaller checks I had pending in order to cash the bigger check. This gave me 7 overdraft fees at once. Now keep in mind that the large check was ok to go through the next day and all of the funds were there but because they decided to do this I am now in major debt. They have now charged me with 50 overdraft fees in 2 months. Multiply that by 35$ and well you get a lot of money being taken from me for no reason. You will probably read this and think well you shouldn’t be writing checks you don’t have money for. Again this would not be the case if they did not charge so many overdraft fees to begin with and I have always had the money but it is the way they go about cashing checks. I have banked with this company for many years and this is the first time this has happened. The funny thing is that if you were to add up all of the deposits and then add up all of the checks cashed and card transactions along with the overdraft fees I have still put more money in than taken out.
      Needless to say I am taking legal action against them to get my money back.

  5. BJ Says:

    Michael I have had the same problem, please inform us how your law-suit is going.

  6. Joel Says:

    Wells Fargo robbed me without a gun around Christmas of 2009. Reading an account agreement doesn’t matter, they change the rules without telling you. In the past, if I had overdrawn my account, my debit card was declined when I attempted to use it. This time, they paid the amount and charged $35 each time. I got a handfull of notices in the mail at once instead of letting me know with the first overdraft. My first notice said my balance was minus $400. That was because the biggest chunk of it was in NSF fees. I wound up paying $800 in overdraft charges. When I complained, they refunded 20 percent and were adamant that they would not give back anymore. I have been a customer of First Union/Wachovia/Wells Fargo for 30 years. I am in the process of changing banks. I am thinking about complaining to the comptroller of the currency. Does anyone think this will do any good?

    • Randy Wilson Says:

      Hi Joel,

      Sounds like an awful experience. I’m not sure the comptoller of the currency deals with consumer complaints so make sure they do before investing much time. I would look to your state’s consumer affairs/attorney general office for starters.


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