This story appeared in Bank Digest.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has assessed a $20 million civil money penalty against Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., and ordered the bank to make restitution to servicemembers who were harmed by the bank's alleged violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. The OCC is taking this action in coordination with the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, which issued a separate order under which the bank agreed to pay more than $4.1 million to resolve allegations that it violated the SCRA by repossessing 413 cars owned by protected servicemembers without obtaining a court order.
According to the OCC, between approximately 2006 and 2016, Wells Fargo failed to: (1) provide the 6-percent interest rate limit to servicemember obligations or liabilities incurred before military service; (2) accurately disclose servicemembers' active duty status to the court via affidavits prior to evicting those servicemembers; and (3) obtain court orders prior to repossessing servicemembers' automobiles.
The Justice Department settlement covers repossessions that occurred between Jan. 1, 2008, and July 1, 2015, and is still subject to court approval.