In the consumer banking industry, Wells Fargo is not known for doing what is best for their customers. Just last year, they settled a massive class-action lawsuit for over $16 million after allegations that they had violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The settlement was to reimburse over three million customers who all claimed they had been unlawfully contacted by the bank. Now, Wells Fargo is facing a new wave of lawsuits across the country for the fraudulent actions that allegedly thousands of their employees committed.
Hundreds of thousands of Wells Fargo customers, possibly millions, have had fake bank accounts opened in their name. The bank is doing everything it can to block the constitutional rights of these customers to seek justice by pursuing a lawsuit. They are doing everything in their power to invoke the forced arbitration clauses these customers all signed for their valid bank accounts to prevent their day in court.
Forced arbitration clauses are present in nearly every credit card agreement you sign, as well as nearly any agreement made these days with any large company. Cell phone giants insert these clauses into the terms and agreements of their plans, as well as TV services, and even nursing homes. These clauses take away the power of the consumer to sue a company for wrongdoing. Instead, customers are required to pursue their disputes through private arbitration. This is usually inexpensive for the company and incredibly expensive for the customer, who often get a bad deal.
Executives at Wells Fargo have supposedly known about these fraudulent bank accounts for years. The Plaintiffs — who have alleged that Wells Fargo’s strict sales culture pressured employees into opening fake accounts in the names of real account holders — have argued that because they did not sign the forced arbitration clauses present in the fake accounts that were opened in their names, they have every right to sue the bank for fraudulent activity.
The courts have put these lawsuits on hold to decide whether the multitude of similar suits should be consolidated into a massive multidistrict case; second, they are still debating whether these customers have the right to sue.
Wells Fargo is a bank with over $2 trillion in assets. It is absurd that they wish to require each individual to pursue forced arbitration, but the fact is that big banks stand to benefit from forced arbitration, as the consumer almost never wins. If you have been illegally contacted by a bank, creditor, or any other company, or have had fraud committed against you, you could benefit from having a professional consumer law attorney evaluate your case for free! Call The Law Offices of Jibrael S. Hindi at (844) JIBRAEL to speak with a team of South Florida consumer law attorneys who may be able help you win a just settlement.