Wells Fargo & Company - Page 2

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Worst Bank Ever
Posted by on
THOUSAND OAKS, CALIFORNIA -- I had been a customer with Wells Fargo for about a year and a half. Firstly I thought the online account management was a good asset of theirs until I went to Europe in the Summer and then the problems began. You can actually only use the online banking for minor bills and amounts and that is it. They have such restrictions that you cannot actually pay more than about 6000(altogether) I think it was in the course of one month. I needed to make an urgent payment of 100 000 while I was in Europe for an escrow company. There was no way I could do that from where I was. Just simply no way. They wouldn't allow me to. So I had to finally go to the US Embassy-get a Power of attorney for my husband and he still had difficulties trying to get the money out of the account. No to mention all the poor customer service, branch manager communication. It was as though they just wouldn't let go of that money. Amazing!!

6 months later I had used up most of my money and was left with about 6000 and got a call telling me that I needed to change the type of account I have as I was getting fees. So I did had it changed and they actually did waive the fees for me. The banker spelled my name all wrong, then when I got my card was told that there's no need to fix it and on top of that signed me up for ID theft protection without my knowledge charging me monthly for it.
My overall dissatisfaction with this bank led me to wanting to close my account. I had a payment which I made over the phone 5 days prior to closing the account. In the branch where I closed it I specifically asked the teller-can you see that payment-was the money taken out and she says "Oh yes" so I went ahead and closed it. 1 month later, not one week or a few days, I get a letter that I owe money and 100 worth of overdraft fees including for the ID theft I never signed for. What is interesting is that in the letter statement the payment due itself comes in before the account closure in the list but on their computers in the branch it shows that it came after the account closure. Now my husband has worked for Wells Fargo as an IT and knows how their systems work. Not only do they not have a specific timeline of the processes in their statement and cannot actually tell exactly prove when the money came (both the money and the closing was in the SAME DAY) but they just appear as a specific date. So they cannot prove the timeline yet claim the payment came after the account was closed?!interesting. The banker was sarcastic, threatening, the manager was obnoxious just awful. they never waived anything.

And last but not least one of their bankers-looking at my account history of having more than 100 000 in it tried to hit on me-asking me about my personal status married or not if my marriage was going well, telling me where he lives and giving me a business card with his personal number incase I ever needed anything-he was around the corner for me. Disgusting!!!

Finally I am more than glad my relationship with them is OVER!
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getoverit on 2011-04-23:
Yeah, that does sound a little disgusting. But, you can't blame a guy for trying!

In all fariness, not handling $100,000 in a routine online transaction sounds fairly reasonable to me. But I would be highly torqued over the other problems you had. It sounds like you tried to cover your bases when you closed the account and they still nickel-and-dimed you. That stinks.
DebtorBasher on 2011-04-23:
Well, just be sure NOT to turn to Chase...otherwise, you'll be jumping from the frying pan into the fire.
trmn8r on 2011-04-23:
I love Chase. I've been with them for about 5 years, and our relationship just keeps getting stronger. Maybe it is the rose petals I lay on the floor each Friday evening, or the breakfasts in bed Saturday mornings.
*Brenda* on 2011-04-23:
I love Chase too :-x
Anonymous on 2011-04-23:
I like Chase too. They're the only bank that I've never overdrawn my account with. And the branch by my house has some really hot tellers.
trmn8r on 2011-04-23:
Wow. A Chase love-fest. Usually it's like an olde time posse when the name pops up.
Anonymous on 2011-04-23:
Deep down, Basher loves Chase too *runs and hides*
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You have got to be kidding!
Posted by on
GILROY, CALIFORNIA -- I have concerns with regard to the way Wells Fargo handles its checking accounts. I had just fractured my pelvis so was home basically in bed. I sent my longtime girlfriend with a check to cash as I could not take myself to the bank. I needed to pay some debts. When she got to the teller window she showed them the check and presented a current valid driver's license together with her last expired driver's license all the information on her licenses were the same. The teller asked her to take a seat and that a banker would be with her in a few minutes. Finally one of the ladies seated at one of the desks called her over. She asked my girlfriend if she had an account there at the branch in Gilroy, CA. My girlfriend responded that No she did not have one, but was there to cash a check for me. The check was for $1,000.00. After reviewing the check (that is my main branch so my signature card should have been available). I had over $20,000.00 in my account so the balance was not a problem. The lady told her she needed to check something. She called somewhere and told her that she had called my work and that I was not available. I am a self employed contractor, so she started out with a lie as I work out of my home and if she would have called I would have answered. My girlfriend told her that she must be mistaken but did not explain. So my girlfriend called me from her cell phone, then passed the phone over to her. My concern is that the bank's policy to call everyone who writes a check and to have them confirm they wrote the check. If that is the case what a waste of time and why write a check. I would have been embarrasssed if that had been a client I had given a check to. She then explained to my girlfriend that it was because the check was over $1,000.00 and that was policy. Ultimately, she then cashed my check. 2 weeks later I again needed to cash a check and since I was still healing I again sent my girlfriend to the Wells Fargo in Gilroy to cash the check. The same thing happened when she arrived. Went to the teller window then was asked to have a seat and wait for a banker. Is this also bank policy? The same lady asked her to sit down and my girlfriend presented the check. She asked her didn't we go through this before? My girlfriend responded yes and pointed out that the check was under $1,000.00 as to her last excuse. I had left my phone in my truck and could not respond to the call. Wells Fargo refused to cash the check stating that they were not able to talk to me, so therefore could not cash the $900.00 check. They didn't even check the signature card. My girlfriend then went to another Wells Fargo bank in a different town and cashed the check without a glitch. What the hell?????
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Skye on 2011-04-01:
Sounds like they are protecting you. How would they know if you both were still togehter, or had broken up, and she was trying to cash checks?

I understand your frustration.
Cwazychicken on 2011-04-01:
Hey, for all they know, some girl could claim to be your girlfriend and try to cash a check. If you were not able to talk on the phone, they really don't have much to go by. Consider it good protection. Although I can't honestly say I like wells fargo, it would be really crappy if they were super easy to just let anyone cash a check.. Heck, walmart lets me cash a check with no id....yes, no id (although I always whip it out incase, they never ask for that or a signature because its electronic??)...imagine if someone were to steal my checkbook and cash a check there. Seriously, I'd rather be protected.
trmn8r on 2011-04-01:
Assuming that this check was made out to cash or to you, I can understand that this would be an issue.

If the check is made out to your girlfriend, I think many large banks charge a fee to cash such a check when the payee doesn't have an account, and they may refuse to cash one over a certain amount.
Anonymous on 2011-04-01:
It makes sense that they are just protecting you, but they should be consistent. Did you call and ask them why one branch turned her away the second time, but a different branch cashed it?
clutzycook on 2011-04-02:
I know this won't help you now, but in the future if you and your gf are serious, going to get married, the marriage licence is all but signed, perhaps you'd consider putting her on your checking account. That's what Hubby and I did right after we got engaged and bought our house. He put me on his checking account as an authorized user so I could write and deposit checks into his checking account when we had to make mortgage payments, etc, since my own bank was 150 miles away. I didn't have a debit card to the account since I was still using my bank for purchases like that. Of course, after the wedding, we converted the checking account into a joint affair and I got my own debit card (bet he's kicking himself over that one, LOL).
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Wells Fargo Customer Service is the Worst!
Posted by on
I have had one of the most frustrating customer service experiences ever with Wells Fargo and recommend anyone who is considering a loan with them to consider a mafia loan shark first, you will get better service and will probably be treated better. I have had my mortgage and home equity line of credit with Wachovia for 4 years. I have never missed a payment and typically pay extra every month.

Well, Wells Fargo bought Wachovia and my home equity line was recently converted to a new Wells Fargo account. I received a letter from Wells Fargo stating as of June 7th my account will have a new number and not to pay on the old one, it also said I would get a new statement with the new account number in the mail. My payment is due on the 12th of every month, so when June 10th had come and I hadn't seen a new account number I called them and asked for it. They wouldn't give me the account number over the phone and insisted that I would be receiving it in the mail. I asked about my June payment and they said their system indicated that my next payment was not due July 13th. It sounded weird to me but they kept insisting that was the case. So on June 17th, I still had not received any information in the mail about my new account but I was able to log onto my new Wells Fargo account online. It showed my next payment was due on July 13th, but it was for $200 more than my normal payment. So I call again and am on hold for for about 30 minutes. I finally get to talk to someone named Keith and neither he nor his supervisor Shannon could explain to me why my payment due is $200 more, they said they just converted the account and didn't have information on it yet but would soon and they would call me back (I wasn't holding my breath on that one).

A couple of days go by and I get a call from my ex wife asking why the bank is calling her and harassing her about me owing an over due payment that they wanted immediately. I again call the home equity service line. After waiting 15 minutes I get connected to someone in sales that couldn't help me. He transferred me to Susan, who was one of the most useless CS reps I have ever dealt with. She wouldn't discuss my account with me because I didn't know the account number. All I had was the last 4 digits which were available to me through my online account. She finally transfer me to her supervisor who proceeds to tell me I don't owe them anything until the 13th and he can't tell me anything about the account because he doesn't work with home equity loans. Even though I specifically called the home equity line number for Wells Fargo and told every person I spoke with that I needed info on my home equity line, he then tries to transfer me again (at this point I have been on the phone over an hour) and of course disconnects me.

About an hour later I get a call from them stating I owe my payment plus $200 for late fees. I immediately ask to speak to a supervisor, am put on hold and then hung up on. I am very irritated at this point so I decide I will just wait for them to call again.

The next day after I have calmed down a bit, I call the home equity one number again and finally am able to speak to someone that knows what they are doing. Danielle was able to access my account and explain to me that the $200 was not a late fee, it was my minimum payment because that I had been paying over on the account all the time, so their system showed a partial payment for June with a left over amount due of $200, then my regular payment plus the $200 was due by July 13th. She also said the system didn't show me as being over due so she wasn't sure why they were calling me, but if I paid the $200 for June plus my normal payment for July then I would be paid up through Aug and they would stop calling and she could put it in the system immediately. I went ahead and paid it and asked for a full accounting of my loan to be sent to me in writing. Well, I never received the account of my loan and then later that night I received another call from them asking for an immediate payment on the money due. I proceeded to tell the CS rep, Chris, that he needs to check his system and stop bothering me because I had been proactively trying to pay them for over two weeks and they wouldn't take my money. I said I paid them in full through Aug even though technically I didn't owe them a dime until July according to his own supervisors and that if the calls didn't stop I would be filing a complaint with the Federal Reserve about their bank. He then told me if I wasn't a deadbeat and paid my bills on time they wouldn't need to call me. At this point I lost it and started yelling at him and he hung up on me.

I was just getting ready to refinance both of these loans and Wells Fargo has made it very easy for me to cross one bank off the list. I will not be doing business with them anymore. I am in the process of transferring my checking and money market accounts out of their bank now. It amazes me that companies don't realize how poor customer service can really affect their bottom line. I know I am just one small account to them but I would think they would like to keep my business considering they stand to make a few hundred thousand dollars in interest and account fees from me. If anyone is looking for a loan, stay far away from Wells Fargo they are not worth the headache.
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Anonymous on 2010-06-23:
Wow Chemman what a crap load of incompetence you got dealt by Wells Fargo. Scary how truly broken are their processes and then add injury to insult be called a deadbeat by a Wells Fargo clueless jerk. I would have totally LOST it by that point.

Great review!
MRM on 2010-06-23:
Chemman, long time, no see!
chemman on 2010-06-24:
Yeah Stew, I did lose it on the guy when he called me a deadbeat. I wish I had a recording of that call!
Hi MRM, it's been a busy year for me but I am back to having a normal schedule again so you should hear more from me again.
DebtorBasher on 2010-06-26:
Welcome back Chemman...whatever you do...DO NOT transfer to CHASE...if you do, you will beg to go back to Wells Fargo. I know you can't imagine that now, but trust me and I can say this because I worked for Chase Mortgage...you do NOT want ANYTHING with the name 'Chase' on it!
chemman on 2010-06-26:
Hi DB, glad to be back. Thanks for the advice. I plan to stay away Chase, I had issues with them some time ago. Are there really any good ones out there anymore?
DebtorBasher on 2010-06-26:
I don't know Chemman...I only know about Chase mortgage because I worked for them and I quit after only 5 months because of the way they expected us to treat the hurrican victims (Katrina era). I refused to string them along with lies and false hopes.
RarelyRants on 2010-07-10:
I am having a problem with Wells Fargo as well about a mortgage. I have filed a complaint with the OCC (Office of Controller of the Currency, Administrator of National Banks), against Wells Fargo for fraud and some documented evidence of the fraudulent conduct. The OCC has acknowledged my complaint and Wells Fargo has denied it already but I rebutted their denial with more extensive documentation and a copy of the acutal statutory provision they violated with a point by point show and tell of the documented evidence relating to the relevant violated statutory provisions. It has been 3 months and I have heard nothing more from the OCC however, the case is still classified as pending. I hope it gets resolved eventually, the OCC is supposed to provide a letter of resolution at the end of the dispute. I think the OCC is overwhelmed with customer complaints about National Banks so resolutions could take a long time allowing the banks more time to abuse their customers.
chemman on 2010-07-11:
Thanks for the info RarelyRants. I may have to go that route as well. I just found out that they are now applying my payments to only interest. I had them send me my account details and the last two payments since they have taken over show 100% of the payments going to interest only. That should not be the case, it is a standard loan, none of that interest only stuff. I know, especially in the beginning it goes almost all to interest but this loan is 5 yrs old, there is no way all of my payment should be going to interest.
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Wells Fargo Bank constantly under reports deposits
Posted by on
Wells Fargo account service for Direct Reinvestment Plans
For many years I had a Direct Reinvestment Plan with Merck. Some time ago this plan was taken over by shareowneronline.com which is Wells Fargo (much to my great horror). At that time I stopped getting any statements from them. So I called and it was quite a chore to get such a simple thing fixed, I ended up having to call multiple times to start receiving account statements again.

About two years ago I told them to only send hard copy statements through the mail and to block all online access because of a keylogger trojan problem I had. Most companies like Vanguard immediately took care of the issue, but Wells Fargo it was the same problem all over again, they'd say they stopped online access and yet I could still log on. So once again it took multiple calls and finally speaking to the right person who fixed it for me.

So for the last six months, having solved my trojan problems, I asked them to give me access back to my account online. I did this with all the mutual fund companies, banks and my two brokerage accounts. Everything went fine except for Wells Fargo. Still to this day I do not have access to my account online. I just spoke with them again today, and they said "so-n-so in such and such department is working on it, but I'm not in that department, and they're gone for the day, so I can't see what the status of it is". I've had two supervisors promise me they'd look into it and fix it, and call me back. They never do.

I can't get over such a major bank as Wells Fargo being so terrible with their customer service but I'm not at all surprised by it. In the 1980's I had savings and checking at a Wells Fargo in Vallejo, CA, and later in Elko, Nevada and I found on several occasions where deposits had not been credited to my account OR that they had credited the incorrect amounts. Needless to say I quit doing business with them! When I moved to Visalia, CA the first bank we came to in town was a Wells Fargo, and as I had a bunch of gold coins with me that I carried in my car on the move, I went in, opened a free checking and then got a safe deposit box to put my gold in. I knew I was only anchoring the safe deposit with the checking, as at that time they told me I had to have an account there to have the safe box.

Each year we'd get a bill for the box and we'd pay it, but we never went to the branch anymore. When we first started banking in Visalia in 1989 we started an account at Wells Fargo just because it was the first bank we found, and I knew it was a mistake. Every single month our statement was fouled up! They had deposits wrong, always smaller than what we deposited. I never did hear an explanation of why this kept occurring. So after about six months of a checking nightmare with these bozos we switched over to Coast Savings and Loan which later was taken over by another bank, but with them we never had even one problem. So we didn't go to the branch much anymore. When we closed the account we asked about the Safe Box and they said it was OK, considering what they'd put us through, it was OK to keep the box there without an account.

One day I was downtown where the bank was, and I stopped in my tracks and stared in wonder at the vacant lot where the bank had been. There were some workmen there getting ready to build something and I asked them, "Where did Wells Fargo go?" And they kind of laughed at me and said "It's down the street a few blocks". And indeed there was the new location of my bank branch. I asked my wife and we had never received notice the branch was moving probably because we only had a safe deposit box.

I went in the bank and took my key to the safe deposit window, I was glad to see they had my card on file and we went in to the area with the boxes, and the girl took me to a box with the same number as mine only it was the smallest box you can get instead of the very large box I had. She then said that's all there is. I explained to her about my box and she didn't have a clue what could have happened to my box. I had to go sit down, I felt faint and ill. I didn't raise my voice or become angry at all. I was just over-whelmed and the stress of the situation was completely taken physically by me.

Then this woman comes over, she was elderly and wearing a crooked little wig. She was immediately hostile to me and at first it took me a second to realize what was happening, I was in a fog and still felt like I was going to fall over. She really woke me up when she said, "We don't need your kind of people in this bank". Now you must realize, I was very well dressed and clean shaven. I wasn't acting drunk or on drugs. I explained to her that I was upset because they didn't seem to have my safe deposit box. She wanted my account number and when I didn't have one as we no longer had accounts there, she was openly hostile and venomous toward me. I asked her if she had me confused with someone else, and she just mumbled something and sort of wandered away. I just sat there dumbfounded, and then she came back and renewed her attack, saying she was the assistant manager and if I didn't leave she would call the police. Perhaps my suit and tie clashed and that was what was upsetting her? About that time the original young woman came rushing overlooking very concerned that Mrs. Whackjob was hassling me, and she pleaded with the woman that I was a customer and that they had misplaced my safe deposit box, but they had now found it! Relieved I followed her with Mrs. Whackjob following us mumbling things behind me, and they took me to my box and all was well. Yea! That's the most important part. They had two banks of boxes with duplicate numbers and the really big boxes didn't get used much so the girl didn't know.

After checking all my stuff and on the way out the assistant manager (who I've meanly called Mrs. Whackjob) stopped me, barring my way, and said as I didn't have an account in their bank I would have to remove my safe deposit box right away. I assured her that I would do so immediately and made sure I wrote down her name. I spent part of the afternoon on the phone to the corporate HQ of Wells Fargo explaining to them that they had a mental patient working as the assistant manager of their branch. I later received two letters of apology from the bank, carefully worded so as to avoid any admission of guilt. I swore I'd never deal with Wells Fargo Bank ever again, as they really sucked.

Then in 2009 my mom in Vallejo, California had a stroke in May and had passed away by October. Unfortunately for me, she had her checking account at Wells Fargo. I won't bore you with all the details but they put me and my mom through hell because she couldn't come into the bank, and even though I had full legal power of attorney which I provided them, they still made both our lives miserable just trying to cash a check or pay a few bills for her. What we had to do was, I just paid everything out of my checking and then she later would reimburse me, things like that because we couldn't get through to the morons at the Vallejo branch that I had all the legal paper work in order. My estate attorney told me they were famous for making it really hard to get the money in these cases, and in his opinion it wasn't because they were making sure relatives weren't ripping off elderly parents, but because of just stupidity and a desire to keep the money in their bank as long as possible. I'm not sure about that but they treated me and my mom both like ****.

Today, they finally resolved it and called me, before 8 in the morning! Did I expect any better? Here's what I wrote them: "Customer service, I have a problem. After trying for quite some time to get re-access to my account, you folks finally resolved it and called me back, at 7:40 AM my time.

I don't really like being woke up by phone calls from Wells Fargo, but my son is in the Mao Clinic in Scottsdale, and so I thought the phone call must be about him. It was upsetting to say the least.

Once again you've exceeded all expectations for incredibly poor customer service.

Thanks a whole helluva lot!"

Then later today they responded with this:

"Thank you for your email.

We would like to apologize for the inconvenience and concern caused by the early morning call you received today from our office regarding online access to your account.

We value our opportunity to serve shareholders and our goal is to provide the highest level of courteous and efficient service. In this case, we fell short of our goal. Please be assured that we are committed to providing quality service and appreciate the additional time and effort on your part to bring this to our attention. Steps are being taken to prevent this from occurring again.

If you have questions or need further assistance accessing your account online, please call our office toll-free at 1-800-401-1957. Our Shareowner Relations Online Specialists are available to assist you Monday through Friday, from 7 A.M. to 7 P.M. Central Time.


Wells Fargo Shareowner Services
161 North Concord Exchange
South St. Paul, MN 55075
Toll Free 1-800-401-1957 or
Local (651) 450-4064
Fax (651) 450-4033

So then I called them to talk to them about this and another question I had, and guess what? In their effort to provide me with excellent customer service, they put me on hold for 28 minutes before someone came to assist me. And then they couldn't help me, they didn't know what to do, and tried to transfer me to another department, apologized when that department didn't answer their phone, tried again and then lost me, I ended up with a dial tone.

Wells Fargo's service is just so third world! I bet the banks are better in Uganda!
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Tell lies to get business
Posted by on
GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- I guess I was asking Wells Fargo for too much to be a great customer and prompt payer, they would rather jerk people around and get that high interest no matter what.
here are the things we are going through with Wells Fargo Bank N/A Financial, very unhappy with and abusive predatory tactics/promises/lies
on 02/18/08 we financed our home with Wells Fargo Financial to pay off debt that we inquired during the rebuilding process of our home, the home was previuosly free & clear, we dealt with Wells fargo, she contacted us cold call, and we were promised a fixed rate loan, no problem, get to closing and it turned out to be an ARM @12% interest with 3 year adjustment, my wife had a few things on her credit that was paid off so according to Wells that we can refinance at a good rate in 1 year, Great! Now we have good credit, no late payments on anything and I mean everything. also extra used funds to put in a new septic system & other improvements so we can get ready to refinance at 95% of value next year as Wells Fargo will do that, but for them to get around that, they have their own appraiser and he will low ball the appraisal, We had house appraised for $90,000 a few months earlier by another appraiser, (but that deal did not go through), and Wells Fargo says it is only worth $70,000 and that was before/after many expensive updates.
Now comes April of 2009 and we were contacted by Wells Fargo Bank N/One of the managers at the Grand Rapids, mi. branch and said we are ready to roll this loan into a 4.5% 30 year mortgage, $7500, in closing costs, very high but he said was negotable Great! so we sent all the paperwork in, in April which was all there, and Wells f also said the sooner we get our paperwork in the sooner we close this loan, so I did just that, then 05/28/09 comes along and we finally got the Truth in lending Disclosure, Great! every thing looks good, the terms and everything were good for us.
OK, now that the home still needed a little work to be perfect, I finished some small projects and still needed to complete the garage, siding, electrical, wood floors, landscaping, etc. so I contacted Wells Fargo and he said the loan is all approved and just waiting on the appraiser, so I waited for a few weeks and asked Wells Fargo again what was going on?, again he said the loan has been approved and still waiting on the appraiser, busy guy, so I asked if I could get my own appraiser and he said no. and David Olson advised me to borrow money to finish your home before the appraiser gets there to get the best appraisal, OK, borrowed about $5000 to finish home and everything was good to go now, just waiting on the appraiser. Now I also asked Wells Fargo if we should get another fianace company to refinance since they were having trouble getting a appraiser here and Wells Fargo said just be patient, the loan is all approved and the appraiser will be there/well this went on all summer, if I would have known Wells Fargo was lying to me, I would have found another finance company, but I would have 2% prepayment penalty on the loan, so we would just stick to the plan.
OK now here comes 08/31/09 a refusal letter stating that we insuffceint income, which we did not a year before and excesive obligations, yes that is true but since we borrowed money to fix up home, thanks to Wells Fargo advise, I would think that would be expected, since I was going to pay off all debt with loan proceeds and we are on a good path to great credit, I have been borrowing money to pay some bills till this loan went through, well since the loan did not go through, I cannot pay my unsecured debt Now I am in big trouble, it is my fault for listening to these lies from David Olson and Wells Fargo. should have seen it coming.
OK, now comes the Home Affordable Modification Loan since our income has dropped $900.per month due to my tenants not paying and the overwhelming unsecured debt( my wife is a Vet and we are both on Social Security fixed income due to disability's), that was 09/11/09 We sent all required info for the Home Affordable Modification to Wells Fargo and on 11/04/09 Wells Fargo needed more info, we sent that out promptly and about a week later Wells Fargo called me and said we do not qualify for the Home Affordable Program, we received too much money and the payment would go UP instead of down, I then asked her if there is another way of getting this home in a good loan, and she said it was in a good loan and 12% ARM is a very good rate? WHAT? and she kept insisting me that she trying her best to help me? WHAT?, well that conversation did not end well.
1. OK now check out these 3 situations- 02/18/08 had good credit except wife, not too bad, promised a fixed rate-we get 12% ARM 40 year $675 a month, OK no problem say Wells Fargo, at time promised us refinance next year when these marks are off of credit.
2. now we apply for a good loan all credit issues cleared up, April 2009 4.5% 30 year fixed-$399.51 a month, down from $675.00 month perfect! come 08/31/09, got refused for this loan, findings-could not afford this loan/payment? WHAT?
3. Now we apply for the Home Affordable Modification 11-09, since our monthly income went down $900 a month, got refused because we receive too much money and the payments would go UP from $675. month, instead of down, Well That is our nightmare with this bank. How can anyone lie to get business, dirty play!
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Wells Fargo plays games
Posted by on

Please note: the mortgage refinances discussed here are not for consumers in financial distress and are not involved in the recent housing collapse.

Camouflaged by Bernard Madoff and Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo perpetrates an extensive, institutionalized, interstate mortgage refinance bait and switch that targets minorities. Madoff and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who earned nine million, are much better known than Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf, who earned twenty-one million, because Madoff cheated celebrities and Goldman Sachs games countries while Wells Fargo targets average solvent Americans, most of whom lack the resources to protect themselves and garner media scrutiny. Wells Fargo’s behavior has been chronicled in detail by the Des Moines Better Business Bureau as well as in a complaint from the Illinois Attorney General. (The Illinois Attorney General caught Wells Fargo targeting Latino names for bait and switch mortgages, and my name “Oso” means “bear” in Spanish.) My particular complaint https://iowa.app.bbb.org/complaint/view/32054361/c/8zzt3f contains five Wells Fargo responses which unwittingly substantiate my charges as well as revealing the dimensions of Wells Fargo’s swindling apparatus and the undue influence Wells Fargo has over the Better Business Bureau’s dispute resolution process.

Wells Fargo bought my mortgage five years ago. Late last year Wells Fargo solicited me to refinance. A Wells Fargo representative declared that I and my home fulfilled all the requirements for the refinance, and I accepted Wells Fargo’s offer to refinance. The Wells Fargo representative gave me a “lock,” and a few days later arriving in the mail was a contract packet that confirmed everything that the Wells Fargo representative and I had agreed upon. A week later another Wells Fargo representative began the process of attempting to breech the contract as well as Wells Fargo’s fiduciary responsibility. More than a month after the contract packet arrived, still another Wells Fargo representative told me that Wells Fargo would send me a letter breeching the contract. The unsigned, reneging letter arrived two months after the initial solicitation. Wells Fargo never intended to refinance my mortgage at the terms of the contract; rather, when Wells Fargo discovered I was not a candidate for a switch, Wells Fargo reneged.

I complained (#57160905) to the Golden Gate BBB in Oakland, California about Wells Fargo breeching our contract. My home is in the Golden Gate BBB jurisdiction, the internet solicitation came from the Golden Gate BBB jurisdiction, and the Golden Gate BBB handles complaints against Wells Fargo Bank Minnesota, the state from which the Wells Fargo perpetrators seemed to operate. A month later after complaint #57160905 was well underway with several written exchanges between Wells Fargo and myself, I was informed that my complaint had been transferred to the Des Moines BBB. The BBB explanation was that the Des Moines Better Business Bureau has jurisdiction over a Wells Fargo entity known as Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

I didn’t protest the transfer since the facts in my complaint (now #32054361) speak for themselves so it seemed that any BBB could resolve my complaint. Although the BBB dispute resolution specialist characterized my complaint as a “stinking situation,” the BBB made no effort to curtail Wells Fargo’s transparent obfuscations and easily disproven lies. For example, every Wells Fargo response denigrates my credit rating in spite of the three major credit reporting agencies rating my credit as better than 99.9% of consumers, my only debts are the mortgage and another year of a zero percent car loan, and a perfect five year payment history with Wells Fargo. Once about to enter a reply to a Wells Fargo response on the Des Moines BBB website, I discovered that my complaint had been “closed, assumed satisfied.” (Although the BBB did reopen my complaint, how many of the other complaints that have been “closed, assumed satisfied” were as “satisfied” as I was?) Recently, the BBB changed my complaint status to “consumer rejects business' final offer.” Since Wells Fargo has made no offer whatsoever, “consumer rejects business’ final offer” is a lie which as of this writing the BBB refuses to remove. 

Since the transfer, I have learned that Wells Fargo is a dominant, if not the dominant, Des Moines’ corporate presence: Des Moines main venue is the Wells Fargo Arena. Four weeks ago I learned that a Wells Fargo executive is currently on the Des Moines BBB board of directors and a former chairman. Perhaps these factors explain not only the BBB’s failure to withdraw Wells Fargo’s accreditation as BBB standards require, but also the steering of potential victims to Wells Fargo by giving Wells Fargo an “A” rating.


S. Oso

January 18, 2010

On December 10th, 2009 I received an email from Wells Fargo soliciting me to refinance the $300,000+ mortgage which they held. The next day I spoke to Wells Fargo personnel #1. I told #1 everything about my house and finances:

1. The mortgage is $310,000 while the Zillow website values my residence at around $650,000. The listing has not been updated to account for the addition of a second story (Golden Gate Bridge views), all new wiring/plumbing, the most extensive structural reinforcement in the area, this year’s complete exterior and interior painting, and the new custom sidewalk. Everything was done with permits.

2. For years I have supported myself mostly through risk averse investing. I don’t earn a lot but spend even less. My brokerage account is liquid and could cover the entire mortgage. Other than my mortgage and car—financed at zero percent—I have no debt, nor have I ever been late for any obligation as evidenced by my highest percentile credit scores.

#1 declared me eligible for a refinance that would reduce my payment of $1974 to $1620 with no fees. I asked if what she was saying amounted to a “lock?” She said it was a “lock.” I offered to produce the paperwork that had been required for my previous refinances. #1 didn’t think that would be necessary. I was dubious since “confused” would be a generous characterization of past interactions with Wells Fargo. (The current mortgage was not initiated with Wells Fargo; rather Wells Fargo purchased it third hand.) But a few days later, a Wells Fargo envelope arrived, and its contents confirmed everything Elyse had promised. Perhaps recent embarrassing failures such as buying Wachovia had smartened up Wells Fargo.

That hope was dashed a week later when Wells Fargo personnel #2 called: it seemed that the Wells Fargo underwriters were having problems with the veracity of my name. While my name is eccentric, it is the exact name on all the checks which Wells Fargo has cashed for years and on every piece of mortgage related paperwork stored somewhere within the vastness of Wells Fargo. At no other time during Wells Fargo’s ownership of my mortgage has Wells Fargo ever been concerned with the eccentricity of my name. To verify the veracity of my name I complied with the Wells Fargo edict that I fax a copy of my social security benefit statement.

A few days later Wells Fargo personnel #3 contacted me. The Wells Fargo underwriters now wondered how my investing could cover the mortgage. I pointed out that anyone who was good for $1974 was also good for $1620; moreover, I had been able to generate sufficient capital with neither a taxpayer bailout nor steady access to zero percent interest. In spite of these realities Wells Fargo now demanded I send copies of my brokerage account, which has always been marked to market, as well as my complete 2007 and 2008 federal tax returns, documents I had offered #1 in the beginning.

On Thursday January 14th, 2010 a phone message from #3 informed me that Wells Fargo would rule on my application either this Thursday or for sure by Friday tomorrow. (The Wells Fargo paperwork committed Wells Fargo to accept my first refinanced payment by March 1st, 2010.) The next day having not heard from Wells Fargo by noon PST (#3 is in Minneapolis.), I called #3, who alleged that her message did not commit Wells Fargo to a decision by today. #3 also revealed that funding had closed for January and that my application would be held over to February. When I pointed out that these dates were arbitrary and that I had immediately complied with every Wells Fargo documentation demand, #3 conceded that my application had been active for over a month. When I asked to speak to a supervisor, #3 said that Wells Fargo personnel #4 would call within 48 hours.

It’s Monday January 18th, 2010. I had just finished the above when #3 called. Wells Fargo now demanded to see a utility bill to prove that I reside at my residence. I laughed but agreed to fax a bill without bothering to explain why a utility bill does not prove habitation. Nor did I ask after #4.

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bgg on 2010-02-21:
Watch out, they strung me along for 5 months... meanwhile the interest rates went up and they said I hadn't locked in although I had filled out all papers they asked me to and told me I was locked in. I basically gave up and went to another lender.
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Wells Fargo Offered Unfair Home Loan Modification
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I have been working with Wells Fargo since about July 2009 to get a Home Loan Modification, as outlined in the federal program (www.makinghomesaffordable.gov). I finally received my paperwork this week, and it is as if they "rewrote" the modification the way THEY WANTED TO, not following the federal guidelines, which are clearly written in a 17-page memo to lenders.

Also, they did not offer me the $1000 per year "incentive" that a borrower is eligible for, for up to 5 years, if we enter into the agreement and make payments on time. This helps "pay down" part of your principal... they totally ignored that ... probably since the guidelines (to lenders), states, "borrowers are eligible for (the $1000 a year incentive) ..." instead of saying "(Lenders), you MUST include this in your loan modification agreement."

Here is what has happened with my loan modification, so right now I am wondering whether to sign or not to sign... and they gave me only 10 days to sign and return... while it took them almost 8 months to get my loan modification through a trial period. !
But here is what happened with my modification:
my mortgage should have been reduced by about $250 - $280 ... but was only reduced by about $98! Borrowers are supposed to bring your payment down to 31% of your Gross Income, and are supposed to reduce your interest rate (as a first step in something the Gov.'t calls the "Waterfall Procedures", which are specific steps Lenders are to take to reduce the mortgage so the CORRECT AMOUNT OF modification agreement can be determined... This is NOT what was offered in my case.

I have been trying to get my home loan modification with them for about 6-7 months... I did EVERYTHING THEY ASKED, sent all forms, resent forms, resent proof of income, the signed affidavit. about 4 months ago, they sent the amount of my trial payments, which was encouraging because the payment dropped from about $1250 (which I can no longer afford, due to a sharp decrease in my income.; my payment for the trial period was reduced to about $980.

I also want to note that I did not have a sub-prime mortgage, that I have always been current on the mortgage, and that my home in Austin TX is worth about what I owe on it. Also, I do pay Private mortgage insurance (PMI), and I'm reading from many with problems, that some banks are not working with them... preferring their home to go into foreclosure, since the home has PMI.

The "making home affordable" gov. website calculators show that I'm eligible, and that $980 (trial payment) was actually somewhat more than the 31% of my income. I thought I was "good to go..." and made every trial payment.
Now... this week, I get a letter from Wells Fargo that offers me something they call a "Home Affordable Modification Agreement", and they only gave me until 3/23/10 (less than 10 days), to sign and return it to them. THE TERMS ARE NOT AS outlined on the Gov't site at ALL! To reduce my mortgage, they offer to EXTEND THE TERM OF THE MORTGAGE, and only to lower the interest rate by about one-half percent. This is NOT how the Gov't site said as to mortgages being modified. My total monthly payment only went down $98, if I sign this, and again... this payment is MUCH more than the approx. $960 that my loan modification should be (according to the calculator on the fedeeral "making homes affordable.gov" site and other federal web sites.). Do they think we don't read or multiply ??? Also... they didn't make my escrow payment with my trial payments, and so they informed me I now owe escrow of $1876 ! (this is something the government guidelines to lenders ALSO tells lenders, that they MUST make the escrow, if the funds are there ... which mine were, as part of my $980 trial period payment.!

They did write in something they call a "borrower incentive" that if I make payments on time, I will "accrue " a "benefit" equal to $54.58, which is 1/2 of the reduction in the monthly mortgage payment. There is nothing that I can find about this being in the government program -- it reads that with a home modification you no longer have to pay the PMI. (because the government is in effect insuring your mortgage, at least that is my understanding of why you no longer have to pay PMI).
I feel Wells Fargo has "rewritten" that "PMI" program benefit more to THEIR benefit, in their legal terms ... saying, "if your modified mortgage loan ever becomes 90 days delinquent, you will lose all accrued but unapplied principal reduction benefits ... and will no longer be eligible to accrue additional principal reduction benefits..." THAT is NOT in the government guidelines at all.

I don't know what I am going to do at this point, because it seems as if WFargo is really trying to screw me. That is not a word I ever use, but it fits with this situation. In my opinion, they are purposefully ignoring the government guidelines on how the FEDERAL home loan modification program was written, and have written their terms... much more favorable to them.
LSB / Austin TX
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Anonymous on 2010-03-16:
Perhaps you do not qualify for that program.
FlShopper on 2010-03-16:
Yes, they will try to make the final terms more favorable to themselves... they're still a business.
Do you have any other recourse? If they are not following the letter of the law, then is there someone to whom you can go?
Perhaps, like LadyScot mentioned, you didn't qualify for that particular program or the criteria for it changed.
tnchuck100 on 2010-03-16:
"The 'making home affordable' gov. website calculators show that I'm eligible, ..."

If, in fact, he does not qualify Wells Fargo should have been upfront with him. However, as can be seen by the numerous complaints on this site alone, Wells Fargo has led many loan modification clients down the path of helping no one but themselves.
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Posted by on
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- Be very careful when you do business with Wells Fargo. A couple of months ago I contacted Wells Fargo to refinancing my auto in an effort to reduce my debt. I received an offer with a higher finance rate so I declined. Plus, the monthly payments were more than I was currently paying. Financially it wasn’t helpful in my efforts of reducing my debt. A couple of weeks after I turned down the auto refinance offer, I received an invitation from Wells Fargo to apply for a home refinance loan. So I applied just to see if it would be beneficial. About a week later, I received a letter in the mail from Wells Fargo declining me for a home refinance, no big deal. Then, about a month ago I was contacted by a Rep of Wells Fargo who asked me if I was still interested in refinancing my house. I explained that I’d already been declined. She told me the letter was a formality and it was “something Wells Fargo sends automatically”, and there were no problems with getting a home refinance loan. The Rep also inquired about the auto loan I applied for. I explained to her that I declined it because the rate was too high. I made an appointment to meet the Rep to discuss refinancing my house with cash out to pay off some creditors. I supplied all the required documents prior to the meeting. I met with the Rep on July 21st to sign the papers for the home refinance loan. During our meeting the Rep brought up refinancing my truck. I explained why I declined the auto loan. The Rep suggested that with the cash out from refinancing both my truck and house, I could pay off a majority of my creditors, thus saving money. I told the Rep that I didn’t want to refinance my auto. The rate was too high and it was not worth it. I was already 2 years into a 6 year loan and didn’t want to start over with another 6 year note at a higher rate. The Rep explained that with the cash out from refinancing my auto, I could pay off a creditors and it would help get a better rate on the home loan. The Rep again pointed out that with the cash out from refinancing both I could pay the majority of my creditors and with the money I’d be saving monthly, I could pay more towards my truck and still have it pd in 4 years. I made it clear that I DID NOT want to refinance my auto unless it was 100% SURE I was approved for the home loan. Otherwise, it made no sense to refinance my truck. Her exact words were “You’re approved. I’m working on the rate. The loan has been approved.” She ASSURED me the home refinance loan was approved so I refinanced my truck based on her assurance. I refinanced my truck that day. Plus, I signed all the papers for the refinance of my house, leaving 100% sure that I was approved for the home loan based on what I was told by the Rep. I took the check I’d gotten from the cash out on the auto refinance (about $1,500) and paid off a creditor as was planned. I didn’t hear anything for a week so I called to check the status of the loan. I was assured there were no problems. I asked her if she knew the finance rate on the home loan yet and she told me no but said she’d let me know when she knew. Another week passed with no word. I emailed the Rep to check the status and asked if there were any problems with the loan. Again I was told there were no problems. After a few more days, I checked again and was assured there were no problems. In fact, I was told I “should be hearing from the Appraiser any day”. Finally, on 8/10/09, I rcvd a call from the Rep telling me my home loan was turned down because the pre-appraisal came in lower than what they thought. I was very upset. I told the Rep that no one had come to appraise my home. I told her that she had assured me several times I WAS APPROVED, that’s why I refinanced by auto. Now she’s telling me I’ve been declined. I WAS MISLED & TRICKED INTO REFINANCING MY TRUCK. I refinanced my truck based on lies from the Rep of Wells Fargo. I NEVER would have refinanced my truck if I was not 100% sure I was approved for the home loan as I was told by the Rep. I can’t even cancel the loan since I’ve already taken the money I rcvd from the cash out to pay a creditor. Basically, I've traded a $1,500 creditor for a $30,000 auto loan. THANKS WELLS FARGO.
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Anonymous on 2013-08-09:
I don't think you were lied to, the approvals are always contingent on many factors.... income verification, residence verification, or in this case equity verification or an appraisal.
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They Generate Bounce Check Fees
Posted by on
IRVING, TEXAS -- They will push back charges and delay deposits to make charges bounce. When I confronted them with proof, I just got double talk, changing the subject, insults and was told I should close my account and go elsewhere. The following is what happened to me.

I am not the best at balancing my checkbook so I check my balance online every night. For the couple of months I have banked there, every single charge including checks would show up as pending, and then would finalize the next day (deposits are the same way). So I check my activity on the 8th, and 3 charges have came in as pending (with ample funds to cover them). Then on the 9th, a check shows up as having finalized on the 8th, and the 3 previous charges have bounced. Further, my direct deposit has shown up pending on Thursday and finalizes on Friday every week. This time, it doesn't show up on Thursday at all (but does show up pending on Friday morning meaning it will finalize on Saturday, a day late). Had I not caught this and done a direct deposit advance (which cost me 46$), that would have cost me another 12 bounced charges at 35$ each.

So I check with others at my work (this is an employee account), and I am the only one that got a direct deposit a day late. 2 people confirmed for sure that their deposit showed pending on Thursday.

So I go in and talk to the bank. The first guy I talked to said, yes we will push larger checks back as they are often more important checks like rent that people need to clear (which of course causes many more small charges that have already cleared to bounce, at 35$ each). He asked what I would have preferred, that they let the large one bounce? I told him yes. He went to talk to another employee. I walked over as I had not mentioned the direct deposit yet, and told him I had another issue as well.

This guy just changed the subject when I mentioned what the other guy had said, and he said that checks won't show in online banking till a day or two after they post (a complete lie). I tried to show him printouts that showed pending checks. I tried to show him a printout from the 8th that showed funds for the 3 charges but not the larger check, then another printout on the 9th with the large check being pushed back to the 8th. He basically ignored all the printed proof I had. He never looked at my proof close enough to read anything. He said several times, that I seemed to know more about online banking than they did so why was I talking to them. It seemed like any time I brought up an issue, he just made up something off the top of his heat to refute me (and he did contradict himself). He said that if my deposit showed on Friday (pending or not), then it was there and I should check the date on my pay stub (fyi I talked to someone on the phone the night before, and they said if it was not there pending on Thursday night, then it would not be final till Saturday). He said that the people at my work were wrong, and I was wrong and didn't know what I was talking about, even though I had printed proof. One of his last statements was that this was all my fault and I didn't know what I was talking about. I said I hadn't had problems like this for years with my previous bank, and suggested that perhaps I should close my account and go back there. He said that I should close my account.

Obviously they are playing with charges and deposits to try to maximize charges and fees. My balance hadn't been that close to zero before, but my wife had discontinued here direct deposit at our old bank and hadn't set it up with Wells Fargo yet, so getting a paper check delayed things a bit (she got paid that same Friday too). With both our pay on direct deposit, I don't think that issues like this would arise as sufficient funds would always be available. Its nice to know if my account does get low though, this is how they are going to take care of me.

I'll take his advice and close my accounts.
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yoke on 2009-04-13:
How would the direct deposit not going in on Friday be a reason 12 checks would bounce?
Anonymous on 2009-04-13:
There is no such thing as a pending check. Checks post when they present. There are pending debit card transactions, however. If you swipe your card before the funds are available in the account, they are going to charge you. Make no mistake about that.

Regarding Direct Deposit: take a look at the date on your pay stub. That's the date the funds should be in your account. If they weren't, and it caused an overdraft, you have a case. Bear in mind though, if the pay is due on Friday, and you get OD charges on Friday, it means the checks actually bounced on Thursday. OD charges are posted a day after the OD occurs. If that's the case, you're stuck with them.
ripit on 2009-04-14:
There were 12 pending charges (checks and card charges) pending on Thursday. If the direct deposit was pending on Thursday, it would have gone final on Friday and covered the charges that went final on Friday. I have even seen pending charges without fund to cover them, made a deposit which imediatly showed as pending, and it covered the charges when everything went final the next day. This time, I made a direct deposit advance (loan) on Thursday, which imediatly showed as pending, and then covered the pending charges that went final the next day.
They have always treated everything, check or charge, direct deposit or a deposit I made this way.
Oddly enough, a few days later, my deposit was changed from showing as final on Saturday, to showing as final on Friday, and the direct deposit advance that covered the charges was suddenly available funds (perhaps because I complained).
On the large check (several days before this), They always show everything including checks as pending imediatly. Instead, it showed up as posting the day before it showed up online (most likly a day before they even received the check). My wife tends to forget her atm card and writes checks to herself to get cash. These also (paper check), show imediatly as pending and credit the next day.
I was actually surprised how fast charges show. Be it a check that she writes at the bank, or a charge at a store, it shows as pending the same hour (sometimes in minutes). They never go final till the next day though (except for this one which they admitted to pushing back).
If nothing else, the online banking is unreliable as they move charges around, even across a day (strange coincidence that it only seems to happen when it will generate a bunch of over draft fees).
ripit on 2009-04-14:
I should mention, that they even show two ballances. One is an ending ballance which shows the ballance after everything that went final that day (it doesn not include deposites or charges that are pending).
The other ballance is the available ballance. It shows what your ballance will be the next day when all the pending charges and deposits are finalized. They say it is this "The most current picture of funds you have available for withdrawal".
yoke on 2009-04-14:
In other words you played the float game and lost. If the funds were there for the 12 transactions that were pending on Thursday there would not have been any NSF.
ripit on 2009-04-14:
On the first one, I played the float game and lost, and I accept that. It should have generated 1 insuficient funds fee and I would have realized that was my fault. Instead, they pushed the check back to make it generate 3 insuficient check fees and that is wrong. They didn't just change the order in which things were presented for the day, but actually pushed the check back to a previous day (possibly before they even had the check). How can you charge a check to an acount before you even have the check?

As far as the second occurrence, I did not get any insuficient check fees because they processed the 12 charges (checks and card charges) normally. Everything showed as pending the first day (giving me time to get funds in), so the charges got covered. Had my paycheck credited on time, I would not have had to paid a 46$ loan fee as my check would have covered them on time. Yes again, I played the float game, but they made my direct deposit late to try to make sure I lost that float game big.
By the way, I normally don't float charges like that, but we are in the process of changing from another bank, so my wifes direct deposit is not set up yet (the wells fargo acount is an employee account that seemed to have good features). Its nice to know that they are watching for any opportunity to play with my account activity to generate charges.
I should also mention, if they would have processed everything normally (including showing the large check as pending the day it came in and crediting it the next day), there were suficient funds to clear everything plus some. The first 3 insuficient funds charges are what caused the risk of 12 more charges not having funds. That had some of those charges pending for 1 day, and some for 2 so I cannot tell for sure which are the 12 (I have it printed somewhere), but my best estimate is that those 12 charges added up to only about 60$ (3 charges were under 3$ and 3 were under 1$). I wasn't intentionally trying to play the float game here (only on the one large check). There charges made the risk present for the other 12 charges. Even if I would have gotten 1 bounced check fee, everything else would have cleared with the direct deposit on time. # fee's is what pushed it past the limit for that.
I don't mind taking responsibility if I float something and bounce it. At worst, one thing should have bounced. They pushed back a check and pushed forward a deposit to try to make it 15 (3 of which they actually got).
ripit on 2009-04-14:
I think next time I need to look around online for reviews on banks. I hope I'm not breaking the rules by mentioning another site, but epinions has hundreds of bad reviews of them, and an amazingly large number of bad reviews are about them manipulating peoples acounts to either generate, or increase the number of insuficient fund charges. Aparently 1 fee causing a landslide of fees is common.
aumsville on 2009-04-17:
Sue Wellsfargo, they are thieves...They need to be shut down.
3338 on 2010-09-21:
Good for you because I'm about to do the same it is really sad that they don't want the business I guess they don't need it.
nv on 2013-06-25:
To whomever wrote there are no such thing as pending checks that is not correct. Every deposit you make with wells Fargo shows as pending until processed. If you make the cutoff time your deposit is considered same day but technicaly if you look online it shows as pending and is actually processed sometime during the night. If you miss the cutoff time it goes in as pending but will not post until the next day in the middle of the night. What I would like to know is what time do they process and change from pending to actually showing up in your account. I deposited a check Friday after the cutoff so she told me it would go through processing Monday night -my wells Fargo doesn't process on Saturdays. Well here it is 1:30 am Tuesday and my check is still pending. And no there is no hold on this check. I tried to read up and find out what time does processing occur and so far have found one small line that said it may happen anytime between 12am and 3am.
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Wells Fargo Bank - Practices
Posted by on
On Feb 19 I mailed a check, drawn on my WellsFargo account, from California to the GMAC payment center in Arizona.

-I got paid on Feb 20th (Friday) and on Saturday the 21st at 10 am I deposited my check. I was told at that time my GMAC check for $500 had bounced on the 20th.

-I question this since I did not understand how the check had gotten from CA to AZ -via the mail- and the fund drawn from my account in one day. I viewed a copy of my check online at Wellsfargo.com. While the front was very clear the back was totally unreadable. I contacted customer service and requested a better copy so that I could ascertain exactly what time this check was processed. They told me that was all that was available, that they had no legal requirement to provide me with another copy and that all he could tell me was that the check was processed on the 20th and I basically had to take their word for it

-I used my ATM on the 20th and still had about $300 in funds according to the slip.

I believe that Wells Fargo actually processed the check later than they stated and only applied it when I went into the bank on Saturday the 21st. They then credited my account before applying my deposit that morning.

What follows next, thanks to the intensive lobbying the banking giants conduct in Washington, amounts to legal larceny aided and abetted by our elected officials.

They posted various small ATM purchases that I had made over the previous few days resulting in a cascading series of fees which is now about $400.

1) Wells Fargo has engaged in sequencing the charges in such a way as to maximize the amount of charges they could attach to my account.

2) If they are going to charge me then I deserve to have a copy of the check back that is legible or they need to provide the original check. I see no reason that I have to accept their word esp given their history of deceptive and predatory tactics.

3) I did not set up overdraft protection yet they will selectively honor purchases and e-payments after they overdraw the account anytime this results in a lot of fees for little risk ie. they won't honor a $200 charge but will gladly allow an automatic $1 charge that then earns them $35.

They will deposit my checks with no hold for weeks at a time but hold the check for 3-5 days when doing so will force the account to be overdrawn by pending ATM charges.

They will delay notification that the account is overdrawn and fees were being assessed to maximize fees - I received written notice 5 days after the fact.

I believe that Wells Fargo has not only acted dishonestly in this matter they have acted criminally. I believe that this process of sequencing the transactions to extract greater fees preys largely upon those who can least afford it because their accounts would be the least cushioned and most vulnerable to this predatory tactic.

I strongly recommend going to helpwithmybank.com to find out who regulates your bank and file a complaint. Contact your congressman, newspapers and blogs. Move your money to a credit union if possible as most seem to not charge these fees.

Oppose giving stimulus money to these banks until they clean up their act. Otherwise they are only going to use our own money to pay us back if the class action suit is successful essentially spitting in our faces.
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Anonymous on 2009-03-11:
I agree 100%. Your congress-critters snuggled up cozy with the bankers many years ago. Good luck writing those letters unless you enclose a hefty campaign contribution. In other lands, self-serving politicians and their toadies get 'necklaced' with a burning tire in front of their home. I don't think America will be any less vulnerable to people resorting to violence once the people get their bellies full of the abuse.
woodsk1 on 2009-03-11:
Most places now deposit checks electronically. So the check is scanned and an image is deposited and the check follows. Check with GMAC to see how they make deposits.
Anonymous on 2009-03-11:
The back of the check is critical. I suspect that the OP is right. Wells Fargo processed the check on a later date (22nd or 23rd), but they applied the credit to the account before the deposit on the 21st. All designed to increase their income via fees. That the back of the check is not legible and they are not willing to provide a clear copy is suspicious.
Soaring Consumer on 2009-03-11:
Yes, it is definitely suspicious, right on the borderline of fraud.
burt09 on 2009-03-11:
The front is clear and reasonable quality. The back is illegible and even somewhat pixelated -as if it was a lower resolution. I use Photoshop professionally yet even with all the tricks I know there is no way to enhance it because it is such low quality.
Anonymous on 2009-03-12:
Just curious, burt. Are the backs of all of your checks illegible? It if is only this one, that certainly is suspicious. But, if it is all of them, you may still have a case against the bank for not using a method of check reproduction that is accurate. As I recall, digital reproductions are required to be 'accurate and representational' and sufficiently clear to substitute for the original in any legal proceeding. Worth a shot.
burt09 on 2009-03-12:
I can't see all of my transaction as they seem to limit the amount of transactions you can view now - have to request copies for older stuff- but of the 10 or so check images I have available all are completely legible on the back except for that one.
Anonymous on 2009-03-12:
I'm sure WF will cry 'coincidental'. But what if 'coincidental' affects 100, 1000, or 10000 other customers for fees equal to what you are fighting? It could certainly point to motive. I'm not a lawyer (and the site trolls doubt I am a physician) but I think you have something worth pursuing. Depends on how hard you want to push. Maybe a carefully crafted letter from an attorney indicating your willingness to pursue the 'coincidence' here will get your fees waived. If you cannot prove the check was improperly processed, WF cannot prove it was. Any judge would force WF to prove this. I doubt WF would send its legal team to your local small claims court. And, if they did, that too is telling. Good luck with this. It may have legs.
burt09 on 2009-03-12:
I will be crafting a response over the next day or so then we'll see how it goes. Thanks.
burt09 on 2009-05-01:
Update: I filed a complaint with ftc.gov which enters it into a database which is searchable and can be used to reveal patterns of wrong doing.

I filed a complaint with the Office of the Comptroller (use helpwithmybank.gov to find who you need to contact). I have gone back and forth with letters and forwarded all correspondence with WF to them. They cited the Check 21 Act and I read it and verified that indeed the front and back of the check need to be legible. They contacted me with a letter intending to pursue collections , file negative reports etc and I notified them that since there was an active case being investigated they shouldn't be contacting me. It appears they then sold the debt to another agency because I got a collection notice and have to do that all again with them. All copied to Office of the Comptroller. I also filed complaints with the BBB, and sent letters to several news desks, my congressman, the White House and many blogs. I am incensed. they don't really care. Even if I eventually get back my money -after sweating blood to do it- unless they are legally made to change their ways they won't even notice my efforts. Too much money involved. Unless you need the services of a big bank explore the credit unions in your area.
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