Owed Money by Wells Fargo? Here's How Much to Expect

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  • Wells Fargo was recently fined $3.7 billion for mismanaging different consumer accounts.
  • If you were impacted by the banking giant's wrongful actions, you may be in for a nice settlement.

There could be a big payday coming your way.

Wells Fargo made a big mistake -- or rather, a series of them. It denied customers the option to modify their mortgage loans when it should've allowed them to change the terms to make their monthly payments more affordable. It also repossessed vehicles erroneously after mishandling auto loan payments. And, it froze bank accounts mistakenly, resulting in consumers losing access to their own money for a period of time.

As a result, Wells Fargo has been assessed a whopping $3.7 billion penalty -- and rightfully so. And if you were impacted by the bank's missteps, there could be a nice pile of money coming your way.

Consumers are already getting compensated

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reports that 11 million Wells Fargo banking customers have already received funds as part of the aforementioned settlement. And more payouts are in the works.

If you're a Wells Fargo customer and you see a lump sum of money hit your bank account, it may be compensation you're entitled to. And if you aren't seeing that money yet, worry not -- it's on the way.

In fact, Wells Fargo says that customers impacted by its actions do not need to do anything to get their share of the settlement. Rather, those payments should come through without you having to file a claim or fill out any paperwork.

How much money should you expect?

The amount of money you receive from Wells Fargo will hinge on the way your finances were impacted. Customers who had their vehicles wrongly repossessed could be entitled to $4,000 in compensation, and in some cases, even more money than that. Meanwhile, if you had a checking or savings account that was frozen for no good reason, you should expect a $150 payout for the inconvenience.

A lesson no doubt learned

It's of course possible that some of the actions taken by Wells Fargo were done in error -- not in an attempt to harm consumers intentionally. But still, the banking giant needs to be held accountable for its actions.

Cutting off access to one's savings or checking account, for example, is not something to be taken lightly. And so it's good that Wells Fargo is being forced to compensate the customers upon whom it inflicted a world of stress.

That said, an equally important takeaway is that Wells Fargo will no doubt aim to learn from its mistakes and not repeat them. And hopefully, other big banks will start paying closer attention to their practices to avoid getting hit with comparable fines.

Holding banks accountable is a key step toward ensuring that consumers are protected accordingly. And seeing what just happened to Wells Fargo should actually give consumers more peace of mind knowing that there are watchdog agencies like the CFPB looking out for them.

Meanwhile, if you have reason to believe you've been mistreated by your bank or lender, don't stay quiet about it. Instead, check out the CFPB's website to learn more about the rights you have as a consumer -- and what to do if you feel they've been violated.

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