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Wells Fargo Illegally Repossessed Service Members’ Cars And Now They Have To Pay
The reputation of Wells Fargo & Co. took another blow Thursday when it agreed to pay $24.1 million for the improper repossession of cars owned by members of the U.S. military.
The bank agreed to pay $4.1 million to settle a Justice Department investigation into the repossession of 413 cars without the necessary court order from 2008 through the middle of last year in violation of a federal law designed to provide financial protections to active-duty military members. The bank also was fined $20 million by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for violations dating to 2006.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act requires a court order to repossess a vehicle if the service member took out the loan and made a payment before entering military service.
“We all have an obligation to ensure that the women and men who serve our country in the armed forces are afforded all of the rights they are due,” said U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker of the Central District of California. “Wells Fargo failed in that obligation.”
News of the settlement and fine came as Wells Fargo Chief Executive John Stumpf was testifying at a House Financial Services Committee hearing about the scandal involving bank employees creating as many as 2 million accounts without customers’ authorization.
“It appears the company just can’t make it through this congressional hearing without us learning more and more information about what is going on at Wells Fargo,” said Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.
The Justice Department settlement stems from Wells Fargo’s 2013 repossession of a 2011 Ford Escape from Army National Guardsman Dennis Singleton, who was living in Hendersonville, N.C., at the time.
Singleton was preparing to deploy to Afghanistan when the used car was repossessed without a court order, the Justice Department said. He served in Afghanistan from Nov. 17, 2013, to the end of August 2014.
After Singleton’s car was sold at auction, Wells Fargo tried to collect more than $10,000 from him to cover the difference between what was owed on the vehicle and what it had sold for.
As part of the Justice Department settlement, Wells Fargo agreed to pay $10,000 to each of the affected service members, along with any lost equity in the vehicle, plus interest. The bank sent the payments last month, the Justice Department said. The bank also will pay a $60,000 civil fine and try to locate additional victims.
© 2016 Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
U.S. special operations forces are currently field testing a lightweight combat armor designed to cover more of an operator's body than previous protective gear, an official told Task & Purpose.
The armor, called the Lightweight Polyethylene (PE) Armor for Extremity Protection, is one of a handful of subsystems to come out of U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) effort that media outlets dubbed the "Iron Man suit," Navy Lieutenant Cmdr. Tim Hawkins, a SOCOM spokesman, told Task & Purpose on Wednesday.
Military families are suing their private housing provider over 'rampant mold infestation' at Fort Meade
Ten military families are taking their privatized housing provider, Corvias, to court over "appalling housing conditions and cavalier treatment" at Fort Meade in Maryland, according to a new lawsuit.
The lawsuit filed on Tuesday by law firm Covington & Burling —which is handling the lawsuit pro bono, according to their press release — details "distressingly similar stories of poorly maintained infrastructure leading to serious problems, such as mold growing on walls, windows, and pipes," at the the installation.
The lawsuit was first reported by the Washington Post. The defendants identified include Corvias Management-Army LLC and Meade Communities, LLC, which is a part of Corvias.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senior Democratic and Republican lawmakers presented dueling narratives on Wednesday as a U.S. congressional impeachment inquiry that threatens Donald Trump's tumultuous presidency entered a crucial new phase with the first televised public hearing.
The drama unfolded in a hearing of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee in which two career U.S. diplomats - William Taylor and George Kent - voiced alarm over the Republican president and those around him pressuring Ukraine to conduct investigations that would benefit Trump politically.
A system that intercepts enemy rockets and a brand-new munition? Tank you very much.
The Navy is looking into the possibility of sending explosive ordnance disposal units on shorter and possibly more frequent deployments, service officials said on Wednesday.
Right now, EOD techs train for 18 months and deploy for another six months as part of their optimized fleet response plan, but the Navy is conducting a review of that training and deployment cycle, Navy officials told reporters.
A Navy analysis is looking at whether EOD techs should spend a total of 32 or 36 months training and deployed per cycle, said Capt. Oscar Rojas, who leads Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 1 in San Diego.