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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.
Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.
NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland -- The U.S. Air Force will call its new trainer the T-7A "Red Hawk."
Acting Air Force Secretary Matt Donovan announced the name of the jet, known previously as the T-X, on Monday, alongside retired Col. Charles McGee, who was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen.
"The name, Red Hawk, honors the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, and pays homage to their signature red-tailed aircraft from World War II," Donovan said here during the annual Air, Space and Cyber conference.
The Special Forces community is honoring the life of Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy W. Griffin, who was killed in Afghanistan on Monday, whom his commander described as a superlative soldier and beloved teammate.
"He was a warrior - an accomplished, respected and loved Special Forces soldier that will never be forgotten," Col. Owen G. Ray, commander of 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), said in a news release. "We ask that you keep his family and teammates in your thoughts and prayers."
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran held talks with a delegation from Afghanistan's Taliban, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, a week after peace talks between the United States and the Islamist insurgents collapsed.
Iran said in December it had been meeting with Taliban representatives with the knowledge of the Afghan government, after reports of U.S.-Taliban talks about a ceasefire and a possible withdrawal of foreign troops.
The Marine lieutenant colonel who was removed from command of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May is accused of lying to investigators looking into allegations of misconduct, according to a copy of his charge sheet provided to Task & Purpose on Monday.
President Donald Trump just can't stop telling stories about former Defense Secretary James Mattis. This time, the president claims Mattis said U.S. troops were so perilously low on ammunition that it would be better to hold off launching a military operation.
"You know, when I came here, three years ago almost, Gen. Mattis told me, 'Sir, we're very low on ammunition,'" Trump recalled on Monday at the White House. "I said, 'That's a horrible thing to say.' I'm not blaming him. I'm not blaming anybody. But that's what he told me because we were in a position with a certain country, I won't say which one; we may have had conflict. And he said to me: 'Sir, if you could, delay it because we're very low on ammunition.'
"And I said: You know what, general, I never want to hear that again from another general," Trump continued. "No president should ever, ever hear that statement: 'We're low on ammunition.'"