Wells Fargo Bank will pay about $16.3 million to settle a class action lawsuit alleging it illegally used an auto-dialer to call mortgage borrowers’ mobile phones without their consent – a violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
The suit, Markos v. Well Fargo Bank NA, was originally filed on April 14, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Last week, the court gave preliminary approval for the settlement to proceed. Depending on the number of claims, each affected borrower will be entitled to collect about $25 to $75. That’s after deductions are made for cost of notice, claims administration, and court-awarded attorneys’ fees and costs.
The TCPA prohibits mortgage servicers (as well as telemarketers) from making auto-dialed phone calls and texts to borrowers’ cell phones unless the servicer has express written consent from the borrower. Attorneys for Wells Fargo had argued that the bank did, in fact, have the needed consent; however, the court found otherwise.
It is not clear from published reports whether Wells Fargo did, in fact, obtain written consent; sometimes TCPA violations have to do with how written consent was obtained and, in particular, whether borrowers knew they were giving consent.
For more, check out this report on InsideARM.com.