Pedestrians pass in front of a Wells Fargo & Co. bank branch in New York (Photographer: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg)

Wells Fargo Clients Want Credit Repair for Insurance Debacle

(Bloomberg) -- Wells Fargo & Co. customers suing the bank for forcing them to pay for unnecessary auto insurance that drove some of them into default on their car loans asked a court to order the bank to immediately take steps to repair their credit reports.

The consumers said in a court filing Friday that as a result of negative and false reports Wells Fargo made to credit reporting agencies, their credit scores plummeted. They want the bank and National General Insurance Co., which they allege was also involved in the scheme, to investigate and correct any inaccurate information reported to Equifax, Experian, TransUnion and other credit bureaus.

An internal review of the bank’s auto lending found more than 500,000 clients may have unwittingly paid for protection against vehicle loss or damage while making monthly loan payments, even though many drivers already had their own policies, Wells Fargo said last week. The firm said it may pay as much as $80 million to affected clients -- with extra money for as many as 20,000 who lost cars to repossessions, “as an expression of our regret.”

The bank’s offer of refunds to customers who unwittingly bought collateral protection insurance isn’t enough, according to the consumers’ filing in Manhattan federal court.

“Customers have been damaged by their unlawful scheme, which has ruined credit scores, depleted bank accounts, and resulted in cars being repossessed,” the consumers’ lawyers said in the filing.

The bank said Friday it already promised, in a July 27 statement, to report all rating errors to the credit bureaus as part of a broader remediation effort with consumers.

Adam Levitt, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, responded that he has “no faith they’re going to do anything without the force of an injunction, court order or jury verdict."

Representatives of National General couldn’t immediately be reached.

The case is Jacob v. National General Insurance Co., 1:17-cv-05806, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).