Wells Fargo to Pay $50 Million to Settle Claims of Appraisal Overcharges

Wells Fargo bank agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit, claiming that it routinely overcharged about 250,000 of its customers for real estate appraisals, reported the New York Times.

The lawsuit revolves around appraisals done for borrowers of home loans that were serviced by the banking giant between 2005-2010. The borrowers were late on their mortgage, which triggered a routine “broker price opinion”, the cost of which is typically passed onto the borrower. However, Wells Fargo used one of its own subsidiaries to carry out the appraisals and charged clients about double the cost. Further, Wells Fargo didn’t properly disclose its charges, masking the appraisal costs as “other charges” on mortgage statements. Therefore, instead of charging $50 per broker price opinion, the bank charged anywhere from $95-$120.

Plaintiffs can be expected to get a check for about $120 each, said a lawyer with Baron & Budd, the law firm that represented Wells Fargo’s customers.

How to Become a Real Estate Appraiser: Step-by-Step Guide