USA-Nbcnews.com writes that families banking with Wells Fargo have been learning that their loans were placed in forbearance due to COVID-19, even though they did not request such accommodations. One family stated that while she made her payments on time, she learned that the bank had not been crediting those payments to the mortgage account. A credit report indicated that the mortgage was in forbearance, despite the fact that the family never asked to be included in any such program, and still paying as they normally would.
The forbearance program was intended as a way to help borrowers who were struggling financially because of the economic impacts of the pandemic. It took hours of phone calls to finally have the bank stop the forbearance, which the bank stated the borrowers were now opting out of, although they never had a say in the fact that they were unwillingly placed into the program.
With loan rates hitting new lows, many families have chosen to refinance and take advantage of the interest savings. However, for those whose loans are in forbearance, banks are not willing to underwrite new loans. The unrequested forbearance, therefore, became a problem.
In other cases, individuals in Chapter 13 bankruptcy were put into forbearance without being consulted.
Now people in fourteen states have complained about the forced forbearance programs in which they were placed by Wells Fargo.
The bank stated that they might have misinterpreted some of their customers, but stated that this only took place in a small number of cases.
It is not yet clear whether the bank is reaping any benefits from forcing such forbearance programs on customers. The bank has an unfortunate history of signing consumers up for accounts, credit cards, and insurance policies of which they were, in many cases, not aware.
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