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Baron & Budd Reaches $50 Million Common Fund Settlement With Wells Fargo Regarding Improper Markup of Fees for Broker Price Opinions
Class Members Will Not Have to Fill Out Any Paperwork or Provide any Documentation to Receive Compensation
LOS ANGELES (Oct. 31, 2016) – The national law firm of Baron & Budd announced today that it has reached a $50 million non-reversionary common fund settlement with Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. which resolves a case alleging improper mark ups of fees for broker price opinions (BPOs). Critically, class members will not have to fill out paperwork or provide “proof” of their claims to obtain compensation. (Bias et al. v. Wells Fargo : Case No.: 12-cv-00664 YGR, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California).
A BPO is an informal type of home appraisal prepared by a real estate broker that a lender will typically demand once a borrower defaults on a residential loan. Plaintiffs in the case alleged that their mortgage agreements allowed Wells Fargo to pass through the costs of obtaining the BPOs from third party real estate brokers, but Wells Fargo secretly charged more for the BPOs than the company paid for them. Many homeowners sued, alleging violations of the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act as well as fraud. Plaintiffs’ RICO claim was certified as a class action months earlier.
Under the terms of the settlement, Wells Fargo will be required to automatically mail checks to more than 250,000 mortgage holders, and class members will not need to fill out a claim form or provide any other type of documentation in order to obtain compensation.
“We are extremely proud of our partners Dan Alberstone and Roland Tellis and their team members who helped achieve this substantial settlement,” said Russell Budd, president and managing shareholder of the national law firm of Baron & Budd. “As a result of their hard work, people who were harmed by the alleged BPO mark-up practice will be able to obtain the compensation to which they are entitled.”
ABOUT BARON & BUDD, P.C.
The law firm of Baron & Budd, P.C., with offices in Dallas, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Austin and Los Angeles, is a nationally recognized law firm with a nearly 40-year history of "Protecting What’s Right" for people, communities and businesses harmed by negligence. Baron & Budd’s size and resources enable the firm to take on large and complex cases. The firm represents individuals and government and business entities in areas as diverse as consumer class actions, dangerous pharmaceuticals and medical devices, environmental contamination, the Gulf oil spill, financial fraud, overtime violations, deceptive advertising, automotive defects, trucking accidents, nursing home abuse, and asbestos-related illnesses such as mesothelioma.