Wells Fargo might owe you money—here's how to get it

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If you had a Wells Fargo account between 2011 and 2022, you might be one of the 16 million customers who qualify for damages, says the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

As part of a $3.7 billion settlement, Wells Fargo has agreed to pay more than $2 billion directly to customers harmed by "illegal activity," ranging from incorrect overdraft fees to wrongful foreclosures, according to the CFPB.

Wells Fargo customers who might be affected include those with car loans, mortgages or bank accounts.

  • For auto loan customers, illegal practices include prepaid gap coverage that wasn't refunded when loans were paid off early, incorrectly applied payments that led to higher interest charges and fees, and unwarranted auto repossessions.
  • For mortgage loan borrowers, damages might be owed for wrongful foreclosures, incorrectly charged fees and wrongful loan modifications that would have otherwise prevented foreclosure.
  • For bank account holders, some were incorrectly charged overdraft fees on debit and ATM withdrawals, as well as having money unfairly "frozen" if Wells Fargo suspected a single deposit was fraudulent.

The total amount of damages owed to each affected customer will vary, according to numbers provided by the CFPB.

  • For automobile repossessions, compensation is "at least," but is not limited to, $4,000. 
  • For mortgage holders that were unable to modify their mortgages to avoid foreclosure, damages average $24,125 per claimant. 
  • For deposit accounts, customers average $100 in damages.

How to claim damages

If you're eligible to receive money, Wells Fargo is required to notify you. In fact, many customers have already received their payments, either as a check or credit to their existing accounts.

"We have already proactively communicated with most of the customers who may have been impacted by the matters covered in the settlement, and those efforts are ongoing," a Wells Fargo spokesperson tells CNBC Make It, describing the "required actions" of the settlement as "substantially complete."

However, per CFPB's updated guidance, if you think you're eligible for a payment and have not received it yet, you should contact a Wells Fargo customer representative.

If that doesn't work, you can submit a complaint directly to the CFPB online. The CFPB will then follow-up with Wells Fargo directly, if it's required.

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