Hagens Berman serves as co-lead counsel, representing California homeowners in a suit filed against Wells Fargo. The complaint shows that Wells Fargo allegedly extracted payments from distressed homeowners by falsely promising them the opportunity to avoid foreclosure through an illusory forbearance-to-modification program.

Case Status
Motion to Dismiss Denied (In Full or in Part)
Co-Lead Counsel
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
Judge Assigned
Hon. Joseph C. Spero
Case Number
Wells Fargo & Company
File Date

The lawsuit, originally filed on April 19, 2010 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, claims that the nation's fourth-largest bank duped thousands of Californians into agreements that were designed to give the impression that the bank was offering a trial loan-modification program to assess their ability to make regular, reduced mortgage payments. In fact, the lawsuit claims that the bank never intended to modify the home loan.

The forbearance-to-modification program was offered to homeowners in a form letter saying the bank had "good news" about their loan. The letter contained other language designed to convince homeowners that the plan could save their homes from foreclosure if they participated in a home load modification program, the suit states.

According to the suit, the vast majority of those who participated in the program lost their homes to foreclosure despite following the terms of the agreement.

On Jan. 3, 2011, Federal Court Judge Joseph C. Spero ruled against Wells Fargo in its motion to dismiss claims that the bank may have violated the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Act, and unfair competition laws in California. Pending class certification, the decision gives eligible homeowners standing to demand restitution for damages from Wells Fargo for the alleged fraudulent home loan practices, and injunctive relief.

California homeowners who had a mortgage through Wells Fargo, and lost their home due to foreclosure after abiding by the terms of the forbearance-to-modification program first offered in the letter are encouraged to speak with our legal team at Hagens Berman for a free consultation.



This case settled for the maximum amount permitted under the California Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Act -- $500,000. Checks were mailed to class members.

HB Files Motion to Serve as Co-Lead Counsel

Hagens Berman Managing Partner, Steve Berman and his colleague Tom Loeser filed a motion to serve as co-lead counsel, representing homeowners in the case against Wells Fargo.

Motion to Dismiss Denied

Claims that Wells Fargo violated the Rosenthal Act and unfair competition laws in California still stand after a U.S. District Court Judge gave his ruling on the motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The decision allows plaintiffs to pursue restitution for damages from Wells Fargo for the alleged fraudulent home loan practices, and injunctive relief. The judge dismissed breach of contract claims against the bank.

Amended Complaint Filed

The plaintiff's attorneys in the case submitted a revised complaint. The complaint outlines four claims against Wells Fargo, including breach of contract, a request for restitution/rescission, a claim under the Rosenthal Act, and an unfair competition claim.

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