Wells Fargo illegally repossessed soldier’s car

The bank has been fined 24 million dollars

Courtesy MGN/GNU Image
Courtesy MGN/GNU Image

(CNN) 3 years. That’s how long soldier Dennis Singleton has been battling a financial nightmare.

He was preparing to go to Afghanistan in 2013 when Wells Fargo illegally repossessed his car. Banks can’t do that to service members without a court order. Additionally, Singleton wasn’t alone.

“When they told me there were 400 plus other soldiers, that sickened me,” said Singleton.

The Department of Justice has charged Wells Fargo with unlawfully seizing 413 vehicles owned by members of the military. The bank has been fined 24 million dollars.

Unfortunately, Singleton never got his car back and his credit was destroyed. Now everything is in his wife’s name.

Singleton said, “She signed for the house. The cell phones that we have, she signed for the cell phones. Everything, power bill, I can’t do anything because of my bad credit.”

Three years after seizing his car, Wells Fargo finally contacted Singleton. The bank says it tried before, but couldn’t reach him, which is something Singleton finds hard to believe.

Singleton noted, “You found me quite easily, I mean you have my phone number which if it was that easy to find me, I’m sure they could find a way to find me.”

Now that they found him, Wells Fargo is offering 11 thousand dollars and a chance to restore his credit if he agrees not to sue.

Singleton says that’s not enough. “I just wish they would take into account that it wasn’t just a repossession, it’s the trickle-down effect of everything that’s happened for the last 2 and a half years,” he explained.

For Wells Fargo, it’s just the latest scandal. 5,300 bank employees have been fired after opening two million unauthorized accounts and charging customers fees without telling them.

The bank is struggling to stop the bleeding, and allegations that it mistreated members of the military aren’t helping.

In a statement, Wells Fargo said it “apologizes for not living up to its commitment of ensuring that all service members receive the appropriate benefits and protections.”

For Singleton, there’s one comfort. His story shed light on Wells Fargo’s illegal actions.

Singleton said, “To all the 400-plus soldiers that I’m representing, tell them to keep their heads up. We’re all in the same boat right now.”

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