Tribal members of the Navajo Nation filed a federal lawsuit against Well Fargo on Tuesday December 12, 2017, CNN Money reports. The lawsuit filed in Federal Court alleges that Wells Fargo, the only national bank that services its territories, targeted tribal members with “predatory sales tactics.” The suit also alleges that the bank pressured people, particularly the elderly, to sign up for services they did not need. They even opened unauthorized bank accounts and debit cards in tribal members’ names, a known practice for Wells Fargo.
Fast Facts Detailing the Lawsuit
The suit alleges that Wells Fargo has been preying on the Navajo continuously from 2009-2016. They have even stalked local events and marketplaces to sign up customers for unnecessary accounts. These Wells Fargo employees allegedly “tricked” the tribal members into signing up for accounts and services because they do not speak English.
According to filed court documents, the Navajo Nation spans Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. There are five branches of Wells Fargo across this expanse. This leaves Wells Fargo the “predominant provider of banking services” for the tribal members of the Navajo Nation.
Just a few days before this lawsuit was filed, President Trump made a vow to punish Wells Fargo for other unsavory actions, tweeting out “Fines and penalties against Wells Fargo Bank for their bad acts against their customers and others will not be dropped, as has been incorrectly reported.” CNN reports that Wells Fargo declined comment on the pending litigation.
A Common Phenomenon
Predatory lending is not an original idea of Wells Fargo. In many states, less fortunate citizens deal with this every day. Even my colleagues and I see this on a daily basis. Many secondary lending companies and cash loan businesses prey on lower income families when they can’t make ends meet. This is a vicious cycle that is very easy to get caught up in when one just can’t make ends meet each month.
If you find yourself in trouble with any financial institutions or feel like you are a victim of predatory lending or some other unsavory practice, please contact us today. We have offices located in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee so you can discuss these problems with one of our attorneys.
Amy K Tanner is a shareholder in several of the Bond & Botes Law Offices. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Auburn University at Montgomery, and a Juris Doctorate from Thomas Goode Jones School of Law. She focuses primarily on consumer bankruptcy law in the Huntsville and Decatur offices.Read her full bio here.