It's been a whole day since we learned about another example of systematic, widespread fraud by America's largest bank Wells Fargo (ripping off small merchants with credit card fees), so it's definitely time to learn about another one: scamming mortgage borrowers out of $43/month for an unrequested and pointless "home warranty service" from American Home Shield, a billion-dollar scam-factory that considers you a customer if you throw away its junk-mail instead of ticking the "no" box and sending it back.
$43/month gets you pretty much nothing: people who tried to actually use their AHS insurance found it impossible to get them to actually do anything in exchange for this money.
Here's a quick Wells Fargo fraud scorecard: stealing thousand of cars with fraudulent repos; defrauding mortgage borrowers; blackballing whistelblowers; creating 2,000,000+ fraudulent accounts, and stealing millions with fraudulent fees and penalties.
Starting at least in 2009, Wells Fargo and AHS entered into a marketing and payment processing agreement. Wells allowed AHS to solicit their mortgage customers to buy home warranty service, through phone calls, junk mail, and inserts in monthly mortgage statements. Wells would then collect the monthly payments for AHS as an additional charge to the mortgage.
According to one borrower from Newark, New Jersey, AHS claimed its junk mail constituted a “binding contract” that automatically finalized if borrowers didn’t reply to turn it down. “No signature, no affirmation and YET it is considered a BINDING CONTRACT??” the borrower wrote.
THERE’S A NEW WELLS FARGO SCANDAL: THIS TIME IT’S THE TRUCOAT [David Dayen and Ryan Grim/The Intercept]
Yesterday, I published a brief analysis of Elizabeth Warren's plan to close the loopholes that allows private equity to defraud investors, creditors and workers to make billions while destroying the real economy.
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