McLaughlin v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
www.MortgagePayoffStatementClassAction.com

Frequently Asked Questions

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1. Why did I receive a Notice?

You received a copy of the Notice because Wells Fargo’s records show that you received a mortgage payoff statement between June 23, 2014 and June 23, 2015, while Wells Fargo held your property insurance funds; and/or Wells Fargo held your property insurance funds on June 22, 2016.

The Notice explained that the Court has preliminarily approved a settlement of the McLaughlin v. Wells Fargo Class Action and describes your legal rights and options under this settlement. On April 11, 2017, the Court entered its Final Judgment approving the settlement.

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2. What is this Settlement about?

The Truth In Lending Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1639g (or “TILA”) requires a lender or mortgage servicer to provide, at the borrower’s written request, an accurate statement of the total outstanding balance required to terminate the borrower’s loan obligation.

The plaintiff Latasha McLaughlin claimed that Wells Fargo violated this section of TILA by issuing payoff statements that did not credit or disclose property insurance funds held by Wells Fargo and which were potentially available to be applied to her account balance. Specifically, she claimed that property insurance claim funds received following damage to her residential property, which were held by Wells Fargo at the time Plaintiff requested a payoff statement, should have been reflected on her payoff statement.

The Complaint asserted a claim for violation of TILA and sought statutory damages of up to $1 million in the aggregate on behalf of the Damages Class, and an order directing Wells Fargo to include insurance funds on payoff statements, attorneys’ fees and costs. Wells Fargo contends that its payoff statements comply with the requirements of TILA and that the statement Plaintiff received was accurate, in part, because a third party claimed an interest in part of the property insurance funds.

On October 29, 2015, the Court issued an order holding that to be accurate a payoff statement should have deducted the insurance proceeds still held by the bank and at least should have added a note that the insurance funds potentially could be used for home repair in the event the loan was not paid off. On June 22, 2016, the Court issued an order certifying the lawsuit to proceed as a class action on behalf of the Damages Class and the Declaratory Relief Class and appointing the Plaintiff to serve as the representative of all the members of the Class.

Wells Fargo denies any liability or wrongdoing of any kind associated with the claims alleged in the Action, and further contends that, for any purposes other than settlement, this Action is not appropriate for class treatment.

Following investigation and an all-day settlement conference, the Parties reached a tentative settlement of Plaintiff’s claims. The Parties have determined that the terms and conditions of the Settlement Agreement are fair, reasonable and adequate to the Damages Class and Declaratory Relief Class, and that it is in the best interests of the Damages Class and Declaratory Relief Class to settle the Action.

On November 18, 2016, the Court preliminarily approved the Settlement and ordered that class members be notified of its pendency.

On March 15, 2017, following a Final Approval Hearing, the Court approved the Settlement as fair, reasonable, and adequate so as to warrant final approval, awarded Class Counsel attorneys' fees and costs, and awarded the plaintiff a service award.

On April 11, 2017, the Court entered a Final Judgment.

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3. Who is part of the Class?

The Court has decided that the members of the Damages Class are: all borrowers with mortgages serviced and owned by Wells Fargo who, between June 23, 2014 and June 23, 2015, have received payoff statements which failed to disclose property insurance claim funds.

The Court has also decided that the members of the Declaratory Relief Class are: all borrowers with mortgages serviced and owned by Wells Fargo wherein Wells Fargo held property insurance claim funds on June 22, 2016.

Members of the Damages Class, and individuals who are members of both the Damages Class and Declaratory Relief Class, have an identification number on the notice mailed to them that begins with the letter A. For example, ID No. A12345678. Members of the Declaratory Relief Class have an identification number on the notice mailed to them that begins with the letter B. For example, ID No. B12345678. Unless otherwise specified, references to “the Class” in this notice refer to the Damages Class and Declaratory Relief Class, collectively.

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4. Why am I a member of the Declaratory Relief Class?

The Court has decided that borrowers with mortgages serviced and owned by Wells Fargo where Wells Fargo was holding insurance proceeds on June 22, 2016 are members of the Declaratory Relief Class.

As a result of this Settlement, Wells Fargo has agreed to revise its template payoff statement to disclose property insurance funds held by it directly below the total amount due identified in the letter and to add language specifying that the funds can be applied to the total amount due if they are not used for repairs to the property.

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5. Why am I a member of the Damages Class?

The Court has decided that borrowers with mortgages serviced and owned by Wells Fargo who, between June 23, 2014 and June 23, 2015, have received payoff statements which failed to disclose property insurance claim funds are members of the Damages Class.

If you received a payoff statement which failed to disclose property insurance claim funds between June 23, 2014 and June 23, 2015, you are a member of the Damages Class and thus are eligible to receive a payment from the Damages Class Fund.

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6. Why am I not a member of the Damages Class?

The Court has decided that only borrowers with mortgages serviced and owned by Wells Fargo who, between June 23, 2014 and June 23, 2015, have received payoff statements which failed to disclose property insurance claim funds are members of the Damages Class.

If you did not receive a payoff statement which failed to disclose property insurance claim funds between June 23, 2014 and June 23, 2015, you are not a member of the Damages Class.

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7. What happens if I did nothing?

If you are a Member of the Damages Class and did nothing, you were deemed part of the Settlement. Accordingly, you are entitled to a monetary payment as detailed above, and you will be releasing all claims asserted on behalf of the Damages Class in the Action. No other claims are being released. Because the Damages Class Fund may be required to file informational returns with Internal Revenue Service, please complete and submit, to the Administrator, the W-9 form that was sent to you along with the Notice of Pendency and Settlement of Class Action. If you do not submit a valid W-9 form prior to any distribution from the Fund, you will be subject to applicable backup withholding.

If you are a Member of the Declaratory Relief Class and did nothing, you were deemed part of the Settlement and you released all claims asserted on behalf of the Declaratory Relief Class in the Action. No other claims are being released. Declaratory Relief Class Members did not release claims for damages (if any) and were not entitled to a monetary payment.

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8. How do I request to be excluded?

The deadline to request exclusion was February 9, 2017.

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9. If I do not agree with part (or all) of the Settlement can I object to the Settlement?

The deadline to object to the proposed settlement was February 9, 2017.

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10. What does the Settlement provide?

Wells Fargo established a Damages Class Fund in the amount of $880,000. Eligible Damages Class Members were mailed settlement checks representing a pro rata share, on a per account basis, of the Damages Class Fund. In other words, accounts with two named borrowers received a single pro rata share of the Damages Class Fund. Each account received $2,580.64 before any applicable withholding.

In order to avoid backup withholding from any distribution from the Fund, Damages Class Members must have completed and submitted, to the Administrator, the W-9 form that was sent along with the Notice of Pendency and Settlement of Class Action.

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11. Do I have an Attorney in this case?

The Court decided that the law firms of Wolf Popper LLP and Berman DeValerio are qualified to represent you and all Class Members. Together the law firms are called Class Counsel.

You do not need to hire your own lawyer because Class Counsel is working on your behalf. But, if you want your own lawyer to represent you, you will have to pay that lawyer.

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12. How will the Attorneys be paid?

If Class Counsel prevails on behalf of the Class, they will ask the Court for fees and expenses. You did not have to pay fees and expenses. The Court granted Class Counsel’s request for fees and expenses to be paid separately by Wells Fargo.

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13. When and where did the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

A Final Approval Hearing was held before the Honorable William H. Alsup on March 9, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. at the United States District Court, Northern District of California, located at 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, California, 94102. Following the hearing, in an order dated March 15, 2017, the Court approved the Settlement as fair, reasonable, and adequate so as to warrant final approval, awarded Class Counsel attorneys' fees and costs, and awarded the plaintiff a service award.

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14. When did the Distribution occur?

Checks were mailed to eligible Damages Class Members on June 7, 2017.

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15. How can I request to have my check to be reissued?

If you need to have your check reissued, you must send a written request for reissue to the Administrator at:

McLaughlin v. Wells Fargo Class Action c/o GCG PO Box 10315 Dublin, OH 43017-3915

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16. I received a check for my portion of the Damages Class Fund. Are there any tax implications associated with this payment?

If you did not submit an IRS Form W-9, your payment was subject to backup withholding. If you have any questions concerning any tax liability associated with the receipt of this payment, you should consult your tax advisor as neither the Administrator nor the Parties can provide tax advice regarding your specific situation.

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17. I received a check on behalf of a deceased individual. How can I have this check reissued?

If you are entitled to act on the decedent’s behalf, please provide a copy of the death certificate and a letter detailing who you are, your relationship to the decedent along with the check you received.

Please also provide documentation which supports your right to act on behalf of the decedent or to accept funds on behalf of the estate. Additional documentation includes but is not limited to a Probate Order, Last Will and Testament, an order appointing you as the administrator or executor of the Estate and/or a Small Estate Affidavit.

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