Wells Fargo has apparently placed some borrowers in mortgage forbearance without their permission, according to attorneys handling one bankruptcy case.
NBC News reports that the discrepancy was found in connection with the case of Troy Harlow, who was forced to file for bankruptcy following a kidney transplant but made sure to always pay his mortgage on time.
According to court documents, Wells Fargo told the bankruptcy court that Harlow had asked to be placed in a forbearance program despite the fact that he had made no such request. The court documents also show that Harlow had consistently made his mortgage payments on time.
The bank has placed Harlow in the program under the CARES Act because his mortgage had been originated by the Federal Housing Administration and went into a pool of loans that were sold to investors by Ginnie Mae.
On learning of the move, Harlow’s attorneys immediately objected to it in court, saying it put his court-approved bankruptcy plan at risk.
The attorneys say that they have identified instances in 11 states in which Wells Fargo wrongly claimed that customers had requested forbearance when they had not. They also found that the bank forwarded secondary requests for forbearance for customers who had initially inquired about the program, but ultimately decided not to participate.
Wells Fargo said in a statement to NBC News that the majority of customers who requested forbearance want payment relief. Wells Fargo spokesperson Mary Eshet waid that if a customer does not want forbearance, “we remove it and notify the bankruptcy courts.”