Wells Fargo apparently had more than one way to cheat customers who were refinancing their homes.
The scandal-plagued bank’s Beverly Hills, Calif. branch routinely talked clients into paying higher interest rates in order to avoid fees for delays in processing mortgage-refinancing deals, a whistleblower told The Post.
That’s despite the fact that Wells Fargo’s understaffed team of loan officers at the Beverly Hills office were usually responsible for the processing delays, according to Frank Chavez, a former loan officer who has blown the whistle on other questionable tactics at the nation’s third-biggest bank.
The latest accusation comes to light less than a week after a federal class-action suit accused the beleaguered bank of delaying mortgage loans and refinancings — and then tricking customers into paying extension, or “rate lock,” fees in order to keep their agreed-upon interest rate.
As an alternative to those fees, which could easily surpass $1,000 for a $400,000 home, loan officers frequently suggested bumping up the mortgage rate by as much as a quarter of a percentage point — a hike which, over the long run, could cost customers far more.
“It sucked for everybody except the managers, who were looking good because they were keeping their expenses down,” Chavez told The Post.
“That was the real motivation behind it,” he added. “The regional manager wanted to make the expenses as small as possible.”
The scheme was widespread until late 2015, when it was being used for “the vast majority of these loans,” Chavez said. The tactics were unlikely to have…Read More