Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., announced Monday that he has joined 14 of his colleagues to introduce legislation, the Justice for Victims of Fraud Act of 2016, to give Wells Fargo customers who were victims of a fraudulent account scheme their day in court.
The senator said Wells Fargo is using the forced arbitration clauses it tucked away in the fine print of contracts customers signed when they opened legitimate accounts to prevent the Wells Fargo customers with fraudulently opened accounts who were harmed from joining together and taking Wells Fargo to court.
“What Wells Fargo did was outrageous,” Merkley said. “Opening millions of fraudulent accounts was a jaw-dropping betrayal of their customers’ trust, and one that had a real cost for many consumers. Whether it’s fraudulent fees or a falsely-damaged credit score, consumers should have every recourse when it comes to these violations—especially since customers never actually agreed to these contracts for accounts that were created without their knowledge. Wells Fargo should not be able to hide behind fine print and technicalities to escape their day in court.”