A group of homeowners has asked an Iowa federal court to approve a $25.7 million settlement of a putative Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) class action. Wells Fargo was accused of ordering unnecessary property inspections and charging delinquent borrowers. The homeowners asked the judge to grant final approval of the agreement that comes after seven years of litigation over claims that Wells Fargo violated the RICO Act by ordering repeated property inspections and concealing the nature of charges to delinquent borrowers for the service. The homeowners, in the motion for final approval, also requested certification of the proposed class in order to carry out the plan of allocation. They stated;
The settlement benefits the class by conferring a guaranteed, immediate, and substantial benefit of $25,750,000 and avoids the risks and expenses of continued litigation, including the risk of recovering less than the amount of the settlement fund after substantial delay or of recovering nothing at all.
The court granted preliminary approval of the settlement in September and the proposed class, which could include more than 2.7 million homeowners, was notified in October after Wells Fargo deposited the sum into an escrow account. According to the motion, a majority of the homeowners view the settlement favorably, with only four potential class members objecting to the agreement and 102 opting out.
The Plaintiffs are represented by Deborah Clark-Weintraub of Scott & Scott LLP, Todd S. Garber of Finkelstein, Blankinship, Frei-Pearson & Garber LLP and Roxanne Barton Conlin of Roxanne Conlin & Associates. Wells Fargo is represented by Elizabeth Holt Andrews of Severson & Werson and Michael A Giudicessi of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP. The case is in the U.S. District court for the Southern District of Iowa.