Wells Fargo again ordered to settle overdraft case

Wells Fargo again ordered by California judge to pay $203 million to settle overdraft case

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- A federal judge in California has again ordered Wells Fargo to pay $203 million back to customers who paid multiple overdraft fees.

In a decision handed down Wednesday, U.S. District Judge William Alsup reinstated a ruling first made in August 2010 that the San Francisco company had appealed. While some parts of the original ruling were overturned, others were affirmed.

In his original ruling, Alsup had accused Wells Fargo of "profiteering" by changing its policies to process checks, debit card transactions and bill payments from the highest dollar amount to the lowest, rather than in the order that the transactions took place. That helped drain customer bank accounts faster and drive up overdraft fees.

Richele Messick, a spokeswoman for Wells Fargo & Co., said the lender was "disappointed," with the judge's ruling.

"We don't believe that the ruling is in line with facts of this case or the law, and we plan to appeal," Messick said via email.

Wells Fargo stock rose 54 cents to $39.30 in trading Wednesday.

The case, heard in the U.S. District Court for Northern California, is Gutierrez vs. Wells Fargo.

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