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California judge certifies class in Wells Fargo loan modification cases

About 11,000 California plaintiffs allege that the mortgage lender failed to follow through on obligations
  • This week U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria certified a class of 11,000 California plaintiffs in two lawsuits against Wells Fargo and denied the bank's motion to seal evidence.
  • The lawsuits center on Wells Fargo's failure to uphold its end of the bargain in participating in the government's Home Affordable Modification Program.
  • The plaintiffs include many homeowners who struggled to make their mortgage payments during the housing crisis and allege they were misled throughout the loan modification process.

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A federal judge has certified a class of California homeowners in two lawsuits alleging that mortgage lender Wells Fargo Bank failed to meet its obligations to struggling borrowers who sought to modify their home loans. U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California also denied Wells Fargo’s motion to seal certain evidence that it argued contains financial account numbers that should not be filed publicly, as well as “confidential, commercially sensitive information” that could be harmful to the company. Chhabria ordered the plaintiffs to refile their documents with loan numbers, financial account numbers and Social Security numbers redacted, but ruled that Wells Fargo’s other argument was "overbroad and without compelling justification." “Perhaps Wells Fargo is concerned that these materials make it look bad, but a litigant's embarrassment is not enough to justify concealing material from the public,” Chha...