Alvin G. Weger, Assistant District Attorney
Robin B. Wakshull, Deputy District Attorney
Consumer Protection Unit
(408) 792-2584 For Release on January 7, 2003
DISTRICT ATTORNEY RESOLVES LAWSUIT WITH WELLS FARGO HOME MORTGAGE, INC. The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Consumer Protection Unit has settled a civil lawsuit against Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc. The complaint alleges that Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc. solicited customers for residential home mortgages using advertisements that did not comply with the Federal Truth in Lending Act and the provisions of the California Finance Code. The advertisements were in the form of a flyer and were part of a direct mailing to local homeowners.
Federal and state statutes require the disclosure of certain loan terms in a specified manner, including stating the annual percentage rate or APR, using either of those terms, as well as the disclosure that a variable or adjustable rate mortgage may increase after consummation of the loan. The flyers failed to include the required terms, failed to clearly state which advertised loans were fixed or variable rate, and failed to state that the advertised terms were limited to certain classes or amounts of loans offered by the lender when the terms were not available on all loans.
Without admitting wrongdoing or liability, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage stipulated to entry of final judgment. The order was signed by Superior Court Judge William J. Elfving and includes injunctive provisions to prevent future violations and civil penalties in the amount of $25,000. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Inc. cooperated with the District Attorney’s investigation and took immediate steps to reinforce training and supervision to ensure advertising materials comply with the law.