The Wells Fargo wagon is a-comin' down the street...and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau expects it to contain $24 million, just for them.
That would be the bank's share of the civil responsibility in a proposed $35.7 million penalty filed in federal court yesterday by the CFPB and the Maryland Attorney General. Included in the consent orders are JPMorgan Chase -- who is tagged for $600,000 in civil penalties -- and former Wells Fargo employee Todd Cohen and his wife, Elaine Oliphant Cohen, who will pay a $30,000 penalty. An additional $11.1 million will be paid out in redress to consumers.
All of this comes as recompense for a marketing-services-kickback scheme that Wells Fargo and JPMorgan reportedly participated in with now-defunct title company Genuine Title. Genuine Title gave the banks' loan officers cash, marketing materials and consumer information in exchange for business referrals.
Such activity, it turns out, isn't legal. Just ask CFPB Director Richard Cordray.
“Today we took action against two of the nation’s largest banks, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase, for illegal mortgage kickbacks,” said Cordray yesterday. “These banks allowed their loan officers to focus on their own illegal financial gain rather than on treating consumers fairly. Our action today to address these practices should serve as a warning for all those in the mortgage market.”