As I have discussed in the past, Judge Magner really has an excellent understanding
of how mortgage servicing works. And she knows when a mortgage servicing
company is trying to get away with bad actions. I have previously discussed
the facts of the Jones case at length. The short recap is that a debtor
was trying to catch up his mortgage through a Chapter 13 payment plan,
but when he tried to refinance, Wells Fargo tried to get more than they
were actually owed. The bankruptcy court initially decided not to order
punitive sanctions against Wells Fargo, but just made Wells Fargo agree
to amend its ways. But then Wells Fargo decided it didn’t like that,
reneged on the agreement and appealed. The appellate court gave some additional
direction to Judge Magner, essentially saying she really could only grant
punitive damages, and the case was remanded to her.
So, Judge Magner has to decide now bad Wells Fargo’s actions really
were and what the punitive sanction should be. After considering all of
Judge Magner entered a punitive damage award of approximately $3.1 million
against Wells Fargo. I guess we’ll see if they pay it.