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 the factors, Judge Magner entered a punitive damage award of approximately $3.1 million against Wells Fargo. I guess we’ll see if they pay it.