Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why did I receive a notice?

    A Court authorized a notice because you have a right to know about a proposed Settlement of this class action lawsuit and about your options before the Court decides whether to give final approval to the Settlement. The Notice explains the litigation, the Settlement, and your legal rights.

    Judge Daniel D. Crabtree of the United States District Court for the District of Kansas is overseeing this case. This litigation is known as Nakamura v. Wells Fargo Bank, National Association d/b/a Wells Fargo Dealer Services, Inc., Case No. 5:17-cv-04029. The person who initiated the litigation is called the “Named Plaintiff” or “Class Representative.” Wells Fargo Bank, National Association is the “Defendant.”

    You can read the Notice, the Settlement Agreement, and other important case documents here.

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  2. What is this litigation about?

    Plaintiff alleges, among other things, that between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2017, Wells Fargo repossessed customers’ motor vehicles without a court order while the customers were in military service, in violation of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, 50 U.S.C. §§ 3901, et seq., and numerous state consumer protection statutes. Plaintiff also alleges common law conversion, negligence, and credit defamation as alleged in Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint, and proposed Second Amended Complaint.

    The First Amended Complaint can be viewed here. Wells Fargo denies each and all of the claims and allegations of wrongdoing made by the Plaintiff and denies that it has violated any law or duty.

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  3. Why is this a class action?

    A class action lawsuit allows a large number of people with a common complaint in a matter to sue collectively while being represented by a member of the group called the “Named Plaintiff” or “Class Representative.”

    In this case, Jin Nakamura, a military customer of Wells Fargo, has brought the suit on behalf of himself and any other people with similar claims. Together, all the individuals with similar claims (with the exception of those who request exclusion) are referred to as members of the “Settlement Class.”

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  4. Why is there a Settlement?

    The Court has not decided in favor of the Plaintiff or Wells Fargo. The parties have agreed to a settlement.

    By agreeing to the Settlement, the parties avoid the costs and uncertainty of a trial, and Settlement Class members receive the benefits described in in FAQ 6. The proposed Settlement does not mean that any law was broken or that Wells Fargo did anything wrong. Wells Fargo denies all claims and allegations made in this case.

    The Class Representative and his lawyers believe the proposed Settlement is best for everyone who may be affected by the alleged unlawful motor vehicle repossessions.

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  5. Who is included in the Settlement?

    The “Settlement Class” is defined as:

    All servicemembers who, before the servicemember entered military service, paid a deposit or installment on a motor vehicle loan originated, acquired, and/or serviced by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., its predecessors, successors, subsidiaries, and assigns (“Wells Fargo”), and whose motor vehicle subject to the loan was repossessed by Wells Fargo while the servicemember was in active military service without a court order or a waiver pursuant to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, 50 U.S.C. 3918, authorizing the repossession between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2017, and have not already released their claims.

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  6. How much will my payment be?

    Wells Fargo will pay to the Gross Settlement Fund five million one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars ($5,125,000). The Gross Settlement Fund, less any Court-awarded incentive award to the Class Representative, shall constitute the Net Settlement Fund. The Class Representative will not request more than 1.5% of the Gross Settlement Fund, and the Court may award less than that amount.

    The Net Settlement Fund will be distributed to the Settlement Class members on a pro rata basis, meaning that each of the approximately 410 Settlement Class members will receive an equal share of the Net Settlement Fund, or about $12,300 to each Settlement Class member, or slightly more if the Class Representative is awarded less.

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  7. Will I receive additional money from the DOJ/OCC settlement?

    Wells Fargo previously entered into consent orders with the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) in connection with allegations similar to those in this lawsuit. Wells Fargo agreed under those orders to provide monetary and non-monetary relief to certain affected military customers.

    If you previously received payment from Wells Fargo under the DOJ/OCC Settlement, you may keep that payment and also receive payment from this Settlement. If you have not received payment from Wells Fargo under the DOJ/OCC Settlement, you may be eligible to receive that payment in addition to payment from this Settlement. Payment under the DOJ/OCC Settlement will be made from a separate fund established by Wells Fargo pursuant to the DOJ and OCC consent orders and will be made in accordance with the terms of those orders.

    More detailed information regarding the DOJ/OCC settlement can be found in the DOJ and OCC consent orders, which can be viewed here.

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  8. How can I determine when I will receive my payment?

    The Settling Parties shall use a mailing protocol that maximizes the likelihood that Settlement payments are received and successfully deposited. This Settlement was granted final approval at the Final Approval Hearing on May 15, 2019. Settlement checks have been distributed to Settlement Class members.

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  9. What do I have to do to receive a payment?

    Nothing. Settlement checks have been distributed to Settlement Class members.

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  10. What do I do if I do not want to receive a payment from the Settlement?

    If you do not want to receive payment from the Settlement, then you must have submitted a valid exclusion request by the deadline of April 30, 2019. We are no longer accepting exclusion requests.

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  11. If I do not request exclusion, can I sue Wells Fargo for the same claims later?

    No, you cannot. Unless you request exclusion from the Settlement, you give up the right to sue Wells Fargo for the claims that this Settlement resolves. You must exclude yourself from the Settlement Class in order to maintain your own lawsuit or participate in another lawsuit.

    More details regarding the claims you are giving up can be found in the Settlement Agreement posted here.

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  12. If I request exclusion, can I still receive a payment?

    No, you will not receive a payment if you request exclusion from the Settlement.

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  13. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

    The Court has appointed the following lawyers to represent all Settlement Class members as “Class Counsel”:

    Rex A. Sharp
    Ryan C. Hudson
    Scott B. Goodger
    REX A. SHARP, P.A.
    5301 W. 75th Street
    Prairie Village, KS 66208
    Bryce B. Bell
    Mark W. Schmitz
    BELL LAW, LLC
    2600 Grand Blvd.
    Suite 580
    Kansas City, MO 64108
    A. Scott Waddell
    WADDELL LAW FIRM LLC
    2600 Grand Blvd.
    Suite 580
    Kansas City, MO 64108

    You may contact these lawyers by mail, or by email to sgoodger@midwest-law.com, or by telephone at 1-913-652-9731. You will not be charged for contacting these lawyers. If you want to be represented by a different lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

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  14. How will the lawyers be paid for their services?

    Class Counsel’s attorneys' fees and expenses incurred in connection with prosecuting the Action will be paid by Wells Fargo, as awarded by the Court. The amount awarded by the Court for Class Counsel’s attorneys' fees and expenses will not be paid out of the Settlement Fund and will not affect the amount of the payment you receive.

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  15. How do I inform the Court if I do not approve of the Settlement?

    Objections to the Settlement must have been filed by the deadline of April 30, 2019. We are no longer accepting objections to the Settlement.

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  16. What is the difference between objecting to the Settlement and requesting exclusion?

    Objecting is notifying the Court that you think something about the Settlement is unfair, unreasonable, or inadequate. You can only object to the Settlement if you are a class member. Requesting exclusion from the Settlement is notifying the Court that you do not want to remain a class member. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the Settlement no longer affects you.

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  17. When and where will the Court decide whether to grant approval of the Settlement?

    This Settlement was granted final approval at the Final Approval Hearing on May 15, 2019.

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  18. What taxes will I be responsible for?

    Your payment is taxable income for federal, state, and local tax purposes and may be reported to the appropriate taxing authorities. You may be required to make additional tax payments. Please consult a tax advisor to determine your individual tax payment and reporting situation. You will be mailed appropriate tax forms in January of the year following your payment, as applicable. Please notify us of any address changes so that any necessary tax forms can be mailed to your most current address.

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  19. How and where can I get more detailed information?

    The Notice and this website is a summary of the proposed Settlement. More detail regarding the terms of the Settlement can be found in the Settlement Agreement, available here.

    You may also contact the Settlement Administrator by calling the toll-free number, 1-888-418-0323, or by writing to Wells Fargo Military Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 2590, Portland, OR 97208-2590.

    You may contact Class Counsel at 913-652-9731 or at sgoodger@midwest-law.com. You will not be charged for contacting Class Counsel.

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