Wells Fargo, HSN and Ford Are Among June’s Class-Action Settlements

A woman runs past a Wells Fargo bank.
A view of Wells Fargo in New York City on May 9, 2020 in New York City. Wells Fargo agreed to an $18.5-million settlement regarding allegations banking errors led to mortgage holders losing homes to foreclosure. John Nacion/AP Photo

Faulty transmissions, wrongful foreclosures and unsolicited telemarketing are among the subjects of this month’s class-action settlements round-up.

If you’ve experienced any of these issues, you may benefit from one or more of the following class action lawsuit settlements. 

Wells Fargo Home Loans

Wells Fargo agreed to an $18.5-million settlement regarding allegations banking errors led to mortgage holders losing homes to foreclosure.

You may benefit from this settlement if you had a Wells Fargo loan between 2010 and 2018 and met the following criteria:

  1. Qualified for a government-sponsored loan modification or repayment plan through Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration, or the Home Affordable Modification Program;
  2. Did not receive an offer for a home loan modification or repayment plan because Wells Fargo assessed excessive attorneys’ fees;
  3. Had your home foreclosed upon by Wells Fargo as a result. 

The lead plaintiff filed the lawsuit in 2018, alleging her application for a mortgage modification was wrongly denied by Wells Fargo, resulting in her home going into foreclosure. She accused Wells Fargo of taking government program funds and not passing the benefit on to loan holders, violating the terms of the program. 

Wells Fargo denied the allegations, but agreed to settle the dispute for $18.5 million.

The potential award will vary. According to the settlement, each class member will automatically receive a portion of the $13.575-million settlement fund based on: 

  1. the amount of your unpaid balance at the time of the error; 
  2. whether you were delinquent on your loan for six months or more at the time of the error; 
  3. how much Wells Fargo previously sent you.

Class members can also make a claim for severe emotional distress they suffered as a result of the foreclosure. These claims will be evaluated by an attorney appointed by the court. The deadline to submit a claim for this is July 2, 2020. 

HSN Telemarketing Phone Calls

HSN has agreed to a $700,000 class action settlement regarding claims the company violated federal and Wisconsin state telemarketing laws. 

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) prohibits harassing or unsolicited phone calls, text messages and faxes.  

To be considered eligible for a portion of the settlement, you must have received a call after you told HSN to stop calling you, and it must have been received on a cell phone from an automatic telephone dialing system or prerecorded voice between April 1, 2015 and Dec. 12, 2019. 

Class members include those who were contacted even though HSN’s records indicate a “never call” flag was added to the recipient’s account.

Each class member is eligible for about $550.

HSN did not admit to any wrongdoing, but agreed to pay the settlement to avoid continued costs of litigation. The settlement is awaiting final court approval. 

Any class member who wishes to pursue independent litigation against the company can opt out of the settlement by July 8, 2020. The final hearing is set for Aug. 14, 2020. 

Even though there is no claim form, complete details are available here.

Ford PowerShift Transmission

A Ford emblem is shown in this photograph on a vehicle.
The Ford company logo is displayed on the mesh grille of an unsold vehicle at a Ford dealership in Littleton, Colo., on Oct. 20, 2019. People who have owned or leased Ford vehicles equipped with a PowerShift transmission may benefit from an estimated $35-million class-action settlement. David Zalubowski/AP Photo

People who have owned or leased Ford vehicles equipped with a PowerShift transmission may benefit from an estimated $35 million class action settlement. 

Class members include current owners or lessees of a 2012-2016 Ford Focus or a 2011-2016 Ford Fiesta equipped with a PowerShift transmission.

Several class-action lawsuits allege the PowerShift transmission “slips, bucks, kicks, jerks and harshly engages.” This can result in sudden or delayed acceleration of the vehicle, rendering it difficult to stop and hard to control.

Many different benefits are available under this settlement, such as cash payments or repurchase arbitration, depending upon specific circumstances outlined here.

Claims must be filed by Oct. 5, 2020 for benefits if repairs were done prior to April 7, 2020. If repairs were done after this date, claims must be filed 180 days from the date of repairs. 

Stein Mart Data Breach

Stein Mart has agreed to settle class action lawsuit allegations that the retailer was negligent when a data breach occurred between December 2017 and July 2018. 

Class members include customers who bought items at a Stein Mart online store with a credit or debit card. The data breaches allegedly started Dec. 28, 2017 and affected consumers who used credit, debit, or other payment cards at Stein Mart on May 19, June 1, June 5, July 8 and July 9, 2018. 

Hackers were allegedly able to access customers’ “sensitive financial and personal non-public information, including but not limited to their (a) names; (b) addresses; (c) email addresses; and (d) payment card information (including, inter alia, card numbers, expiration dates, and security codes).”

Stein Mart admitted no wrongdoing, but agreed to the settlement to end the lawsuit. 

Class members can claim up to $220 in reimbursement for expenses related to the data breach, but those who suffered extraordinary monetary losses that were not reimbursed can claim up to $4,000. 

Claims must be submitted online or by mail with requested documentation by July 23, 2020.

Mercedes HVAC Systems

If you have a Mercedes with an air-conditioning system that developed mold and mildew, you could be eligible for repair reimbursement.

Mercedes has admitted to no wrongdoing, but has agreed to resolve the claims against them. 

Class members can collect between 50% and 100% reimbursement for HVAC repairs related to the mold and mildew problem. The amount of reimbursement depends upon the age and mileage of the vehicle. 

Class members include current or former owners or lessees of one of the following Mercedes-Benz models:

  • 2008 to 2019 C-Class vehicles;
  • 2010 to 2015 GLK-Class vehicles;
  • 2012 to 2017 CLS-Class vehicles;
  • 2010 to 2019 E-Class vehicles;
  • 2015 to 2019 GLA-Class vehicles;
  • 2013 to 2016 GL-Class vehicles;
  • 2016 to 2019 GLE-Class vehicles;
  • 2017 to 2019 GLS-Class vehicles;
  • 2012 to 2015 M-Class vehicles; or
  • 2016 to 2019 GLC-Class vehicles.

The coverage amount depends on the age and mileage of the vehicle as indicated:

  • Warranty Coverage Period (the earlier of 4 years from in-service date or 50,000 miles, under standard warranty): 100% reimbursement
  • From end of Warranty Coverage Period to the earlier of 8 years from in-service date or 100,000 miles: 70% reimbursement
  • From end of prior Period to the earlier of 10 years from in-service date or 125,000 miles: 50% reimbursement

Reimbursement for a single past repair performed by an independent service provider will be capped at $300. If an independent service provider completed multiple past repairs, total reimbursement is capped at $900. The same limitations do not apply to repairs done by an authorized Mercedes-Benz service center.

According to settlement terms, future repairs only will be covered if they are done by an authorized service center.

For repairs made before May 11, 2020, file a claim by July 25, 2020. for repairs made between May 11, 2020 and Dec. 7, 2020, a claim must be filed within 75 days of the repair.

California Residents and Premarin

A man holds out pills with a glass of water.
Getty Images

Californians who bought Premarin, Prempro and/or Premphase in California between January 1995 and January 2003 could share in a $200-million class action settlement with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.  

Plaintiffs alleged the hormone replacement therapy was misrepresented as being able to lower cardiovascular, Alzheimer’s and dementia risks while not increasing risks of breast cancer. Plaintiffs said the claims were not true. 

Class members include California residents who are not claiming any personal injury related to the drugs. 

Two different settlement options are available. The first option includes a one-time payment of $458.64 to compensate California consumers for 24 months of out-of-pocket costs for Premarin, Prempro, and/or Premphase purchased between January 1995 and January 2003. 

The second settlement option compensates California consumers at the rate of $19.11 per month that a class member paid these costs, up to 97 months at a maximum payment of $1,853.67. 

Complete details on when a proof of purchase is needed and how to submit a claim by the Sept. 1, 2020 deadline are found here.

Califia Farms Non-Dairy Products

If you bought certain coffees, coffee creamers, almond milk or other products by Califia Farms, you could be eligible for a portion of a $3-million class action settlement. 

Plaintiffs alleged Califia Farms advertised its almond milk products as containing vanilla when the products allegedly contained artificial vanilla flavoring from tree bark or lignin. 

The company admitted to no wrongdoing, but agreed to resolve the claims in a settlement. 

Class members include consumers who bought certain Califia Farms non-dairy products between Aug. 7, 2014 and March 20, 2020. 

With proof of purchase, class members can claim up to 15 products for $1 each; without proof purchase, class members can claim up to 10 products for $0.50 each. 

For complete details, including a lengthy list of covered products, review here and submit a claim by the Oct. 7, 2020 deadline.