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Sued by Wells Fargo for Credit Card Debt? Fight Back.

Hannah Locklear | December 06, 2023

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Summary: Wells Fargo is one of the largest banks in the US. It has a bad reputation of criminal and unfair activity against its clients, including opening fraudulent accounts, charging exorbitant fees, and overall taking advantage of its customers' vulnerable financial situations. If you are being sued for a Wells Fargo credit card debt, you can respond in court and win.

If you have been sued for Wells Fargo credit card debt, it is a lawsuit that you should not ignore.

Even if you believe that you owe the debt, there are still defenses you can raise, and other issues that might reduce the debt, or remove it altogether. Therefore, you need to know how to respond to a Wells Fargo lawsuit, and SoloSuit can help.

It is common to panic if you receive a lawsuit. But don’t lose hope; you can fight back.

In this article, we are going to tell you a little more about Wells Fargo, and more importantly, how you can beat them in court. You may be surprised to learn that massive companies like Wells Fargo often intimidate credit card debtors with lawsuits, but they are unable to prove their case when a debtor actually asks them to “put up or shut up.”

Either they lack the documentation to prove their case, or they just don 't show up to court because the resources it costs to hire a lawyer to appear will be more expensive than the debt itself. That means you win!

If, after reading this article, you have more questions about how you can fight back against Wells Fargo, contact us at SoloSuit. Our mission at SoloSuit is to give consumers the tools they need to push back against unscrupulous debt collectors like Wells Fargo so they don 't take advantage of you.

Respond to a Wells Fargo debt lawsuit in minutes with SoloSuit.

What is Wells Fargo?

You most likely have heard the name Wells Fargo. It is a multinational company, focused on all kinds of financial services including credit cards. It is considered the world 's fourth-largest bank in the United States based on its total assets, and the fourth largest in the world based on market capitalization.

Of course, Wells Fargo's most notable news stories lately involve criminal, or at the least, unethical activity. Most notably, in 2016, Wells Fargo was fined over $3 billion by the US Department of Justice for opening approximately 1.5 million bank accounts and 500,000 credit cards on behalf of Wells Fargo customers – without their consent. Also, in 2018, Wells Fargo was investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor for pushing its customers into more expensive retirement plans.

While Wells Fargo is technically considered a creditor, or the original owner and issuer of debt, US court cases have also declared that Wells Fargo can be considered a debt collector in certain circumstances.

If you need to contact the company to discuss a debt you owe, below is Wells Fargo’s contact information:

Wells Fargo phone numbers:
General Banking: 1-800-869-3557
Debit Cards: 1-800-869-3557
Credit Cards: 1-800-642-4720

Wells Fargo address:
Wells Fargo Corporate Offices: 420 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94104
Wells Fargo Credit Card Services: P.O. Box 51193, Los Angeles, CA 90051-5493

If Wells Fargo is suing you for credit card debt, don’t think that this massive, multinational conglomerate is going to be reasonable with you. Wells Fargo debt collectors are known to use questionable methods to get consumers, like you, to pay off their debts. If you feel like you’ve been treated unfairly by Wells Fargo, you are not alone.

Wells Fargo has a terrible reputation

From insane overdraft fees to opening fraudulent accounts on behalf of its customers, Wells Fargo is known for being a financial institution you do not want to bank with.

As of 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has reported more than 100,000 complaints against Wells Fargo over the last ten years. Similarly, the Better Business Bureau has received nearly 5,000 complaints against the bank in the most recent three-year period.

These complaints include the following actions by Wells Fargo: terrible customer service, reporting inaccurate information to the credit bureaus, withholding funds for no reason,

Clearly, you should be wary of banking with Wells Fargo. Below is a real example of a complaint against Wells Fargo, as listed on its BBB profile (edited for clarity):

“I set up a payment plan to pay a settlement on a Wells Fargo credit card. I ended up paying the settlement amount in full. However, Wells Fargo continued to charge me the monthly payment for two consecutive months until I called them to ask why I was still being charged. They canceled the payment plan, but have refused to reimburse me for what was withdrawn from my checking account at another financial institution. This has caused me to fall behind on my other bills.”

Along with its bad customer service and illegal activity against customers, Wells Fargo has also been taken to court for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). When Wells Fargo debt collections comes after you, knowing your rights can help you protect yourself.

Wells Fargo collections has a history of violating the FDCPA

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that protects consumers from predatory and abusive debt collectors. As we mentioned before, Wells Fargo is typically considered a creditor, but there are certain actions taken by the institution that have qualified it as debt collectors, namely foreclosing on property.

This means that Wells Fargo must abide by FDCPA regulations under certain circumstances or face legal action.

Click here to learn more about what debt collectors can and can't do under the FDCPA.

How do I beat Wells Fargo in court?

The way to beat Wells Fargo in court is to push back by responding to their lawsuit. That means that you need to file an Answer to the lawsuit before your state’s designated deadline (which could be as short as 10 days).

If you do not respond to the lawsuit in time, you will lose automatically when a default judgment is ordered against you. This gives Wells Fargo the right to garnish your wages and seize your property.

Follow these three steps to respond to a Wells Fargo collections lawsuit:

  1. Respond to each claim against you.
  2. Assert your affirmative defenses.
  3. File the Answer, and send a copy to the opposing attorney.

Now, let’s explore each step a little further. Don’t like reading? Check out this video instead:

1. Respond to each claim against you

There are many reasons why you may not be responsible for a credit card debt. For example, it might not be your account, the account was already paid off, or the statute of limitations has run and Wells Fargo is out of time in trying to get any money back.

The first section of your Answer should focus on responding to each claim that Wells Fargo is making. You can either admit, deny, or deny due to lack of knowledge. When you deny a claim, it’s kind of like saying, “prove it.” It forces Wells Fargo to provide evidence and documentation to prove the claim is true.

Most attorneys recommend denying as many claims as possible.

Even if you think you owe the debt, Wells Fargo needs to prove that. The burden is on them, not you. You need to respond to see what they do. In other words, you need to make sure that you put Wells Fargo through its paces to prove that you owe them money. There is a chance that Wells Fargo will not be able to provide that proof, or it might not even show up to court.

Respond to your debt lawsuit in 15 minutes online.

2. Assert your affirmative defenses

After you’ve responded to each claim against you, focus on asserting your affirmative defenses.

An affirmative defense is an argument where the defendant (in this case, you) provides evidence that negates their culpability in a civil liability case. In other words, an affirmative defense is any legal reason that you shouldn’t lose the case.

Attorneys commonly use more than 200 affirmative defenses in civil and criminal cases. However, not all of these defenses will apply to a debt collection case. (Note: all debt collection cases are considered civil cases). We’ve identified 8 of the most common affirmative defenses that may apply when you get sued for debt:

  • The statute of limitations has expired.
  • Someone stole your identity.
  • You already paid off your debt.
  • No business relationship exists with the debt collector.
  • You have filed for bankruptcy.
  • Court officers did not serve you properly.
  • You do not owe the money as an authorized user.
  • The debt collector changed the balance.

Now, let’s look at an example.

Example: Tamara is being sued by Wells Fargo in California for an old credit card debt of $800. When she hears about the case, Tamara doesn’t even remember the debt. After some investigating, she finds out that the debt account has been inactive for more than six years. Since the statute of limitations on credit card debt is four years in California, Wells Fargo does not have the legal right to sue for it. Tamara uses SoloSuit to draft and file her Answer to the lawsuit, where she uses the expired statute of limitations as one of her affirmative defenses. The case gets dismissed.

Make the right affirmative defense the right way.

3. File the Answer, and send a copy to the opposing attorney

Now that you’ve responded to each claim and assert your affirmative defenses, you’re ready to file the Answer with the court.

Each court has unique filing requirements. SoloSuit has done the heavy lifting to find out your court’s filing requirements for you. Just make sure to get your Answer filed into the case before your state’s deadline.

After filing, make a copy of your Answer and send it to the opposing lawyer who is representing Wells Fargo in the case. The address should be listed on the Summons and Complaint documents. Send everything via USPS certified mail with a return receipt requested. This helps you keep track of the shipping and ensures that everything is delivered properly.

Keep a copy for yourself.

SoloSuit can file your Answer for you in all 50 states.

Consider a Wells Fargo credit card settlement

Falling behind on credit card payments is stressful and emotionally draining. Luckily, Wells Fargo has been known to accept debt settlement offers when its customers can no longer afford to pay off their credit card debts.

Wells Fargo usually marks an account as charged-off after about six months of missed payments. At this point, the debt will usually be sent to their debt collections department or sold to a third-party debt collection agency.

If you have enough money to offer a lump-sum payment of a percentage of your credit card debt amount, it may be a good idea to send a settlement offer to Wells Fargo or their collectors. The average consumer can reach a debt settlement agreement of 50% of the original debt amount when working with a debt settlement company.

You can settle your debt with Wells Fargo on your own by using SoloSettle. Check out this video to learn more:

What is SoloSuit?

SoloSuit makes it easy to fight debt collectors.

You can use SoloSuit to respond to a debt lawsuit, to send letters to collectors, and even to settle a debt.

SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.

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