Wells Fargo Bank has agreed to pay $81.6 million to settle claims that it failed to notify homeowners in bankruptcy of changes in their mortgage payments.
The Department of Justice said Thursday that the lender's failure to give borrowers timely notice of payment hikes or reductions violated a federal bankruptcy rule aimed at ensuing proper accounting of consumers' costs in bankruptcy.
Under the rule, mortgage lenders are required to notify borrowers in Chapter 13 bankruptcy 21 days before an adjustment in their monthly payment.
Wells Fargo acknowledged it failed to file more than 100,000 payment-change notices and didn't perform more than 18,000 escrow analyses between December 2011 and March of this year, affecting nearly 68,000 bankruptcy cases.
Wells Fargo & Co. shares rose 34 cents to $54.93 in midday trading.