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In re Stewart

United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
391 B.R. 327 (2008)


Facts

Stewart (plaintiff) was an account holder at Wells Fargo. Stewart filed for bankruptcy. Wells Fargo filed creditor claims against Stewart’s bankruptcy estate. Stewart filed an objection to Wells Fargo’s proof of claims based on fees, charges, and costs against her account. Wells Fargo took many months and multiple hearings to reconcile and explain the details and relevant history of Stewart’s account. The account details eventually showed that Wells Fargo had charged Stewart many excessive and duplicative fees and costs, including charges for dozens of inspections and late fees applied while Stewart was making regular payments in bankruptcy. Many of the excessive fees were hidden and disguised as costs. Escrow-payment reconciliations were mostly incomprehensible and frequently incorrect, and as a result, Wells Fargo repeatedly demanded payments that were substantially wrong in Wells Fargo’s favor. Payments that Stewart made were applied to these excessive fees and costs before being applied to escrow, principal, or interest, in violation of the mortgage terms. Wells Fargo also claimed substantial legal fees and failed to post credits that should have been applied to the account.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Magner, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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