Wells Fargo is successfully convincing judges that forged arbitration agreements are legally binding

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/12/07/wells-fargo-is-successfully-co.html


This is exactly why I keep at least one pair of fingers crossed at all times: to exempt me from any contracts signed on my behalf without my knowledge wherever in the world it may be happening (this protection is actually valid throughout the universe but the limit on the speed of light serves well enough to filter out most of the galaxy’s fraudulent activity – if my credit score isn’t going to feel the ding for another 150,000 years then I’m not too worried).

Suck it, evil corporations.


Wells is arguing that the binding arbitration agreements on accounts that you didn’t open are also binding – that by having your signature forged on a fraudulent application, you waived your right to sue.

No they’re not. This was pointed out to you the last time you wrote about this, and you keep making the false claim that Wells is relying on forged signatures for fake accounts to force its fraud victims into arbitration.

Wells’ actual position is that the arbitration agreements relating to indisputably real accounts and indisputably real signatures are broad enough to cover claims of fraud for opening fake accounts. This is bad enough on its own: the notion that a company can avoid a public forum for civil claims when there’s no real dispute that it engaged in criminal acts. But the distinction between what Wells is actually doing and what you continue to falsely claim it’s doing is a critical one for purposes of the law governing arbitrability of disputes.


Free mediation services? What does this even mean? A chat with the VP of the local branch and a VHS of Wells Fargo commercials?

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While it’s true that Cory is reporting on incorrect facts (shocking, I know), the outcome is the same: Wells Fargo is trying to exploit a loophole that says you can’t sue them for fraud they committed against you.

That’s some bullshit any way you slice it.


I was going to say.

@doctorow always writes about important stuff, then totally blows away his credibility by creating completely Fake News (to use the new jargon).

There are a million genuinely shitty things about Wells Fargo. To just make up stuff because you don’t understand what is being argued isn’t actually a good rhetorical device, it just undermines your credibility.

You can actually argue against the crux of the matter, which is that the very real arbitration agreements that the clients really did sign is being used to protect the company for the fraud they committed. This is a legitimate problem, and one that needs to be addressed. It won’t be addressed if the journalists and bloggers who write about it just make things up, because then they can just be dismissed.


Boingboing and Wells Fargo are empires now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do


Here’s a question… Let’s say I already have a Wells Fargo account and had previously been forced to sign the demand for arbitration. If I were to go to a branch and open an additional savings account would I have to sign the agreement again?

I’m not asking if I should have to sign again rather I’m asking about their procedure. If I have to sign it for every account then a reasonable argument could be made for WF having created false documents.


Yes, sure. Let’s make sure we use the right words to describe Wells Fargo as the bastards they are. I mean, banks have been so good for so long–they never cheat the system or lie to customers, right? If LIBOR, the savings and loan scandal, Wells Fargo laundering criminal money, mortgage securities fraud, Enron, and Forex rigging have taught me anything, it’s that banks are way above reproach.


I love Corey’s posts. They remind me that left wing freedom and privacy fighters can have just as much cognitive dissonance as right wingers. I love how he’s a successful author and had his book adapter as a play and optioned as a movie, so by most accounts he’d be considered successful - but he won’t live anywhere that won’t give him free healthcare.

In cases like this, he gets his justice boner all fired up for Wells Fargo, even though he’s been proven wrong before, and won’t even issue a correction - just like the right wing media. Love it!


That may be critical for lawyers, but for the victims it’s a distinction without a difference.

What on earth do you imagine the connection is between those two clauses? Countries don’t “give” “free” healthcare; everyone pays for it and everyone is entitled to it. You seem to think anyone using it is a freeloader.

(Never mind that Cory now lives in the US. If I point that out, will you issue a correction?)



Rhetorical question: when BS this heinous is perpetrated, why do consumers have to rely on class action lawsuits to make things right? Shouldn’t the Feds step in and bitch-slap Wells Fargo on the little guy’s behalf?


Thank you so much for the clarification of this. It’s still complete bullshit, but it is a less outrageous variety of bullshit than the article suggests.


White collar crime isn’t really crime but a “civil matter”.

Cops don’t care about the actions of corporations.


Don’t worry, Drumpf will fix it!

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Whether an arbitration agreement exists in the first place (vs. being forged) is a HUGE difference for the victims from whether an arbitration agreement that indisputably exists covers the fraud at issue. Courts are allowed to make the initial determination as to whether or not an arbitration agreement exists, but arbitration agreements often provide that disputes as to the scope of the agreement must be decided by an arbitrator. If courts are letting arbitrators decide the former question–whether a forged arbitration agreement is binding–then it’s a major abdication of judicial power that drastically expands the scope of the Federal Arbitration Act beyond what we’ve seen before.

Put another way, if what Cory’s describing is actually what’s happening, that is a markedly worse outcome for the victims, and for the rest of us, than the bad stuff that we’re already dealing with. This isn’t some question about angels on the head of a pin. It has real-world consequences.


Yes it is, which is why it makes no damn sense whatsoever for Cory to repeatedly report false claims when the real deal is awful and needs no BS to make it click baity.

With Trump and the rest of the “alt reality” brigade in charge we need reality and verifiable facts as a counter. Cory is doing a disservice to his (and my) causes by making false claims in his headlines, and now in his body copy.


The facts speak for themselves; Cory’s distorted/deceptive version only diminishes the injustice of this situation.

On the other hand, I’m not aware of an instance where Cory claimed to write nonfiction.


is that like, actually true or is it just a pithy thing you wrote? honest question. I know people can and do go to jail for ‘white collar crime’, but does this fraudulent account thing not count as like, CRIME crime?