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 ensuring proper accounting of consumers’ costs in bankruptcy.

Under the rule, which took effect in December of 2011, mortgage lenders are required to give borrowers in Chapter 13 bankruptcy 21 days’ notice before making an adjustment to their monthly payment.

Wells Fargo acknowledged that it failed to file more than 100,000 payment-change notices on a timely basis. It also failed to meet the deadline required in more than 18,000 escrow analyses. The violations involved nearly 68,000 accounts.


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