Villanueva v. Wells Fargo Settlement
www.wflienrelease.com

Frequently Asked Questions

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1. WHAT ARE THE ACTIONS ABOUT?

A. The Allegations

The Actions claim that Wells Fargo, and, with respect to the mortgage on plaintiff Bowman's residential property, U.S. Bank as well, failed to timely present to the appropriate New York State recording officer certifications that Plaintiffs' residential mortgages serviced by Wells Fargo had been fully satisfied, which allegedly violated New York Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law § 1921 and New York Real Property Law § 275. The Actions further assert that, with respect to thousands of other residential mortgagors serviced by Wells Fargo, and for certain mortgages where U.S. Bank served as the Mortgagee, Defendants similarly failed to timely present to New York State recording officers certifications that the residential mortgages had been fully paid or satisfied. Defendants deny all the claims in the Actions and deny that they have done anything wrong.

B. Status of the Actions

Plaintiffs Villanueva and Bowman commenced the Actions by filing putative class action complaints on August 2, 2013 and January 31, 2014, respectively. Plaintiff Villanueva alleges claims against Wells Fargo for violation of New York Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law § 1921 and New York Real Property Law § 275. Plaintiff Bowman alleges claims arising under the same statutes against Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank.

Plaintiffs have aggressively pursued their claims in the Actions. The Plaintiffs and Defendants (collectively, the "Settling Parties") engaged in substantial discovery, including the production of documents, the taking of depositions and the exchange of other written information requests, as described in more detail in Section I of the Settlement Agreement. To explore the possibility of settlement, the Settling Parties retained David Geronemus, an experienced, independent mediator, to assist them in determining whether a resolution of the Actions was possible. Following mediation, the Settling Parties agreed to settle the Actions on the terms set forth in the Settlement Agreement, subject to approval by the Court.

On December 3, 2015, the Court entered an Order (the "Preliminary Approval Order") which, among other things, (a) preliminarily approved the Settlement Agreement subject to further consideration of the Settlement, and any objections thereto, at the Settlement Hearing; (b) preliminarily certified, for settlement purposes only, the Class as defined above; (c) preliminarily appointed Plaintiffs as Class Representatives and Plaintiffs' counsel as Class Counsel; (d) authorized this Class Notice to be published to this website and for notices to be sent directly to Class Members and to be published; and (e) scheduled a Settlement Hearing to consider, among other things, whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate and should be approved. Copies of the Preliminary Approval Order and the exhibits thereto can be obtained here.

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2. WHAT IS A CLASS ACTION AND WHO IS INVOLVED HERE?

A class action is similar to any lawsuit, except that it is prosecuted by the plaintiff, referred to as the "class representative," on behalf of itself and a class of similarly situated persons. Counsel for the plaintiff typically serves as counsel for the class and is referred to as "class counsel." The court in a class action actively supervises the conduct of the proceedings to ensure that the interests of the class are fairly represented. Among other things, the court must approve the appointment of plaintiff as the class representative and plaintiffs counsel as class counsel and the class action may not be settled unless the court determines that the settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate and should be approved. Moreover, in a class action, determinations by the court, whether or not favorable to the plaintiff, will also bind the members of the class that the plaintiff represents, unless a class member has requested to be excluded from the class.

In these Actions, the Plaintiffs and Defendants have consented to, and the Court has ordered, under 28 U.S.C. §636(c), that Magistrate Judge Lisa M. Smith be the judge assigned to the Actions for purposes of hearing and determining the Plaintiffs' motions for preliminary and final approval of the Settlement Agreement and the Settlement and, if approved, for all proceedings related to the implementation, enforcement and administration of the Settlement Agreement and the Settlement.

The Court, in the Preliminary Approval Order, preliminarily appointed the Plaintiffs to be the Class Representatives and Plaintiffs' counsel, D. Gregory Blankinship and Todd S. Garber of the law firm of Finkelstein, Blankinship, Frei-Pearson & Garber LLP, to be Class Counsel. Class Counsel can be contacted, if necessary, as follows:

Finkelstein, Blankinship, Frei-Pearson & Garber LLP
1311 Mamaroneck Avenue, Suite 220
White Plains, NY 10605
(844) 323-4999

In addition, in its Preliminary Approval Order, the Court appointed Garden City Group, LLC to act as the Settlement Administrator, whose responsibilities, among other things, include creating and maintaining the Settlement Website, responding to inquiries from, and communicating with, Class Members and reviewing submitted Proof of Claims and Revised Proof of Claims, as applicable, to determine if they were timely submitted, complete and valid and should be approved for issuance of a Distribution Check in the amount of a Claim Payment. The Settlement Administrator can be contacted by mail, e-mail and phone as follows:

WF Lien Release
c/o GCG
P.O. Box 9349
Dublin, OH 43017-4249
E-mail: info@wflienrelease.com
Toll-Free Phone: (866) 859-3624

If you choose to contact the Settlement Administrator for any purpose other than to submit a Proof of Claim or to request to be excluded from the Class, please refer to either one or both Actions and provide your full name and e-mail or mailing address. Submissions to the Settlement Administrator of Proof of Claims and requests to be excluded from the Class must be done in the manner and method described below.

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3. HOW DO I DETERMINE IF I AM A CLASS MEMBER?

You are a Class Member if you meet the definition of the Class set forth at the beginning of the Class Notice.

If you received a notice sent directly to you concerning the proposed Settlement, then you are likely a member of the Class, unless the notice was sent in error. Alternatively, you may have learned about the proposed Settlement through the published notice or in some other manner.

In any of these events, you can determine if you are a member of the Class in three ways. First, you can visit the "Submit a Proof of Claim," section of this website here, which permits you to complete an on-line Proof of Claim. Enter into Item 1 on the on­line Proof of Claim the unique identification number included with the notice of the proposed Settlement mailed to you directly (see FAQ 7 for further information concerning the unique identification number). If your name and the address of the residential mortgage that you fully paid or satisfied after August 2, 2010 and before May 15, 2015 automatically appear in Items 2 and 3 of the Proof of Claim, then you are a Class Member.

Second, you can visit the “Are You a Class Member” section of this website here, where you can use the search feature to find out if the address of the residential mortgage that you fully paid or satisfied after August 2, 2010 and before May 15, 2015 is included in the list of all Mortgaged Properties that are the subject of the Actions. If the Mortgaged Property appears, then you are a Class Member

Third, you can call Class Counsel at the number listed above (see FAQ 2) and ask whether you are a Class Member. Class Counsel will perform the same queries of the Settlement Website described above to determine whether the residential mortgage that you fully paid or satisfied after August 2, 2010 and before May 15, 2015 appears and will inform you of the results.

In the event you believe you are a Class Member but did not receive a notice containing a unique identification number or misplaced it or you cannot find your Mortgaged Property listed on the Settlement Website, please call Class Counsel at the number listed above (see FAQ 2) and Class Counsel will attempt to assist you.

Please do not contact the Settlement Administrator for purposes of performing queries of the Settlement Website to determine whether you are Class Member.

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4. WHAT ARE THE REASONS FOR SETTLEMENT?

The Court has not reached any final decisions in connection with the Class Representatives' claims against Defendants. Instead, the Class Representatives and Defendants have agreed to the proposed Settlement. In reaching the Settlement, they have avoided the cost, delay and uncertainty of further litigation.

As in any litigation, the Class Representatives and the proposed Class would face an uncertain outcome if they did not agree to the proposed Settlement. The Settling Parties expected that the Actions could continue for a long time and that if the Class Representatives succeeded, Defendants would file appeals that would substantially postpone final resolution of the Actions. Continuation of the Actions against Defendants could result in a judgment greater than the proposed Settlement. Conversely, continuing the Actions could result in no recovery at all or a recovery that is less than the amount of the proposed Settlement.

The Class Representatives and Class Counsel believe that the proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate and should be approved by the Court. They have reached this conclusion for several reasons. If the Settlement is approved, the Class Members who timely submit complete and valid Proof of Claims will receive a significant monetary recovery. Additionally, Class Counsel believes that the significant and immediate benefits of the proposed Settlement are an excellent result for the Class - especially given the risks and uncertainties of continued litigation.

Defendants deny any wrongdoing and their agreement to settle the Actions shall in no event be construed or deemed to be evidence or an admission or concession with respect to any claim asserted in the Actions or of any fault, liability, wrongdoing, or damages.

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5. HOW MUCH MONEY WILL MEMBERS OF THE CLASS RECEIVE?

A Class Member who timely submits a complete and valid Proof of Claim (an “Authorized Claimant”) shall receive a Claim Payment as follows:

  1. Authorized Claimants for whom a certificate of discharge or satisfaction of mortgage for a Mortgaged Property was presented to a recording officer for the first time more than 30 days, but less than 61 days, after Satisfaction will receive $300;
  2. Authorized Claimants for whom a certificate of discharge or satisfaction of mortgage for a Mortgaged Property was presented to a recording officer for the first time more than 60 days, but less than 91 days, after Satisfaction will receive $600;
  3. Authorized Claimants for whom a certificate of discharge or satisfaction of mortgage for a Mortgaged Property was presented to a recording officer for the first time more than 90 days after Satisfaction will receive $900;
  4. Authorized Claimants for whom a certificate of discharge or satisfaction of mortgage for a Mortgaged Property was presented to a recording officer but was rejected and subsequently re-presented more than 30 days but less than 61 days after Satisfaction will receive $190;
  5. Authorized Claimants for whom a certificate of discharge or satisfaction of mortgage for a Mortgaged Property was presented to a recording officer but was rejected and subsequently re-presented more than 60 days but less than 91 days after Satisfaction will receive $380; and
  6. Authorized Claimants for whom a certificate of discharge or satisfaction of mortgage for a Mortgaged Property was presented to a recording officer but was rejected and subsequently re-presented more than 90 days after Satisfaction will receive $570.

Checks issued to Authorized Claimants (referred to as "Distribution Checks" in the Settlement Agreement) will remain valid for a period of 180 calendar days after issuance but, if not cashed or otherwise negotiated by the end of such period, will be cancelled as stale and will not be reissued.

To the extent that more than one Authorized Claimant was a Mortgagor Party to a Mortgaged Property -- for example, if a husband and wife were both Mortgagors on a Mortgaged Property -- then all such Authorized Claimants shall be (a) entitled to only one Claim Payment, the amount of which shall be determined based on the above criteria and which amount shall be embodied in one Distribution Check made payable to all such Authorized Claimants; (b) solely responsible for the allocation, if any, of the Claim Payment between and among all such Authorized Claimants; and (c) solely responsible for taking all steps necessary to negotiate any Distribution Check made payable to all such Authorized Claimants, including but not limited to all costs associated with taking such steps.

Class Members who fail to timely submit a complete and valid Proof of Claim will not be entitled to receive any Claim Payment but will be bound by any judgment entered in the Actions and by terms of the Settlement Agreement if approved by the Court, unless the Class Member has timely and properly requested to be excluded from the Class.

Class Members can determine the amount of the Claim Payment they may be eligible to receive under the proposed Settlement in three ways. First, you can complete an on­line Proof of Claim here.

Second, you can visit here where you will find a list of all Mortgaged Properties that are the subject of the Actions. Use the search feature of the Settlement Website to find the address of the residential mortgage that you fully paid or satisfied after August 2, 2010 and before May 15, 2015. The amount of the Claim Payment associated with the Mortgaged Property will appear next to the address of the Mortgaged Property.

Third, you can call Class Counsel, Finkelstein, Blankinship, Frei-Pearson & Garber LLP at (844) 323-4999 and ask about the amount of the Claim Payment you may be entitled to receive. Class Counsel will perform the same queries of this Website described above to determine the amount of the Claim Payment associated with the residential mortgage that you fully paid or satisfied after August 2, 2010 and before May 15, 2015 and will inform you of the results.

In the event you did not receive a notice containing a unique identification number or misplaced it or you cannot find your Mortgaged Property listed on the Settlement Website, please call Class Counsel at the number listed above (see FAQ 2) and Class Counsel will attempt to assist you.

Please do not contact the Settlement Administrator for purposes of performing queries of the Settlement Website to determine the amount of the Claim Payment you may be entitled to receive.

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6. HOW CAN I GET A CLAIM PAYMENT?

In order to qualify for a Claim Payment, you must timely submit a complete and valid Proof of Claim. This can be done in the following two ways.

First, you may submit a Proof of Claim on-line. To do so, go to the Submit A Proof Of Claim section of this website. Read the instructions carefully, fill out the form, and submit the Proof of Claim. If notice of the proposed Settlement was mailed to you directly, the notice included a unique identification number which can be used, as explained in the Proof of Claim instructions, to automatically complete Items 2 and 3 of the Proof of Claim. If you did not receive a notice containing a unique identification number or misplaced it, please contact Class Counsel at the number listed above (see FAQ 2) and Class Counsel will seek to assist you.

Second, you may also submit a Proof of Claim in paper form. You may obtain a paper copy of the Proof of Claim by printing one from the Settlement Website (available at the section entitled "Submit a Proof of Claim") or by requesting one from the Settlement Administrator by mail, e-mail or phone at the contact information for the Settlement Administrator set forth above (see FAQ 2). Read the instructions on the Proof of Claim carefully, fill out the form, and submit it by mail, first class postage pre-paid, to the Settlement Administrator at the Settlement Administrator's mailing address set forth above (see FAQ 2) and repeated immediately below:

WF Lien Release
c/o GCG
PO Box 9349
Dublin, OH 43017-4249

To be considered timely, Proof of Claims submitted through the Settlement Website must be submitted by no later than March 2, 2016 and Proof of Claims submitted by mail must be postmarked by no later than March 2, 2016.

If you do not timely submit a completed and valid Proof of Claim, you will not receive a Claim Payment; however, unless you timely and properly exclude yourself from the Class as described below (see FAQ 15), you will still be bound in all other respects by any judgment entered in the Actions and by the terms of the Settlement Agreement (including the release of Defendants) if approved by the Court. By remaining in the Class, you are consenting to the jurisdiction of U.S. Magistrate Judge Lisa M. Smith under 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).

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7. WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR DETERMINING WHETHER A PROOF OF CLAIM WILL BE APPROVED OR REJECTED?

The Settlement Administrator, under the supervision of Class Counsel, will review each Proof of Claim to determine if it was timely submitted, complete and valid and should be approved. Proof of Claims that are not timely submitted will be rejected. Proof of Claims will be deemed incomplete if all required information, as set forth in the instructions on the Proof of Claim, is not provided. Proof of Claims will be deemed invalid if certain required information on the Proof of Claim does not substantially match the data concerning the Mortgagor Party and the Mortgaged Property contained in Wells Fargo's records.

If the Settlement Administrator determines that a Proof of Claim is not complete or valid, the Settlement Administrator will, if possible, contact the Claimant, describe the identified defect in the Proof of Claim, and request that a Revised Proof of Claim be submitted. The Claimant will have thirty (30) calendar days following receipt of such notice to submit to the Settlement Administrator a Revised Proof of Claim and any information the Claimant believes is relevant and supports approval of the Claimant's Revised Proof of Claim. The Settlement Administrator will, under the supervision of Class Counsel, review any Revised Proof of Claim to determine if it is timely submitted, complete and valid.

The Settlement Administrator's determination to reject a Proof of Claim or Revised Proof of Claim on the grounds that it was not timely submitted, complete or valid shall be binding on the Claimant and not subject to further review or appeal. Any Claimant whose Proof of Claim or Revised Proof of Claim has been rejected by the Settlement Administrator shall be barred from receiving any Claim Payment but otherwise shall be bound by any judgment that may be entered in the Actions and the terms of the Settlement Agreement (including the release of Defendants), if approved by the Court.

All Proof of Claims or Revised Proof of Claims that the Settlement Administrator, under the supervision of Class Counsel, has determined to approve as timely submitted, complete and valid will be subject to review and challenge by Wells Fargo. If the Settlement Administrator, Class Counsel and Defendants' Counsel are unable to resolve Wells Fargo's objections, if any, Wells Fargo may apply to the Court, on notice to Class Counsel and to the Claimants whose Proof of Claims or Revised Proof of Claims are subject to Wells Fargo's objections, for an Order determining that the Claimant's Proof of Claim or Revised Proof of Claim should be rejected. Wells Fargo will bear the burden of persuasion and proof in connection with any objections it makes. Resolution of Wells Fargo's objections will proceed according to the schedule to be set by the Court and Claimants whose Proof of Claims or Revised Proof of Claims are challenged by Wells Fargo will be subject to discovery, limited to the Claimant's status as a Settlement Class Member and the Claimant's entitlement to a Claim Payment under the terms of the Settlement Agreement.

The above description of the review process for approving or rejecting Proof of Claims or Revised Proof of Claims is only a summary. The complete terms of the review process, including the definition of capitalized terms not defined in this website, are set forth in the Settlement Agreement, which you may obtain from the Settlement Website by visiting the section entitled "Settlement Filings" or by contacting the Settlement Administrator at the contact information listed above (see FAQ 2).

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8. WHEN WOULD I GET MY DISTRIBUTION CHECK?

The Court will hold a Settlement Hearing on April 21, 2016, at 11:00 a.m., to decide whether to approve the proposed Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement, there may be appeals. It is always uncertain whether these appeals can be resolved favorably, and resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year. It also takes time for all the Proof of Claims and/or Revised Proof of Claims to be evaluated to determine if they were timely submitted, complete and valid. If there are no appeals and depending on the number of Proof of Claims and/or Revised Proof of Claims submitted, the Settlement Administrator could issue Distribution Checks as early as forty-five days after the Court's approval of the Settlement becomes Final. Please be patient.

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9. WHAT AM I GIVING UP TO GET A PAYMENT?

If the Court approves the proposed Settlement, it will enter a Judgment containing, among other things, a release which provides that, upon the Effective Date, each of the Class Representatives and each Settlement Class Member, on behalf of themselves, and each of their heirs, executors, trustees, administrators, beneficiaries, predecessors, successors and assigns, and any other person claiming by, through or on behalf of them, shall be deemed by operation of law (a) to have released, waived, discharged and dismissed each and every of the Settled Claims against the Released Parties; (b) shall forever be enjoined from commencing, instituting or prosecuting any or all of the Settled Claims against any of the Released Parties; and (c) shall not institute, continue, maintain or assert, either directly or indirectly, whether in the United States or elsewhere, on their own behalf or on behalf of any class or any other person, any action, suit, cause of action, claim or demand against any person or entity who may claim any form of contribution or indemnity from any of the Released Parties in respect of any Settled Claim.

The above description of the release applicable to the Class Representatives and Settlement Class Members set forth in the Settlement Agreement is only a summary. The complete terms, are set forth in the Settlement Agreement, which you may obtain by visiting the section entitled "Settlement Filings" or by contacting the Settlement Administrator at the contact information listed above (see FAQ 2).

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10. DO I NEED TO CONTACT CLASS COUNSEL TO RECEIVE A DISTRIBUTION CHECK?

No. If you timely submit a completed and valid Proof of Claim or Revised Proof of Claim, as applicable, you need not contact Class Counsel. If, however, you require any information about the proposed Settlement that is not otherwise available on the Settlement Website or you prefer not to review the Settlement Website to obtain information about the proposed Settlement, you may contact, as appropriate, either the Settlement Administrator or Class Counsel at the contact information listed above (see FAQ 2).

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11. WILL THERE BE ANY PAYMENTS IF THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT IS TERMINATED?

No. The Settlement Agreement may be terminated under several circumstances outlined in it. If the Settlement Agreement is terminated, the Actions will proceed as if the Settlement Agreement had not been entered into.

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12. MAY I CONTACT CLASS COUNSEL?

Yes. Class Counsel has been preliminarily appointed by the Court to represent the Class Representatives and Class Members. You will not be charged any fees nor incur any costs by contacting Class Counsel concerning any questions you may have regarding the Actions or the proposed Settlement. Class Counsel may be contacted at the contact information listed above (see FAQ 2).

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13. HOW WILL CLASS COUNSEL BE PAID?

Class Counsel will file a motion for an award of Class Counsel Fees, consisting of their attorneys' fees and the reimbursement of their costs and expenses incurred in the Actions. That motion will be considered by the Court at the Settlement Hearing. Class Counsel will limit their application for an award of Class Counsel Fees to not more than $894,805. Such sums as may be approved by the Court will be paid by Wells Fargo. Class Members are not personally liable for any Class Counsel Fees that may be awarded by the Court nor for any attorneys' fees, costs or expenses incurred by Class Counsel in prosecuting the Actions.

The Class Counsel Fees requested will be the only payment to Class Counsel for their efforts in achieving the proposed Settlement and for their risk in undertaking this representation on a wholly contingent basis. Class Counsel has committed significant time and expense in litigating the Actions for the benefit of the Class. To date, Class Counsel has not been paid for their services in prosecuting the Actions on behalf of the Class Representatives and the Class or reimbursed for their costs and expenses. The Class Counsel Fees requested will compensate Class Counsel for their work in achieving the proposed Settlement. The Court will decide what a reasonable Class Counsel Fee award is and may award less than the amount requested by Class Counsel.

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14. WILL THE CLASS REPRESENTATIVES SEEK AN AWARD IN ADDITION TO THE CLAIM PAYMENTS THAT OTHER CLASS MEMBERS MAY RECEIVE?

Yes. The Class Representatives will request that the Court award each Class Representative a Service Award of no more than $5,000 for the time and effort expended in representing the Class in the Actions. The Court will consider the Class Representatives' request at the Settlement Hearing. Such sums as may be approved by the Court will be paid by Wells Fargo. Class Members are not personally liable for any Service Award that the Court may award.

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15. CAN I EXCLUDE MYSELF FROM THE CLASS?

Yes. If you do not want to receive a Claim Payment from the proposed Settlement and you want to keep your right, if any, to sue Defendants, at your own expense, concerning the claims raised in the Actions, then you must take steps to exclude yourself from the Class.

To exclude yourself from the Class, you must submit a written request, by first class mail, postage pre-paid, to the Settlement Administration at the mailing address listed above (see FAQ 2) and repeated immediately below:

WF Lien Release
c/o GCG
P.O. Box 9349
Dublin, OH 43017-4257

To be effective, your written request for exclusion must be postmarked no later than March 17, 2016. In addition, your written request for exclusion must clearly provide all of the following information: (a) the name and current mailing address of the person and/or entity seeking exclusion; (b) the unique identification number provided on the notice mailed directly to you or the address of the Mortgaged Property for which you were the Mortgagor Party; and (c) a signed statement that you wish to be excluded from the Class and the Settlement in Villanueva v. Wells Fargo Bank, N A., No. 13-cv-05429-CS-LMS (S.D.N.Y.) and Bowman v. Wells Fargo Bank, N A., et al., No. 14-cv-00648-CS-LMS (S.D.N.Y.). If the exclusion request is made by someone other than you on your behalf, the person or entity submitting the exclusion request must provide documentation evidencing authority to submit the exclusion request on your behalf. The request for exclusion shall not be effective unless it provides the required information and is made within the time stated above, or the exclusion is otherwise accepted by the Court.

You cannot make a proper request to exclude yourself from the Class by phone, by email, or by contacting anyone but the Settlement Administrator in the manner and by the deadline set forth immediately above. If you make a proper request for exclusion, you will not receive a Claim Payment from the Settlement; you cannot object to the proposed Settlement; and you will not be legally bound by any judgments that may be entered in the Actions or by the terms of the proposed Settlement, if approved by the Court.

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16. IF I EXCLUDE MYSELF FROM THE CLASS, CAN I STILL GET MONEY FROM THE SETTLEMENT?

No. If you exclude yourself from the Class, do not submit a Proof of Claim to ask for any recovery from the Settlement because you will no longer be a member of the Class and, as such, will not be eligible for any recovery from the proposed Settlement, if approved.

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17. CAN I OBJECT TO THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT, CLASS COUNSEL'S REQUEST FOR CLASS COUNSEL FEES OR THE CLASS REPRESENTATIVES' REQUEST FOR A SERVICE AWARD?

Yes. If you are a Class Member and have not requested to exclude yourself from the Class, you can object to the Settlement, or any part of it, as well as to Class Counsel's request for Class Counsel Fees and the Class Representatives' request for a Service Award.

To object, you must , by no later than April 7, 2016 , have filed in writing your objection and any supporting papers with the Court (accompanied by due proof of service upon counsel for the Settling Parties) and have served, by hand, mail or overnight delivery, copies of all such written filings on counsel for the Settling Parties at the following addresses:

To the Court:

Clerk of Court
United States District Court, Southern District of New York
The Hon. Charles L. Brieant Jr. Federal Building and United States Courthouse
300 Quarropas Street
White Plains, NY 10601-4150

To Class Counsel:

Todd S. Garber
D. Gregory Blankinship
FINKELSTEIN, BLANKINSHIP, FREI-PEARSON & GARBER LLP
1311 Mamaroneck Avenue, Suite 220
White Plains, NY 10605

To Defendants’ Counsel:

David Wertheimer
Hogan Lovells US LLP
875 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022

In addition, your written objection must include all of the following information: (a) your name and current mailing address; (b) the unique identification number provided on the notice mailed directly to you or the address of the Mortgaged Property for which you were the Mortgagor Party; and (c) a signed statement that you object to the Settlement in Villanueva v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 13-05429 (S.D.N.Y.) and Bowman v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., 14-cv-00648-CS-LMS (S.D.N.Y.) and that sets forth the reasons for such objection.

Attendance at the Settlement Hearing is not necessary for you to object to any matters to be presented at the Settlement Hearing. If you or your representative wish to appear, however, to be heard orally to oppose any matters to be presented at the Settlement Hearing (including the approval of the Settlement) and/or present evidence at the Settlement Hearing, you must include with the filing and service of your written objection a notice of your intent to appear at the Settlement Hearing and the identity of any witnesses you may seek to call to testify and exhibits you may seek to introduce into evidence at the Settlement Hearing.

Unless the Court orders otherwise, no Class Member or other person shall be entitled to object to any matters to be presented at the Settlement Hearing, or otherwise be heard at the Settlement Hearing, except by serving and filing written objections as described above. Any Class Member who does not object in the manner prescribed above shall be deemed to have waived such objection and shall be bound by any judgments entered in the Actions and all the terms of the Settlement Agreement, if approved by the Court, unless the Class Member has properly requested to be excluded from the Class.

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18. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OBJECTING TO THE SETTLEMENT AND EXCLUDING YOURSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT CLASS?

Objecting is simply telling the Court that you do not like the Settlement or some part of it. You can only object if you remain a Class Member. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you don't want to be part of the Class. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the Actions and the proposed Settlement no longer affect you.

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19. WHEN WILL THE SETTLEMENT HEARING TAKE PLACE AND WHAT WILL BE ADDRESSED?

The Settlement Hearing will be held on April 21, 2016, at 11:00 a.m., before the Honorable Lisa M. Smith, at the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, The Hon. Charles L. Brieant Jr. Federal Building and United States Courthouse, 300 Quarropas St., White Plains, NY 10601-4150, for the purpose of determining whether (a) the proposed Settlement, as embodied in the Settlement Agreement, is fair, reasonable, and adequate, and should be approved; (b) to enter the Judgment, substantially in the form attached as Exhibit B to the Settlement Agreement, which, among other things, provides for the dismissal of the Actions with prejudice and the release by the Class Representatives and Settlement Class Members of the Settled Claims as against the Released Parties; (c) the Actions should be finally certified, for settlement purposes, as a class action under Rules 23(a) and (b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; (d) to grant Class Counsel's application for an award of Class Counsel Fees; (e) to grant the Class Representatives' request for a Service Award; and (f) to rule upon such other matters as the Court may deem appropriate.

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20. MAY I SPEAK AT THE SETTLEMENT HEARING?

Yes. If you or your representative wish to raise an objection at the Settlement Hearing to any matter to be addressed at the Settlement Hearing, then you must first inform the Court and counsel for the Settling Parties of your intention to speak according to the instructions set forth in FAQ 17. You cannot speak at the Settlement Hearing if you properly requested to exclude yourself from the Class.

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21. DO I HAVE TO COME TO THE SETTLEMENT HEARING?

No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have, but you are welcome to come at your own expense. If you file and serve an objection to the proposed Settlement (or any part of it) according to the instructions set forth in FAQ 17, you need not appear at the Settlement Hearing to talk about it. So long as you complied with the requirements for filing and serving an objection as set forth in FAQ 17, the Court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend the Settlement Hearing, but it is not necessary.

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22. WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO NOTHING?

If you do nothing, you will not receive any money from the Settlement. But, unless you properly request to exclude yourself from the Class, you will be bound by any judgment, whether or not favorable to you, that the Court may enter in the Actions and by all the terms of the Settlement Agreement (including the release of Defendants), if approved by the Court. By remaining in the Class, you are consenting to the jurisdiction of U.S. Magistrate Judge Lisa M. Smith under 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).

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23. WILL I HAVE TO PAY TAX ON A CLAIM PAYMENT I AM ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE FROM THE SETTLEMENT?

The Settlement Administrator shall report to the United States Internal Revenue Service on IRS Form 1099-MISC any Claim Payment made to an Authorized Claimant in the amount of $600 or more. The Settlement Administrator will not withhold any Claim Payment, or portion thereof, for tax or any other purposes. The tax treatment of any Claim Payment you may be eligible to receive is your responsibility, including whether you are subject to tax withholding and, if so, what steps, if any, you may or must take to accept a distribution that does not withhold any funds for tax purposes. Neither the Settlement Administrator nor the Settling Parties and their counsel (including Class Counsel and Defendants' counsel) can provide you with individual tax advice. Accordingly, you should consult your tax advisor if you are not certain about the tax treatment of a Claim Payment you may be eligible to receive from the Settlement.

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24. HOW DO I OBTAIN ADDITIONAL INFORMATION?

This website contains only a summary of the terms of the proposed Settlement. The records in the Actions may be examined and copied at any time during regular office hours, and subject to customary copying fees, at the office of the Clerk of Court, United States District Court, Southern District of New York, The Hon. Charles L. Brieant Jr. Federal Building and United States Courthouse, 300 Quarropas St., White Plains, NY 10601-4150. In addition, settlement-related documents, including the Proof of Claim, Settlement Agreement and Preliminary Approval Order, may be obtained by visiting the Settlement Website or by contacting the Settlement Administrator in the manner and at the contact details set forth above (see FAQ 2).

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