As you have probably heard, Bank of Ireland (BOI) and Bristol and West have advised borrowers who took tracker rate mortgages with them prior to 31st October 2004 that they are increasing their margin to 4.49% over bank base rate.
Many landlords are concerned that if Bank of Ireland are allowed to get away with these changes other mortgage lenders will follow their lead.Property118 were first to reveal this breaking news and to begin taking action – see this thread where well over 200 comments have been left.
Landlord Action, a legal services firm with a strong pedigree in the Private Rented Sector have agreed to help. They have acted in more than 20,000 evictions and for over 2,000 letting agents. Since 1999 their free helpline has received over 210,000 calls. The founder of Landlord Action, Paul Shamplina, was one of the high profile contributors to Property118 in our formative stages. Justin Selig, the principal of the The Law Department which is a Law Society registered firm recently became a partner in Landlord Action and it is Justin who will be acting in this matter.
At this stage I am not aware what the “cause of action” will be but the following issues are all being considered:
- Mortgages were sold as a tracker at a margin over base rate which borrowers believed to be a fixed margin and which subsequent annual mortgage statements from BOI seems to have also supported
- Margins have not been adjusted previously and annual mortgage statements imply that the agreed margin over base will be maintained until the end of the agreed mortgage term
- Incentives offer by BOI to switch to another mortgage lender, offered in January this year, contained no mention of any intention to change the margin over the bank base rate charged on these mortgages
- Terms relied upon by the bank not meeting FSA and advertising standards principles whereby they should be clear, fair not misleading
- The terms being quoted by BOI were not pointed as being of importance by brokers or solicitors to borrowers
- The terms being relied upon are fundamental to the contract but are not sufficiently highlighted in such a way that borrowers or even their professional advisers were able to comprehend their importance
- Irish Nationals are not being subjected to the increased margin
- Ambiguity of whether the “differential” actually applies to the tracker margin
- Contract terms being relied upon not being allowed post FSA regulation of mortgage lending as of October 2004
The above may not be an exhaustive list.
The comments section on the original thread will soon be closed but please feel free to continue to post your thoughts and updates in the section below this thread.
To register your interest in taking part in the class action please complete the form below and we will forward the information on to Justin Selig, the solicitor who will be dealing with this matter.
The deadline for submission of instructions has now expired. However, it may still be possible to join the representative action subject to paying Court fees and an additional cost to cover associated administration. For details please email : firstname.lastname@example.org