Court of Appeal Date – West Brom Tracker Case

by Property118.com News Team

6:39 AM, 8th April 2016
About 5 years ago

Court of Appeal Date – West Brom Tracker Case

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Court of Appeal Date – West Brom Tracker Case

PRESS RELEASE

Mark Smith of Cotswold Barristers has confirmed the date and time of the Court of Appeal hearing in the case of MARK ROBERT ALEXANDER (as representative of the “Property 118 Action Group”) Claimant – and – WEST BROMWICH MORTGAGE COMPANY LTD Defendant will be at 10 am on Thursday 28th April 2016 at Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, City of Westminster, London, UK. West Brom Tracker Judgement

To fight the case a legal action fund of well over £500,000 was raised via Property118.com by landlords affected by the tracker rate hike.

The case has widespread implications on the basis that other lenders with similar clauses in their mortgage contracts may also choose to vary their tracker rate margins if the appeal is unsuccessful. Previously, Bank of Ireland had also increased some tracker mortgage rate margins but insufficient funds were raised to take the legal challenge all the way to Court.

Mark Alexander said “we are bringing out the big guns now that we are at the Court of Appeal. We hadn’t raised enough money to do that in the early stages of this legal battle but our legal team has now been strengthened with the addition of Michael Ashcroft QC, who is responsible for much of the case law that our case is reliant upon”

Mark Alexander, who is the founder of Property118.com and lead claimant is this case is asking all landlords to spread the word and to bring as much press attention to this case as possible. Win or lose in Court the negative publicity alone could make other lenders think twice about any plans they may have had to follow suit.

The action requested from all readers of this article is to  …

  1. Share this article on Social Media
  2. Leave a comment in the discussion thread below advising which Newspaper(s) you will be encouraging to report on this case. If lots of people make contact with  the same newspapers that’s a good thing because the editors will soon realise this case has wide interest.
  3. Actually contact the Newspapers. Not just a quick email but follow up with calls, more email and whatever else it takes to persuade them to publish an article.

To read more about the case please follow THIS LINK

Comments

Dean

16:58 PM, 28th April 2016
About 5 years ago

Andy. Have you heard anything yet. I'm in Wales so have limited internet and phone usage. Dean

Andy Bell

18:41 PM, 28th April 2016
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Dean " at "28/04/2016 - 16:58":

Hi Dean,
Not heard much but tweet from Mark is encouraging -

"#westbromtracker no verdict today but all represented @property118 are feeling very confident this time around"

and a couple of comments on the secure forum.

Dean

19:21 PM, 28th April 2016
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Andy Bell" at "28/04/2016 - 18:41":

Cheers Andy. I cant get into secure forum on my phone. It's only set up on my work PC and I've forgotten the password. But I'm guessing there isn't much to say if the verdict isn't given today. Have we any info on time scale when we will.

Andy Bell

21:24 PM, 28th April 2016
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Dean " at "28/04/2016 - 19:21":

Dean, Should be in a few weeks.
Mark has just posted more detail on FB, so will probably have something up here shortly.

Dean

22:02 PM, 28th April 2016
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Andy Bell" at "28/04/2016 - 21:24":

Thanks.

Gary BTLowner

23:27 PM, 28th April 2016
About 5 years ago

Has Mark Smith got some news for us?

Mark Alexander

7:31 AM, 29th April 2016
About 5 years ago

Feeling optimistic.

Our legal team were superb today at The Court of Appeal. Three judges sat on the panel to hear our case, all law lords, the most famous being the Rt Hon Lord Justice Leveson

For those who don't know, with the backing of over 400 other landlords I took up a legal battle with the West Bromwich Mortgage Company.

The background to the case is that the mortgage lender provided me with a fixed rate mortgage which reverted after an initial fixed rate period to a tracker rate mortgage at bank base rate plus 1.99% to the term end. The loan term was 25 years.

In September 2014, along with thousands of other borrowers who had similar mortgages, I received a letter stating that my mortgage lender was varying my interest rate despite there being no change to the base rate. As if that wasn't enough to make me furious, their letter carried a veiled threat, stating they had to increase the rate for their own commercial purposes, failing which they would have to consider calling in the loan. Note that my loan wasn't and has never been in default.

Thankfully, enough other landlords were equally furious and we found each other via Property118. Without their financial support I would not have been able to mount a legal battle of this nature.

The rate rise only affected me to the tune of just over £100 a month but that wasn't the point. It was about the principle.

Over £500,000 has been raised to fight this case!

We knew the West Brom would play dirty and do all they could to run up legal bills in the hope that we would drop our case. Before this move the Building Society was losing millions every year. This rate rise secured their solvency and returned their failing business back into a profitable position.

Needless to say, they underestimated our resolve.

We should have a verdict in a few weeks time, we are not sure exactly when.

Win or lose, I am incredibly proud that landlords were able to come together to show the world that big financial institutions must not assume that just because they have deeper pockets than their customers they are always in the right. Our group has achieved something that the landlord associations refused to entertain. We fought back!

Even if the Appeal Court Judges were to decide that technically the West Brom contract is how the West Brom lawyers perceive it, this case has shown the world the true colours of this building society. If the lender had made it clear to any of the affected borrowers that their contracts were intended to enable them to vary tracker mortgage margins, or to call in a 25 year loan with just 30 days notice without it being in default, I very much doubt that any borrower, or indeed broker, would have given them their business.

All who attended the Appeal today are as confident as I am that justice will prevail.

We all felt the three Appeal Judges were able to see through the bullshit excuses made by the mortgage lender and the unfairness of what they've done. It could of course simply be that the judges were "playing to the gallery" but their cutting remarks to the QC representing West Brom seemed very genuine to all in the room.

The Court room was packed!

We live in hope that landlords will continue to come together and fight injustice, whether that comes from mortgage lenders, government policy or elsewhere.

The landlords associations continually fail to represent landlords when it really counts, this case is just one example, there have been far too many others. It is down to all of us to fight injustices, of which there are many, #tenanttax being the hot topic of late.

Please share this message with as many landlords as you know.

If we do win this case, we would like to think it will inspire other landlords to unite, raise funds and fight similar cases where we know we are in the right.

Thanks for reading.

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