FOS rule West Brom Tracker Rate Hike is fair

FOS rule West Brom Tracker Rate Hike is fair

16:23 PM, 16th November 2014, About 7 years ago 46

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The FOS (Financial Ombudsman Service) have done it again! FOS rule West Brom Tracker Rate Hike is fair

In the past the FOS have controversially agreed that rate hikes applied by Bank of Ireland, Skipton Building Society (Amber Homeloans) and also the Danske Bank (formerly National Irish Bank) were fair. Therefore, is it really that shocking that FOS would also rule in favour of West Bromwich Mortgage Company?

Following a judicial review in the case of Millar & anor -v- Financial Services Ombudsman [2014] IEIC Mr Justice Garard Hogan recently ruled that the Irish FOS were wrong in their contractual interpretation in a rate hike case that the Millars brought against Danske Bank [source1].

This supports the Property118 members’ lack of confidence in the UK FoS decision making process, and hence the decision for Property118 to raise funds to enable their members legal team to stand toe to toe on 21st January 2015 with the West Brom legal team at the Commercial Courts in the Rolls Building.

Property118 members have raised nearly £500,000 and these funds are set to grow as a result of people who complained to the FOS realising that Property118 were right all along to take a representative action to the Courts.

The National Landlords Association initially recommended its members to pursue the FOS route and await the outcome of that before considering legal action. Many of those who followed this advice are enquiring about joining the representative action organised by Property118 as a result of the FOS finding. **West Brom has indicated through its legal team that it will apply the finding of the Court across the board to all affected borrowers**, so all additional support to ensure the right result is achieved is essential.

The Property118 representative group are happy to welcome all who have received the FOS rejection letter. The same financial commitments to those who joined prior to the deadline will apply, plus a small price for the administration costs associated with Cotswold Barristers applying to the Courts to have the names of the newly represented participants added to the claim. A new deadline of 19th December has been applied, this will definitely be the final deadline for legal reasons.

Newcomers are interested in joining the fight in the full knowledge that sufficient funds have already been raised and that the case will be heard on 21st January 2015.

Each member has paid £1,000 into an escrow account held by BARCO (The Bar Council’s Escrow service) plus a further £500 to Property118 and Cotswold Barristers to cover legal costs and associated running and marketing costs of the campaign for each represented mortgage account. Some members have a dozen or more represented mortgages, most have one or two. In the event of the case being won the majority of funds will be returned, plus of course a refund of any over-payments to West Brom and the satisfaction of their terms being upheld as per the borrowers understanding of the tracker rate mortgage contracts they entered into.

Every newcomer to the Property118 reduces the financial exposure to the funds already raised on the basis that all costs are shared pro-rata to funds committed.

** Beware false promises! **

Back in 2009 the CEO of the Skipton Building Society went on record that they would honour an interest rate cap [source2] just one year before that promise was reneged upon [source3]. However, insufficient funds were raised to take the case to court and borrowers have been left high and dry by the FOS and the FCA who decided the rate hike was fair despite the promises made. Perhaps that’s why West Brom borrowers want the certainty of being represented in the Property118 vs West Brom Court case, whilst it is still such a cost effective option?

If you are affected, and are not already a member of the Representative Action, please complete the form below for more details on how to get involved.

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Comments

by Craig Holmes

13:42 PM, 19th November 2014, About 7 years ago

Without the collective efforts of so many we would have been brushed aside by West Brom..

At least as a group we have a voice that has been heard and we will see what the case in January brings..

by Onslow Clough

23:41 PM, 19th November 2014, About 7 years ago

I thought I was a ditherer because it took me a couple of weeks to sign up to the class action, but so glad I did. When I first got the news about the rate hike i felt totally helpless but this action has empowered my wife and I. On the back of joining up we have achieved things we never thought possible, from persuading our MP to take up our cause to having an article published in the Telegraph... Many people in this group have done so much work for the cause and it is truly inspiring... strength in numbers.. Any one still in two minds, now is the time to join up

by Tony Rockn'Roll

15:39 PM, 20th November 2014, About 7 years ago

I really don't know how the people at the FOS involved in making that decision can look at themselves in the mirror. Of course, they haven't actually got around to informing me in person so I have to find out via the media.

Gullible old me really did think that they would look at the case impartially and examine all aspects before reaching an objective decision and that this was why they were taking so many months over their deliberation. One can only speculate as to what exactly they have been doing with their time.

I'm so glad that I found Property 118 and joined the campaign which will now go to a proper court of law in January. In my opinion, we have a strong case and an excellent legal team. A huge vote of thanks go out to all who have made this possible.
If you haven't yet signed up to join us it is not too late.

Come on in - The water's fine !

by Anon

10:33 AM, 22nd November 2014, About 7 years ago

Take a look at West Brom's accounts and do the maths for yourself.

There is NO WAY they could afford to apply an adverse ruling against them on 21st January 2015 to the entire class of borrowers!

by Colin Dartnell

15:31 PM, 22nd November 2014, About 7 years ago

Ah look at that, I have had a letter from West Brom today saying that owing to recent improvements in market conditions they are reducing the additional interest charge I am paying by a further 0.2%, with effect from December 1st. Now isn't that a coincidence that it is only a month before the case comes to court.

Now it means they are now only taking an extra £600 a month from me on one mortgage than they were a year ago. Initially after the hike it was costing me £800 extra a month, that's just me, so I wonder what the total extra is that they have collected off borrowers during the year, that they will have to pay back if they lose and if Anon is correct where will it come from?

by Denise G

16:02 PM, 22nd November 2014, About 7 years ago

no amount of 'fiddling' with the percentage rate - up or down - is going to work for me because it's the very act of fiddling with the rate in the first place, when there's been no movement in the BoE base rate, that I object to .... because any fiddling AT ALL is a breach in the contract we made

by Adrian Matthews

16:12 PM, 22nd November 2014, About 7 years ago

I signed up right from the start and at no time has my faith in Mark and property118 been shaken. Its not too late to join the action and I would encourage anyone considering it, to move fast. The more the merrier.

by ashley nissim

10:20 AM, 24th November 2014, About 7 years ago

In response to D.D.'s comment on page 3:

"If you are affected too just bite the bullet and join us – because united we can show them they are not all powerful and that they can’t just walk over whomever they please, trampling the contracts they made with us into the dust as they go!"

It is fine to ask for new people to join the fight against West Brom, but let's not forget that those of us who have been in the fight for the long haul took the risk at the start & put our money where our mouths were. We made this possible so I don't see why any 'jonny come latelys' should be able to just turn up now that they are desparate.

We should benefit from a win against West Brom & those that chose not to help at the start can just take their chances & pray that West Brom take any notice of them when we win. (I'd start praying now, because I wouldn't trust them as far as I could throw them).

by Graham Durkin

12:24 PM, 24th November 2014, About 7 years ago

This campaign will soon be decided in the Courts,its what we initially signed up for ,to show that justice is seen to be done ,The WEST BROM say that they will abide by the judgement and apply it to all those 6700 landlords affected, YEH YOU WISH !!!!!!!!, my main concern that the T&Cs are in everybodys contract so really should be applied to everybody YOU JUST CAN,T CHERRY PICK ,BUT THE WEST BROM HAVE DONE THAT .part of me says that those that didn,t join well thats tough on them ,but now that they have been clearly shown that the F.O.S were not acting for the small guy, But CHRISTMAS is soon upon us and its time to show a little bit of compassion. remember at this time its just payout to the WEST BROM with no return ,JOIN THE ACTION GROUP and enjoy the windfall when we win.THE 19TH DEC will soon be upon us so make the call to PROPERTY 118 OR COTSWOLD BARRISTERS and then enjoy you CHRISTMAS that little bit more., IS THAT POETIC OR WHAT.


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