As you will be aware, we are actively looking for a suitable course of action to oppose the planned increase in the interest rate charged on your mortgage by West Bromwich Building Society (WBBS).
I would like to set out our plan below as to how we intend to take this forward:-
- We need to establish the exact conditions and legal arguments WBBS is using to justify the increase. The first thing we are doing is writing a letter on behalf of everyone who has contacted us to ask WBBS this question. In particular, whilst we have seen a sample offer letter which of course makes no reference to the ability to increase the interest rate in the manner they are proposing to do, we have seen their terms and conditions which does include this term (however vague it may be). We need to understand the basis under which WBBS believes those terms are incorporated into the mortgage contract.
- We also need a complete set of documentation which would include any promotional material you may have from WBBS, the completed application form, the key features document, the mortgage offer letter and any other document you have received on the grant of the mortgage. We would also like to know how many investment properties you owned at the time you took out your mortgage. This may be helpful in countering any arguments regarding your status as a consumer or professional borrower. If you have not retained copies of all of this documentation please send us copies of everything you have.
- Once we have this response from WBBS and a full set of documentation, we will instruct a barrister to provide us with a legal opinion on the merits of pursuing a legal action against WBBS to prevent them from imposing this increase. There are a number of legal remedies available and we will identify the most suitable ones to pursue. We are also considering the merits of providing a template claim form and particulars of claim to allow you a cost effective way of bringing a claim against WBBS in the small claims court.
- At the same time, we will prepare a template letter for you to send to your solicitor who acted for you on the loan. At the time you took out your loan, your solicitor would have had a duty to report a term as significant as the one WBBS is relying upon to you and you may have a negligence claim against them. The letter will ask them to put their insurers on notice with regards to the potential claim. We will also provide you with a template complaint form to lodge your complaint with the Financial Ombudsman Service.
- Following receipt of the advice from the barrister we will start the appropriate action.
Obviously all of the above costs money. Our budget for steps 1 – 4 above will be in the region of £15,000. We will therefore be seeking a payment from you of £240 to cover steps 1 – 4. Any excess funds received will be used to fund Step 5. If you have more than one loan from WBBS then this sum is payable per loan.
We will have a better idea of the cost of step 5 once we have received the barrister’s advice. The cost to you will depend on how many people sign up – obviously the more there are, the less it will cost each of you.
In order to move forward, please will you therefore do the following:-
- Send your documentation to (outlined in 2 above) to: West Bromwich Action Group, The Law Department, 7a Wellington Road, London NW10 5LJ
- Complete and return our instruction form (download here) together with copies of two pieces of identification for you.
- Pay the sum of £240 into our client account. Details as follows: Account Name: The Law Department Client Account, Account Number: 06658997, Sort Code: 12 24 82. Alternatively, you may also send a cheque accompanying the papers referred to above. Cheques should be payable to The Law Department Client Account.
Upon receipt of all of the above, you will receive an acknowledgement from us and the template letters. We will update the Property118 forum regularly with timelines as to when we expect to receive the advice from the barrister.
The Law Department
7A Wellington Road London NW10 5LJ
The Law Department is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA number 441085). The Principal is Justin Selig who is a solicitor regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.