Skipton Building Society Legal Action

by Mark Alexander

14:00 PM, 2nd April 2014
About 6 years ago

Skipton Building Society Legal Action

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Skipton Building Society Legal Action

In 2010 the Skipton Building Society broke a promise to over 60,000 mortgage account holders. 

The basis of that promise was that their mortgage rate would never exceed 3% over the Bank of England base rate – it did – CONSIDERABLY!Skipton Building Society Legal Action

The hike in monthly payments for a person with a £150,000 interest only mortgage has been around £181.25 per month!

Affected borrowers include both home-owners and buy to let landlords.

At the time a small group sought legal advice but insufficient funds were raised to challenge the matter in Court. Looking back at what happened I can only assume this was due to lack of marketing expertise within the campaign group which set out to challenge Skipton.

Given that the rate hike occurred over four years ago the Skipton probably think they have got away with this and are home and dry. Several borrowers have sold their properties or refinanced onto different deals but this makes no difference, they all have a potential claim for compensation.

Saqib Mahmood

Saqib Mahmood – affected borrower

Saqib Mahmood, a non-practising Barrister was affected by the rate hike to his personal mortgage and another on a buy to let deal. Mr Mahmood was part of the initial campaign group and admits “the campaign got nowhere due to lack of marketing expertise. The case we had was strong and Skipton have already capitulated for one borrower to avoid Court Action. I am delighted that Mark Alexander and his team at Property118.com have picked up the gauntlet on this one. I am also affected by the West Brom rate hike”.

Mr Mahmood was also keen to point out what he refers to as ‘the Gerald Ratner moment of the Skipton CEO’. This dates back to 5th March 2009 when the Bank of England base rate fell to 1%. At the time the Skipton chief executive David Cutter told FT Adviser “We have pledged our residential SVR will never be more than 3 per cent above base rate and, even with this at its lowest level for 315 years, we will honour our promise.” – LINK

The Legal Action Campaign Against Skipton Building Society

On the back of organising a successful campaign which raised over £450,000 to mount a legal challenge against the West Bromwich Mortgage Company (whose borrowers are affected by a similar issue) Property118.com has sought Counsels opinion on the conduct of Skipton Building Society. Counsel is so confident that he can get the Skipton’s decision reversed if the matter goes to Court that he is willing to work on a “no-win-no-fee” basis to achieve this. His objective will be to get the terms enforced and claim compensation backdated to the date of the increase. However, this will be subject to recruiting borrowers with a minimum combined total of 500 affected mortgage accounts.

NOTE – No-win-no-fee agreements are also known as a CFA (Conditional Fee Agreement) or a DBA (Damages Based Agreement).

The case will be run on similar terms to the legal action against West Bromwich Mortgage Company, i.e. one borrower will represent all those who instruct Counsel to challenge the legality of the rate hike. Any Court order will only apply to the mortgage accounts represented by the legal action. In other words, there will be no free rides.

There will be two representative legal challenges, one on behalf of consumers (i.e. homeowners and landlords with only one buy to let mortgage) and the other on behalf of landlords with two or more buy to let mortgages.

The Barrister we have engaged is Mark Smith of Cotswold Barristers. This is due to his experience in these matters having taken on the UK’s largest ever direct access barristers case against the West Bromwich Mortgage Company.

Costs and mitigation of risk

Cotswold Barristers will administer the action, Innovative Landlord Solutions LLP (the owners of Property118.com) will be responsible for driving the campaign and associated marketing.

We are not asking anybody to part with any money at this stage. However, to fund the campaign, at some point, we will need to begin fundraising to pay for administration and marketing. We will let you know more about this in due course.

Once an initial target of 500 instructions has been obtained, pre-action protocol proceedings will be initiated and papers will be served to the Courts 90 days thereafter. This 90 day period will be known as the Countdown period.

Mark Smith (Barrister-At-Law) will earn nothing unless he wins the case or arranges a settlement for the clients he is representing.

Skipton No Win No Fee

During the Countdown period Counsel will also organise ATE insurance or litigation funding to protect claimants against adverse costs in the event of the legal action failing and the others sides legal costs being ordered to be paid by the group. The case will not proceed if this risk cannot be mitigated, either by these routes or by self-insurance, a model that has worked with great success in the West Brom case.

Legal Action Objective

The objective of the legal action is for the 3% interest rate cap to be Court ordered and backdated to the commencement of the affected mortgages. In other words, those who sign up to this action could receive a lump sum refund (less costs) and lower mortgage payments moving forwards. If the barrister fails to achieve this objective he will be paid nothing for his efforts. If the case succeeds a percentage of the overpayment will be retained to pay ATE insurance, other expenses, and Counsels fee.

For more details please search Google for “Property118 Skipton Building Society Legal Action”

To register your interest please complete the form below.

Legal Action - Expression of interest form

You will not be committing to anything by completing this form but please only do so if you are an affected borrower, or were previously affected if your mortgage with Skipton building Society has been redeemed.

 



Comments

Mark Alexander

12:08 PM, 19th July 2016
About 4 years ago

Please see the linked articles below which appeared in ....

Residential Landlordhttp://www.residentiallandlord.co.uk/landlords-to-start-new-legal-action/

Letting Agent Todayhttps://www.lettingagenttoday.co.uk/breaking-news/2016/7/group-wants-agents-to-support-campaign-against-buy-to-let-lenders

We need to spread the word far and wide. If you have any ideas on how to do that please leave comments below or email mark@property118.com

A good starting point would be to share the articles via Social Media.

Today, Cllr. Jamie Fraser is representing us at an ARLA Expo in Leicester. we have provided him with roll up banners and leaflets and he's taken his laptop with him to sign up more members. If you are planning to attend any landlord events perhaps you could do something similar? Below is a picture of the stand Jame created. It took 30 seconds to assemble and the roll up banners are very lightweight and easy to carry. Some letting agents have agreed to have them in their shops/offices.

ARLA Expo Leicester

[strategicCTA]

Neil Patterson

15:17 PM, 19th July 2016
About 4 years ago

More positive coverage from Mortgage solutions "Landlords plan further legal battle against Skipton and BoI"

See >> http://www.mortgagesolutions.co.uk/news/2016/07/18/landlords-plan-legal-battle-skipton-boi/

Simon Appleby

11:53 AM, 4th August 2016
About 4 years ago

Hi.

I remortgaged with the Skipton in 2006 on an interest only basis to clear debts. Due to a divorce sometime later the house was put up for sale just as the financial crisis hit. Long story short is, I ended up keeping the house with existing debts under a debt management plan. The low interest rates were enabling me to pay the DMP a reasonable amount. Once the Skipton almost doubled my monthly interest payment in 2010, I had to reduce these payments significantly. So now, some 6 years on, I still pay more than anyone else on a similar mortgage, and I still have a significant debt to pay off. Furthermore, I am unable to remortgage elsewhere due to having poor credit, so it's catch 22. I'm stuck with whatever the Skipton decide to make me pay. Then and now. I'm assuming that if the Bank of England decide to drop the rates even further the Skipton will do absolutely nothing.

They're shysters. Nothing less.

You have my wholehearted support.

Cheers

Simon.

Mark Alexander

21:23 PM, 2nd September 2016
About 4 years ago

LEGAL ACTION STRATEGY - SKIPTON BUILDING SOCIETY

Please see the link below to our latest update

https://www.property118.com/will-skipton-building-society-settle-out-of-court/90174/

We have even more positive news regarding claims for compensation relating to the Bank of Ireland tracker mortgage differential rate hike. However, we are still dotting the I's and crossing the T's on that one so please bear with us for a few more weeks.

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