12:18 PM, 1st October 2013, About 10 years ago 10
We are encouraging everybody who has registered for the Tracker Mortgage Class Action campaign to contact their local press with a copy of the Press Release below. Please copy/paste into an email, send it to your local Newspaper and follow up with a call to their financial editor.
Local landlords have been shocked by a bombshell letter received from lender West Bromwich Building Society which has doubled their mortgage payments almost overnight.
Buy-to-let borrowers with three properties or more have been targeted by West Brom to bail out their balance sheet by increasing their tracker mortgage rate – in direct contradiction to the terms of the mortgage offer signed by the landlords.
The building society has engaged a team of lawyers to scour the small print of a booklet issued with the original mortgage offer and is using a well-hidden clause to justify the increase, based on a rationale of “prudence and efficiency”.
Borrowers are furious as their tracker mortgages, promised to track at 0.99% above base rate have been increased by 2% with effect from the beginning of December. The rise will add between £200-£400 to the average monthly mortgage payments, inevitably forcing rent rises as leases are renewed.
As anger grows amongst the 6,700 affected borrowers, a legal campaign is already well in hand. Solicitor Justin Selig of The Law Department says, “I have had a look at the paperwork and there doesn’t seem to be any reference to the ability to increase the margin, so I don’t know how they think they can get away with it. This is definitely worth fighting.”
Mark Alexander of the Property118 landlords forum is co-ordinating the campaign and says, “Whether you are a client of West Brom, Bank of Ireland (which has also done the same) or indeed you have a tracker mortgage elsewhere you need to help fight this case. Your tracker mortgages may not be with West Brom or Bank of Ireland, however, that does not mean that you are safe. You may be OK today but what about next week, next month or next year?”
The Property118 forum is raising a fighting fund to take a Class Action Lawsuit to the courts. Currently nearly 700 people have committed. A template complaint letter to the building society and financial ombudsman is also available on the website.