#WestBromTracker

by Mark Alexander

20:21 PM, 19th January 2015
About 4 years ago

#WestBromTracker

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#WestBromTracker

#WestBromTrackerMark Smith, Head of Chambers at Cotswold Barristers will be representing landlords at the Commercial Court at Rolls Building, Fetter Lane, London this Wednesday in the UK’s largest ever direct access legal case. #WestBromTracker

We will be tweeting under hashtag #WestBromTracker so please feel to join in the discussion on Twitter and re-tweet. You may also wish to use hashtags such as #mortgage #news and #media but #WestBromTracker is the essential one.

Please wish us luck because this really is a David and Goliath fight. The people affected by these tracker rate margin hikes trusted their mortgage lenders to treat them fairly. Via Property118 a group has managed to raise over £500,000 to have a case against the West Bromwich Mortgage Company (a wholy owned subsidiary of West Bromwich Building Society) tested in Court. The funds raised to fight the case have not come from the super rich, they’ve been contributed by hard working folk who chose to invest their hard earned savings into providing much needed rental property. They trusted the building society to honour the mortgage deal they signed up to but sadly this trust has been broken. 

The Bank of Ireland, Manchester Building Society, Skipton Building Society and their wholly owned subsidiary AmberHomeloans have previously got away with similar rate-hike shenanigans but it is not too late for affected borrowers to take action. Hopefully a win on Wednesday 21st January will discourage other mortgage lenders from tinkering with tracker rate mortgage margins in the future and will also inspire borrowers affected by similar rate hikes to fund legal action against those mortgage lenders too.

Trading Standards, the Advertising Standards Association and the FCA all refused to get involved in the dispute. The Financial Ombudsman Service appear to have chosen to ignore all contractual legal arguments and to make very strange decisions in all complaints regarding actions of mortgage lenders in respect of hiking interest rates when their sales pitch clearly linked rates to a transparent pricing structure.

Watch this space and please feel free to post comments.

NOTES FOR JOURNALISTS

  • Before the credit crunch tracker mortgages were incredibly popular, there are an estimated 1 million tracker rate mortgages in the UK, many of which are secured against peoples own homes
  • Tracker rate mortgages are intended to provide transparent pricing. The rate of interest is directly linked to the Bank of England base rate plus an agreed margin for an agreed period of time, in many cases for the lifetime of the loan.
  • Some unscrupulous lenders have increased the margin charged over the base rate and this has been the basis of our legal argument against the West Bromwich Building Society, i.e. the contract did not allow for this to happen.
  • Some peoples mortgage payments have more than doubled despite the base rate not having moved for nearly six years.
  • Hikes in tracker rate margins haven’t only affected landlords
  • In 2013 Bank of Ireland increased the margins on over 15,000 tracker rate mortgages, those affected were both homeowners and people who had taken buy to let mortgages in order to buy properties as investments to provide for their retirement. To date, insufficient funds have been raised to take this case to Court.
  • People naturally tighten their purse strings when their mortgage costs increase and many have expected regulators to step in and help them. Sadly the regulators’ appetite to take on the banks and building societies who have breached their mortgage terms by increasing their tracker rate mortgage margins has been none existent. That’s why Court action has been so necessary.
  • If every affected person had committed just £500 to fight for their rights in Court this sharp practice from mortgage lenders would have been nipped in the bud a long time ago.
  • In 2010 Skipton Building Society and their wholly owned subsidiary Amber Homeloans removed a contracted interest rate cap from their mortgages which had a similar effect of massively increasing the mortgage payments of a reported 80,000 borrowers. The interest rate cap, which was linked to the bank base rate, was removed despite public announcements from their CEO less than a year before that contractual arrangements would be honoured. A case has never been taken to Court due to lack of financial commitment from affected borrowers. more about the Skipton Building Society rate hike and links to source information here >>> http://www.property118.com/skipton-building-society-legal-action/64751/
  • Both Property118 and Cotswold Barristers are keen to pursue legal action against Skipton Building Society and the Bank of Ireland if public interest in doing so is sufficiently high and subject to the required level of funding being attained.
  • The required level of financial commitment to take on the other offending lenders would be circa 2,000 borrowers each committing around £500.


Comments

All BankersAreBarstewards Smith

20:27 PM, 19th January 2015
About 4 years ago

I wish you guys all the very best of luck... lets hope the judiciary uses its common sense as well as its legal experience..... I will be thinking about you all on Wednesday - do let us know what happens........

best wishes to you all

there but for the grace... go all mortgage payers.....

Lawrence Squid

21:12 PM, 19th January 2015
About 4 years ago

If you have a Tracker Mortgage, take a keen interest in this.
If West Bromwich Mortgage Company get away with it, you too will probably pay more for your mortgage in the future.
I hope you can afford it.
Tracker Mortgages are destined to become the next Mis-Selling scandal, thanks to unscrupulous lenders.
Sleep Well.

Sarah Pajger

7:35 AM, 20th January 2015
About 4 years ago

I've been watching this with keen interest. I really hope you win since the knock on effect could change trackers for everyone....please win!!!!

Don Holmes

13:08 PM, 20th January 2015
About 4 years ago

Good Luck on Wednesday "Come on David"

Graham Durkin

14:18 PM, 20th January 2015
About 4 years ago

Well our DAY IN COURT is nearly upon us and we are going to right the wrong that has been done to us by the WEST BROM MORTGAGE COMPANY. this case could ultimately affect all mortgages that would be currently classed as TRACKER MORTGAGES, there are some interesting stories recorded by a DAILY TELEGRAPH JOURNALIST in relation to the business practises of this company in the COMMERCIAL SECTOR WHEN THEY WANTED TO PLAY WITH THE BIG BOYS AND LOST LOADS OF MONEY AND HAD TOXIC DEBT.Then came along the F.S.A.. and arranged a buy back for cash .So you can see why they would want to help them know .To all those that have helped our cause many thanks,lets just hope that JUSTICE will prevail and see through these unscrupulous lenders that have hiked up their rates that contradict the CONTRACT WE SIGNED.

Badger

14:27 PM, 20th January 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "graham durkin" at "20/01/2015 - 14:18":

Hi Graham

Do you have a link for the Daily Telegraph stories re business practices by any chance please?

The Man From Nowhere

14:29 PM, 20th January 2015
About 4 years ago

Final Latin maxim prior to our day in court tomorrow.

"Si vis pacem, para bellum"

"If you want peace, prepare for war"

Mark Smith (Barrister-At-Law)

14:40 PM, 20th January 2015
About 4 years ago

ROLLS BUILDING
COURT 8
Before MR JUSTICE TEARE

Wednesday 21 January 2015
At 09:30
FOR JUDGMENT
2014-1186 Todaysure Matthews Limited v Marketing Ways Services Limited
Not Before 10:30
FOR TRIAL
2014-538 Mark Robert Alexander v West Bromwich Mortgage Co. Ltd

Susan Mason

15:22 PM, 20th January 2015
About 4 years ago

Just found this on the Rolls Building court Website!

ROLLS BUILDING
COURT 8
Before MR JUSTICE TEARE
Wednesday 21 January 2015
At 09:30
FOR JUDGMENT
2014-1186 Todaysure Matthews Limited v Marketing Ways Services Limited
Not Before 10:30
FOR TRIAL
2014-538 Mark Robert Alexander v West Bromwich Mortgage Co. Ltd

So what time is it best to get there? As it says not before 10.30.

Mark Alexander

15:23 PM, 20th January 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Badger " at "20/01/2015 - 14:27":

Hi Badger

The Telegraph have been one of our biggest media supporters in this campain, they have written several articles. Here is a link to Google News which provides a summary and links to them all >>> http://goo.gl/zZOntu
.

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