Tracker mortgage scandal

Most Galwegians have read the numerous media reports documenting what has become known as the tracker mortgage scandal, and people who believe they been affected by the tracker mortgage scandal may be entitled to seek redress and compensation* against their bank.

Tracker mortgages are a type of mortgage where the interest rate charged by the bank follows or “tracks” the European Central Bank (ECB ) rate. During the global financial crisis this ECB rate dropped to historically low rates, resulting in tracker mortgage holders paying very low interest rates on their mortgages.

Many customers, in consultation with their banks, moved off their tracker rate to a fixed rate for a planned period of time. Some customers were inappropriately advised to avail of lower fixed rates at the time. It has emerged that thousands of such customers who tried to switch back to their tracker rate were prevented in doing so by their bank. It has been reported that thousands of other customers who did actually have a tracker mortgage were charged a higher rate of interest than they should have been.

The banks are currently offering redress in three ways: Reinstating the appropriate tracker rate, paying any money that is owed, and offering compensation.

Byrne Carolan Cunningham Solicitors argues that compensation on offer in many instances is not adequate, and in its experience is often derisory.

“Each compensation offer should be made on a case-by-case basis and should address how the overcharging affected each customer,” Byrne Carolan Cunningham Solicitors say.

“The mortgage lenders are however taking a standard restrictive approach in this redress scheme that takes no cognisance of the personal impacts on borrowers. In some cases the compensation offered is wholly inadequate considering the devastating consequences customers have had to endure through no fault of their own.

“Customers are advised to initially take the settlements on offer as it is not prejudicial to whatever challenge they feel is required, subsequent to receiving appropriate professional advice. At the very least, wronged customers should have their cases professionally reviewed to consider the adequacy of the compensation offered.

“Customers may feel their solicitor would be best placed to offer advice on whether the compensation offered is sufficient to compensate them adequately for not just the over-charged amount, but also for all loss, damage, inconvenience, suffering and distress.”

For more information contact Byrne Carolan Cunningham Solicitors 090-6478433 for expert advice specific to individual situation. All enquiries will be with in strict confidence. Email: bccsolicitors.ie * In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement.

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