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There are two major types of complaint that we see about interest rates: the interest rate complaint that companies that provide credit finance service complain about, and the interest rate complaint that these companies provide for saving money complain about. Companies that provide interest rate financing may take these into account when examining interest rate complaint.
The following issues, however, together with our case histories, give a comprehensive overview of how we are likely to look at different kinds of interest complaint and, where appropriate, what a solution might be. Whether the interest rates on a loan were a "blackmail loan" that Mr J. was in the 1960s and ran a small chemical cleaner pipeline.
It had taken out a "roll-up" mortgages after suffering a major collapse and threatening to go bankrupt from a lender. In the case of a roll-up hypothec, the client does not have to make any repayment on a regular basis. Interest on the mortgages is bundled into a loan to be paid back if the pledged real estate changes hands or the client deaths, whichever occurs first.
A few years after the mortgages were taken out, Mr J. lodged a complaint with the mortgagor. Said he had recently averaged the standard that would likely attain the indebtedness, over his life time. He had then computed what the overall costs of the loan could mean if they were given in terms of interest per annum.
J. was of the opinion that the resulting "true" sentence was "unenforceable". He asked the Mortgage lender to wipe out the loan and take the encumbrance off his home. Mr J. directed the claim to us when the mortgagor declined. It was satisfying that Mr. J. had fully grasped the conditions of the mortgages when he concluded the transaction.
Mr. J. agreed that the loan was exactly what he needed to keep the house he had been living in for many years. It was also our conviction that the interest calculated by Mr J - the lender's default interest plus one per cent - was in line with the contract he had entered into.
Mr. J.'s interpretations of the "true" interest rates were not acceptable to us. Clearly, Mr. J. was under significant pecuniary strain at the point of borrowing. Nevertheless, the mortgagor had not been to blame for this squeeze. Mister J. had been advised by his own lawyer before accepting the conditions of the mortgages.
Those assertions also contained words to the effect that he was free to change his loan to a redemption loan at any moment if he so wished. There was no apparent cause why the loan was "unenforceable" and we dismissed the appeal. Mister D. had a considerable amount of cash in a credit or debit slip held with the ATM.
However, the banks had promoted this as " a good place to save ", as they would pay interest if the accounts had a loan - even though there was a credit line for any loan on the cards. First, the interest rates on credit were good. However, a few years later, after the introduction of a new saving scheme, the company significantly lowered the interest rates on the credit cards.
And then he switched banks and lodged a complaint with the banks. Said he had not received adequate information about the interest rates changes and that he had thereby incurred a significant loss of interest. It was a good look at how the company communicates with Mr. D. about the changes to the credit cards balance.
Mr had not been fully informed of the effects on the credit balance on the cardholder's balance. Having given the bench our view, it accepted our proposal to give Mr £2,200. That was the amount of interest that he would have earned if he had already paid his funds into the new saving accounts when they were launched.
Loan lenders encourage him to take out a loan to refinance the debts. However, after the new loan had gone through, Mr B realised that he was billed a very high interest fee. It was our belief that Mr. B. was uncultured in financial terms and had strongly trusted the lender's counsel when taking out the loan.
At 49%, the interest was very high - much higher than the highest interest he had ever paid. However, the creditor could not prove how it had obtained the interest on the new loan. We also found the loan agreement's explanation of what Mr B. would have to owe as interest deceptive.
Once we had informed the creditor of our concern about the serious deficiencies we had found, the creditor proposed to written off the debts. Ms G. arranges a private loan through the regional office of her banking establishment. Only a few short days later she found out that her neighbor, Mrs. D., had just taken out a private loan through the same subsidiary.
Miss D., however, had a better tariff. But when the bench refused Mrs. G.'s appeal, she came to us. Ms G. consented to the fact that the interest on her loan was clearly laid down in the loan contract and that she was satisfied with it at the by then.
However, she said she felt that she had been discriminated against unfairly now that she knew that the court had billed her a higher interest fee than she had billed Miss D. We agreed that due to the obligation of secrecy that the court owe Miss D, it was not possible to tell Ms G how she had obtained the interest fee she was offering Miss D (the overall financing position of which may have represented a lower credit risk).
Ms G. affirmed that the information provided by the institution about her credit request was accurate. Moreover, the EIB was able to convince us that it had used its usual calculation methods for the interest rates it offered. Thus, we informed Ms G. that the defendant had rightly exercised its business judgment when determining the interest rates she would be charged.
Mr K., an apparel importing company, had already essentially lent himself from the banc. His plan was to pay back his debts to the banks by disposing of his principal assets. It was a camp - about which the banks already had a court fee. In order to have enough spare to sell the stock, Mr K. asked the banks if they would keep the debts due with rolling interest for a further while.
However, the company said it would bill Mr. K. at the same interest rates as before, but raise its montly servicing charges. Mr K was informed by the Commission that it would re-examine the conditions after six month if the sales had not been completed by then. After six and a half years, since the camp had not yet been sold, the banks again declared their willingness to renew the agreement.
However, a fee of 15% per year was levied, proportionally, on the median month balances, instead of the current interest rates and the month fee. Mr K. lodged a complaint with the institution three month after the camp had finally been disposed of and the remainder had been fully reimbursed. Without their help, the court would have had to approve a compulsory selling of the camp at a greatly discounted cost.
Thus it said that he was better off overall, despite the much bigger credit charges. Even though our credit was always secure, we agreed that the initial verification would entitle the merchant to demand the higher month's fees. On the other hand, it had made it possible to raise borrowings (without intermediate payments) in order to enable a good sales.
The changes made during the first examination therefore seemed to us to be fairly and equally beneficial to both sides. But we were worried that the substitute sentence in the second examination did not seem commercially justifiable. According to the in-house memos, the banks knew until then that the camp's sales were secure.
There was no actual extra rise in exposure, therefore, and the EBRD knew that the debts would almost certainly be reduced in the near future. In our view, the EIB took undue advantage during the second audit of the financial year. That is why we said that it should reimburse the higher cost it invoiced to Mr K.'s company following this verification.
He was a associate in an architectural firm that had a large on-demand credit line with the local banking institution. However, the relationship had run into serious budgetary problems and the level of its borrowings had been of considerable concern already for some while. By arranging a get-together with the counterparts, the EIB asked them to pay off the debts in full within six month, either by transferring resources from other countries or by refinancing with another institution.
It took six month and the company was not able to pay back the debts. Under the terms of the agreement, the EIB has declared its willingness to extend its credit line for a further two years at the same interest rates as before (2.5% above the basic interest rate). However, at the end of this two-year horizon, the EBRD informed the partner that it intended to raise the interest to 4% above the basic interest rat.
Mr L. explained that this rise was not in line with the obligations which the Banking Act imposes on the EIB to act'sympathetically and positively' in cases of pecuniary difficulty. He also said that the banks - by raising the interest rates - were wrongly compelling the parties to change their "preferred approach" in refinancing their debt to an one that " only suits the bank".
But when the bench refused the appeal, Mr L came to us. Convinced ourselves that the institution had clearly stated its claim to repay the loan in full. Well, we thought the bench had been very tolerant under the circumstances. Mmm. We have also agreed that the lower return on the loan has exposed the EIB to a higher level of exposure, together with the lack of action to repay or refinance its loans.
Therefore, this warranted the Bank's verification of the interest rates invoiced by the latter. Before the new interest rates were fixed, the Bank's banknotes showed that it had carried out an appropriate business appraisal, taking into consideration all pertinent elements. The answer from Mr. L. to our question made it clear that although he and his associate knew that the banks wanted to repay the loan as soon as possible, they had deliberately decided to slow down with the refinancing or feeding of money.
However, this did not mean that the bench was forced to accept them. There was disagreement that the decision of the Court to raise the interest rates was unfairly based on the Company's facts and we dismissed the claim.