UK Mortgageadvice.net, the specialist mortgage advice web site, has launched a new service in association with Bespoke Independent Financial Advisers that can quickly tell borrowers whether they are being overcharged on their mortgage and, if they are, help them to seek recompense from their lender.
Early indications suggest that the majority of mortgages have been overcharged and a significant proportion are in excess of £3000.
David Reaney MLIA (dip), a partner at Bespoke, says: “A number of lenders have flaws in their calculation of mortgage interest, arrears provision and charges. These mistakes are errors, rather than a deliberate attempt to push up charges, and they are most acute with lenders offering mortgages to clients with unproven credit histories and on commercial mortgages. Errors also occur when accounts go into arrears or are redeemed. The Financial Ombudsman Service itself has confirmed that it appears that lenders continue to make the same mistakes with mortgages again and again.”
The financial services market and how it deals with customers is the subject of on-going questions in the House of Commons. Many MPs are actively seeking to protect their constituents by exposing the issue both locally and nationally.
Reaney adds: “Most borrowers do not have the time, inclination or where with all to check their mortgage or loan payments. People don't know if the charges applied accurately reflect the lenders terms and conditions,” adds Reaney. “In extreme cases, borrowers may be in arrears or facing repossession based on inaccurate charges.”
UK Mortgageadvice.net's service is driven by 'LoanChecker' a simple, online tool that took many years to develop and is backed by one of the UK's most comprehensive lenders' databases of rates and terms and conditions.
Once individual mortgage details are inputted, the LoanChecker quickly alerts the borrower to any potential anomalies and one of Bespoke's team of advisors can then be called upon to explain the next steps.
Reaney says: “The LoanChecker enables borrowers to quickly ascertain whether a mortgage has been correctly calculated, or not,” says Reaney. “If it hasn't been, that's when the next stage of our service kicks in by helping that individual seek their rightful recompense from their lender through the legal channels.”
The next step requires client authorisation and a fee of £115 (including VAT). Bespoke says the vast majority of people that take this step will find they have claims far in excess of the administration fee and, as previously stated, a significant proportion will have claims exceeding £3,000. As well as supporting the detailed review, Bespoke will facilitate the legal process required to enable the case to be assessed on a 'No Win, No Fee' basis, as permitted under the 'Access to Justice' law (April, 2000).
The solicitor then makes the claim to the lender and, if successful, all monies are recovered. Costs incurred by the solicitors, and Bespoke, are covered by a lawyers' disbursement fund and not from the borrowers' recovered money. Should the case not be successful, the borrower is covered by insurance provided through the solicitor. This means that the £115 fee is the only expense the borrower will have, irrespective of the outcome of the case.
To use the service borrowers should go to www.ukmortgageadvice.net and click on the “Mortgage Audit” link.