3

I currently have a mortgage with a bank.

Two months ago, they had an offer to fix our home loan interest rate for a year. We accepted this offer, we signed a document and they signed it too.

In addition to the written confirmation, we also got verbal confirmation from both the branch manager and his superior, that whilst it could take time to get it approved, the fixed rate will start immediately, and we will get a refund for all the extra interest we had to pay.

The other request is that we withdraw $5000 from our home loan. This is $5000 that we put in as extra on top of our obligations and are well within our rights to get. It is also $5000 that we need pretty urgently as we are about to go on an overseas trip.

It's been two months later, they still have not done the paperwork for it and now they are saying we cannot get this refund, and we cannot fix it at the agreed rate.

We have rang up the branch manager and gone to the bank numerous times. He never responds to the phone calls and when we go there, just says he will do it in a few days.

We have rang up the complaints department on numerous occasions who have also said to follow it up and who have since ignored us.

I would just like to know what recourse we can follow. It seems we have tried everything to resolve this with them, but even the complaints department has chosen to ignore us. All we want is our $5000 withdrawal, the fixed interest rate in which they signed off on and the refund for the extra interest paid.

In fact, firstly, all we'd like is for them to respond! Personally, I don't think we are being unreasonable.

Obviously I don't want to start legal action just to get a reduced interest rate but what can I do? Can I get out of the loan? Is there some organisation I can call who will help me?

  • 2
    to update... the bank decided to give the refund and everything else we wanted. Still, it's been a very frustrating experience - thinking about writing a complaint. – Joe.E Oct 5 '10 at 6:09
2

Figure out who regulates the bank. Complain to your state banking/consumer affairs department. Complain to your state Attorney General.

The Feds regulate most banks too, there are several different agencies, and I believe the way they regulate banks has changed recently. Try contacting the US Comptroller of the Currency.

  • 1
    /me points to the Australia tag. (Not that your U.S. specific suggestions are not a good idea to have in the answer for future reference.) – George Marian Sep 30 '10 at 12:58
  • whoops, missed that! – duffbeer703 Sep 30 '10 at 22:11
4

I don't think the verbal confirmation from the branch manager is worth anything, unless you got it in writing it basically never happened.

That said, what did you sign exactly? An application? I'd think they would be well within their rights to deny that, no matter what the branch manager said. If you actually signed a binding contract between you and the bank, things would be different but the fact that 'approval' was mentioned suggests that all you and the bank signed was an application and the bank manager made some unreasonable promises he or she doesn't want to be reminded of now.

If the complaints department can't get off their collective backsides, a firm but polite letter to the CEO's office might help, or it might end up in the round filing cabinet. But it's worth a try.

Other than that, if you are unhappy enough to go through the pain, you can try to remortgage with another bank and end the business relationship with your current bank.

  • +1 for voting with your feet. Note that most corporate e-mail addresses follow a template of some sort. If you have the name of the CEO and the name and e-mail of anyone else in the company, you can probably figure out the CEO's e-mail addy. – Jerry Penner Sep 30 '13 at 17:20
3

You can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service in Australia. I've never used them in particular but generally organizations will respond much faster once you get the ombudsman involved.

However, since you say they've now kept their promises, the ombudsman is unlikely to do much more than listen sympathetically.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.