Saturday 10 December 2016

'We ended up paying €500 more a month and bank would not help'

Published 21/11/2016 | 02:30

Denise and James Salmon in their home in Dublin. Photo: Damien Eagers
Denise and James Salmon in their home in Dublin. Photo: Damien Eagers

Working couple Denise and James Salmon lost their tracker mortgage back when the economy hit the skids in 2009.

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The couple have a mortgage with Permanent TSB. When interest rates started rising across the eurozone, they opted to fix.

A technical glitch in Permanent TSB's IT systems meant they were able to exit this fixed rate before the end of its term when eurozone rates started falling again.

But the bank never made it clear to them that taking out the fixed option meant they would not get their tracker back.

Not being allowed to go back on a tracker rate in 2009 meant they ended up paying €500 more a month.

At that stage, Permanent TSB's variable rates were as high as 6.15pc.

Ms Salmon works as a special needs assistant and a cleaner in a bank.

Her husband James is a self-employed mini-bus driver.

She said they never missed a payments and the bank was not willing to help them when they found the repayments hard to manage.

With the help of financial adviser Pádraic Kissane, the Dublin couple eventually got back their tracker rate.

Refunded

They were refunded €32,000 for the interest overpayments and got compensation of €4,000.

But the couple were disappointed at the level of compensation.

They used Permanent TSB's tracker appeals body to seek more compensation, but were unsuccessful.

"We feel we should have had more compensation because when we asked the bank to help us by putting us on interest-only, because we could not manage, the bank was unhelpful," Ms Salmon said.

She said she had to borrow from family to meet the mortgage payments.

They are now considering taking legal action against the bank, with the help of Mr Kissane.

A spokesman for Permanent TSB could not comment on their case, but said that if a customer was unsuccessful in its no-cost appeals process, they had further options, including bringing their case to the Financial Services Ombudsman, or to the courts.

Irish Independent

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