Follow Larissa's lead and phone the financial watchdog for help with banks
ACCOUNTANT Larissa Feeney ended up with an investment property by default.
She had moved out of her house in St Johnston, Co Donegal, in 2008 but was unable to sell it so she decided to rent.
The property had been financed by a National Irish Bank (NIB) variable, which the bank said was a home-loan rate.
The agreement was for her to repay the interest only for the 25-year term of the loan.
She got suspicious when NIB wrote to her in 2008, telling her that the name of the mortgage product was being changed from variable rate home loan to an investment mortgage.
There was no mention of any change in the interest rate. But weeks later the interest rate shot up by 0.75pc.
She contacted the bank and she was assured that there had been no change in the terms and conditions she had originally signed up to.
"I found the bank very difficult to deal with and they were adamant that what they were doing was right," she said.
Ms Feeney complained to the bank about being switched to a different type of mortgage with a higher rate, but to no avail.
So she took her case to the Financial Services Ombudsman and won.
She got €1,600 refunded to her to cover her for the higher interest charges imposed by the bank.
But she had to return to the ombudsman again to get the bank to move this refund money from the mortgage account to her current account.
She would encourage other customers in the same position to take a case to the ombudsman.
She stressed that you do not need to be an accountant to take a case. There are good pointers on www.askaboutmoney.com.