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Lender ordered to pay €90,000 over 'oppressive' case



(Stock photo)

(Stock photo)

(Stock photo)

A couple received €90,000 in compensation from a mortgage provider after it adopted an "obstructive approach" when they went into arrears on their buy-to-let loan.

The award was one of the largest awards made by the ombudsman.

Financial services ombudsman Ger Deering said the couple had attempted to engage with their lender. But obstacles were put in their way, including the appointment of a receiver to their property.

The couple were classified as non-cooperating borrowers despite their attempts to engage with the unnamed lender.

"The complainants found themselves in a very difficult situation. They were making efforts to resolve the situation through the sale of the mortgaged property," Mr Deering wrote in his determination, a copy of which was provided to the media.

The couple had borrowed €290,000 at a variable commercial interest rate in 2006. Their financial situation deteriorated in 2011 and they started to find it difficult to service the mortgage on the investment property.

A plan was put together with the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation to sell property, with this used to pay off arrears on the separate mortgage for the family home.

When they reached sale agreed in 2014, their solicitor was unable to get a redemption figure for the amount owed on the mortgage.

Eventually, the lender said it would release the deeds only if the balance was cleared. It transpired a receiver had been appointed, despite negotiations going on.

The complainants were confused and annoyed not to be told the property was in receivership. The couple got no assistance or support from the lender.

The lender would not sanction the sale, as there would be a shortfall due to the fall in house prices.

The provider responded to Mr Deering that it did nothing wrong apart from failing to provide redemption figures. It offered €1,000 in compensation.

But Mr Deering wrote: "I find the actions of the provider in relation to the complainants to be unreasonable, unjust and oppressive."

Irish Independent