EBS Tracker - flummoxed. Advice welcome on where to start

Discussion in 'Tracker Redress' started by YerGrand, 13 Jun 2018.

  1. YerGrand

    YerGrand Registered User

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    Last edited: 13 Jun 2018
    Hi all

    I got a call from EBS (a very kindly man) to say my mortgage was an affected tracker, the incorrect rates were applied and that I should consider redress and compensation.

    The process has been explained to me and that it will take until the end of 2018 to fully resolve. I have as yet little detail.

    My situation seems different to others. I had a split mortgage on my home - one fixed (on variable base rate after fixed expiry), one variable (on ecb repo rate).

    On the Variable Loan:
    The interest rate is noted as follows:

    Variable ECB Repo Rate + .99% (followed by term)
    Under this is a qualifying paragraph:

    Important Note on Tracker Mortgages:
    Before the loan issues
    , if no tracker mortgage rate is available at the time, the prevailing variable rate will apply.
    With the tracker mortgage the margin is linked to a specified index or indices and remains constant for the life of the loan. In this case, the tracker mortgage will be no more than 0.99% above the prevailing Central Bank Main Refinancing Ops Min Bid Rate (Repo Rate) for the term of the loan.
    On the Fixed loan:

    Interest Rate is Fixed for X years at X%
    After this: Variable Base Rate applies currently X%​

    Important Note on Tracker Mortgages: in the event of a rate change before loan issue, the rate will be altered to the tracker rate on offer on that date. If no tracker mortgage rate is available at the time, the prevailing variable rate will apply.

    With the tracker mortgage the margin is linked to a specified index or indices and remains constant for the life of the loan. In this case, the tracker mortgage will be no more than 0.99% above the prevailing Central Bank Main Refinancing Ops Min Bid Rate (Repo Rate) for the term of the loan​

    Followed by:

    If there is an interest rate change before the loan issues, the rate will be altered to the fixed rate on offer....if no fixed rate is available at the time, the variable rate will apply.​

    I hope this may offer clarity on the variable base rate to others. The prevailing rate term only appears in the drawdown phase. The variable base rate I took to be a tracker based on the above. As I find out more, I will update.

    In my case, the upshot is our tracker was unevenly applied on both mortgages. After several years, we were completely stressed trying to make the mortgage every month. Our house was not in negative equity, we couldn't keep paying so felt we had no option but to sell our family home.

    So we have no mortgage now - no house either. My estimates are that the monthly overcharge varied from €200-€500 per month and over the sustained time frame, may well have been the difference between keeping our home and selling it.

    It was traumatic at the time and the consequences - financial and health - have been far reaching.

    I understand the overcharge being refunded as straightforward (very informative post thanks Brendan). The bank didn't 'force' us, we voluntarily sold but I do believe this overcharge compromised our ability to keep our home. I don't know if we could have kept going indefinitely but certainly we could have kept our head above water for longer.

    Where and how do I even start to outline what might be considered "reasonable compensation"? Any advice or insights would be very welcome, thank you.

    YerGrand

    Edited to clarify Variable Rate
    Edited to remove some other identifying info - sorry bit paranoid now!
     
    Last edited: 13 Jun 2018
  2. Brendan Burgess

    Brendan Burgess Founder

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    36,007
    Wait until you get a letter from EBS and take it from there.

    The best person to talk to is Padraic Kissane who has plenty of experience representing people who have lost their homes due to losing their trackers.

    Brendan
     
  3. Sionnachy

    Sionnachy Registered User

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    +1 for Padraic Kissane, especially if you're just coming into this news now. Don't go to a solicitor, they aren't as familiar with the tracker situation. My other half was in a similar situation to you and he went to a solicitor who was clueless, he ended up paying money over to the solicitor for nothing. Padraic is familiar with many different types of cases and he will give you sound advice.

    Try to look on the bright side, whatever they pay you is yours to keep and you can appeal too which will cost you nothing and you might receive further compensation. The amount they pay you initially is based on them knowing nothing about your personal circumstances and how you have been affected financially, health-wise and emotionally. The appeal process is your chance to let them know how you have been affected.
     
  4. YerGrand

    YerGrand Registered User

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    25
    Thanks Brendan and Sionnachy, I will contact Padraic Kissane. Wasn't sure what to do, didn't really understand the appeals process so need guidance.

    I have learned a LOT from this forum in the last week, thank you for all your contributions, it has been invaluable in trying to understand what's been presented to us.

    YerGrand
     
  5. TrackerThieves

    TrackerThieves Frequent Poster

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    68
    + for Padraic kissane - May be very busy but is the leading expert in these cases and and if not for him a lot of cases like yours would still know nothing about what has happened.
    In the meantime do a subject access request request(its a request of all documents/correspondence EBS hold on you), this will need to be done in writing and will be received within 40 days of request. For exact details of what to ask for and where to send it contact the AIB/EBS S.A.R. team on 01-7725174
     
  6. EbsLoannotrafor

    EbsLoannotrafor Frequent Poster

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    83
    Dear yergrand ,

    I wanted to thank you for your post , it is really encouraging to see that you are now deemed impacted and very kind of you to feed back to the group , this helps clarify -what EBS won’t . I understand Padraic Kissane is the best person as per others post . I wish you all the best with it .
     
  7. YerGrand

    YerGrand Registered User

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    25
    Ah thanks EBSloannotrafor and TrackerThieves for your suggestions which I will act on, and your good wishes. This news came out of the blue to us so it feels like we've been transported back to a not very good time in our lives. I am going to edit the original post to make the rate paragraph clearer, I do hope it helps someone else. From what I understand, there are more people affected and the next few weeks will see increased activity. Thanks again all.
     
  8. B26354

    B26354 Frequent Poster

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    201
    YerGrand-congratulations & thanks for posting as it’s most encouraging news. I would also encourage you to bring your case to Padraic Kissane.

    It would seem that your somewhat unique loan agreement(split between tracker & fixed to variable base rate)has confirmed that the variable base is indeed a tracker.

    You state that the margin is the same on tracker & variable base (+0.99 above central bank rate). I can understand that you don’t want to reveal too much but can you confirm that the variable/tracker interest rate is the same as the variable base rate that kicks in after fixed rate? For example, on your loan agreement does it state that your interest rate is 4.99% on the tracker/variable part when you started loan & “currently” 4.99% on variable base that kicks in after fixed term?
    Thanks.
     
  9. YerGrand

    YerGrand Registered User

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    25
    B26534, thank you for your supportive message.

    If I'm understanding you correctly, then no. Each loan has a different quoted interest rate at drawdown, though margin is the same.

    On the fixed loan, the variable base rate (which applies after fixed expiry), the rate quoted is 'currently X%' immediately followed by the tracker indices info ECB Repo +.99%.

    This is a different rate to the variable tracker rate quoted on the other loan. From what I have in front of me, as outlined above, the strong indication is the term 'variable base' refers to a tracker. I hope this helps.
     
  10. YerGrand

    YerGrand Registered User

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    25
    Last edited: 14 Jun 2018
    B26534, doing more research and found this.

    Quote from Padraic Kissane, addressing the Oireachtas:

    First, there is AIB and its subsidiary the EBS. The mortgage accounts that remain outstanding are those of homeowners who took out mortgages with the EBS and have not been returned to the tracker mortgage rate. The number affected could be up to 3,000. The key matter in the case of this cohort is that no customer was told that he or she was forgoing the variable rate basis of the loan in applying for a fixed rate for a period of the loan. The other issue is that the variable base rate tracked the ECB rate perfectly until 2008 and then magically transformed into a standard variable rate. There are outstanding issues that must also be dealt with by the EBS in a satisfactory manner. There are issues for the staff who took out mortgages with AIB. The question I pose is whether AIB or its subsidiary the EBS is sorry for the manner it is treating its customers?
    This would be indicated by our experience also but in our case the tracker margin is quoted under the Variable Base Rate. This supports the view that Variable Base is another term for Tracker.

    The full transcript is on Kildare Street committees section, I'm unable to post the link directly.
    Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
    Thursday, 8 March 2018
    Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach
     
    Last edited: 14 Jun 2018
  11. B26354

    B26354 Frequent Poster

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    Last edited: 14 Jun 2018
    No doubts that on the EBS system the variable base rate pre mid 2008 was a tracker with varying margins(often +1.25%). They simply didn’t include the interest rate basis (margin above ECB) in the fixed to variable base contracts. They have included the interest rate basis in your contract (+0.99%) but they didn’t apply it on the variable base part of your loan once you rolled off the fixed term.

    The reason for this is because they intentionally/“magically” switched the variable base rate(ECB rate+ margin) to a SVR in May 2008. So anyone who had that rate on their contract rolled onto a SVR on their system once they finished their fixed term post May 2008. It’s also likely that those who rolled off a fixed onto a variable base pre May 2008 were also moved to SVR on the system....they simply may not have known they were on a tracker.

    I’m assuming it was the variable base part of your loan that was overcharged (you were wrongly paying an SVR on this) & tracker (+0.99%) on the “variable part” of your loan you reference?
     
    Last edited: 14 Jun 2018
  12. YerGrand

    YerGrand Registered User

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    Thanks B26534. Hmmm, your analysis seems about accurate but in our case, it seems that both the fixed and variable loans had the SVR applied. The Tracker was on one loan for a few months and then disappeared sometime in 2006 it seems. I remember asking about it at the time and being rather abruptly told that the bank was right. I didn't push it assuming they were. Boy do I feel stupid now... and angry.

    YerGrand