Ulster Ulster tracker appeal - how long does it take?

SaySomething

Frequent Poster
@SaySomething i cannot believe that they do not have access to our full file??? I was sure they would have all of that in front of them. Their reason to me was that there was an overpayment made in error when redressing me and they are not going to look to reclaim that amount??? Not sure how they could have made a big mistake like that when doing their calculations. We are still in Marp i have been trying to come out of it for so long now and getting nowhere was onto them again today. Anyway i have finally run out of steam with UB, I have never dealt with anyone like them. We are overpaying at the moment as our payment arrangement is more than our monthly mortgage amount and still they can't remove the arrangement. We would never have had to go into the arrangement if we had of had the tracker rate.
No wait what? They won't allow you to exit the arrangement until it ends even though you're capable of full repayments now? I'm pretty sure that's against the code for mortgage arrears. You need to get qualified financial advice urgently.

And no, they don't have any mortgage files unless the borrower explicitly requested the release of the file to the secretariat in writing with their full consent. I was also sure they would have it in front of them. It was only after a few letters requesting information that they would clearly have if they had access to the file that my concerns were raised. I then wrote to them asking to confirm whether they had the file, or if they didn't why not. I also asked how they could make a fair adjudication without the file. Which is how I got the letter today. Stunned.
 

Mortub2005

Frequent Poster
@SaySomething i am stunned here too. I did mention to them on phone today that I am thinking of seeking legal advice. He is to get back to me but they have been telling me that since July when I lodged the complaint about the payment arrangement. Thanks for getting back to me. I stupidly accepted their decision today and posted it to BDO. So thats the end of that road for me. I hope you have the outcome that you deserve.
 

elcato

Moderator
I stupidly accepted their decision today and posted it to BDO. So thats the end of that road for me. I hope you have the outcome that you deserve.
That's the end of your appeal but you can still initiate legal proceedings. The appeal was a free shot without prejudice I'd imagine. Find a recommended solicitor from some of the threads here to start the ball rolling.
 

elcato

Moderator
Why would anyone accept the appeal if it was not an improved offer ? Even if not pursuing it at the moment. As we have seen from loads of people who lost their initial case against the FSO it may well be a case of some more information comes into the public domain.
 

SaySomething

Frequent Poster
Could possibly be got to do with the miscalculation in their favour? I've no idea. I do know that there was a warning on the appeals pack that if you accepted the findings of the appeals panel you'd have to waive your choice to take it any further - be it FSPO or Courts.
 

Mortub2005

Frequent Poster
Hi I accepted it mainly because of the overpayment in error when redressing us that the bank have detailed in writing to us.Thanks to everyone for the advice over the last year and a half and I wish everyone the best with their appeals etc. These forums have always been a great help to me.
 

elcato

Moderator
Ah OK, so if they improve the original offer they ask you to sign as a final settlement. In this case they pointed out that they have been more generous and could claim a refund I guess.
 

SaySomething

Frequent Poster
I almost forgot to add more information to this:

In its most recent letter the Secretariat gave me a date in early December for my appeal to be reviewed by the panel. However, this was before I requested the release of my file to them. If my appeal is reviewed in December it's highly unlikely they will have had time to read my file. I've been very clear in my correspondence to them that reading the file is essential to the appeal. This means I'm expecting a further delay and for my appeal to be held in the New Year at some point.
 

SaySomething

Frequent Poster
Just dropping in to update this again. As you can see above my last update was 19 Nov. I had requested the release of my file to the Appeals Panel 10 days prior to that post. As of yet, the bank have not released the file (today's date is 4th February).

I've contacted the Data Protection Commissioner, they say that I've requested the release of my file to another party and not directly to myself; technically I've not made a Data Access Request. BDO (the Independent Secretariat) say that the Panel are aware of how much the bank are dragging their feet. The Panel doesn't seem to have much teeth in this regard and haven't given the bank a deadline or expectation of when the file should arrive.

I was wondering if a formal personal Data Access Request to the bank and then handing it directly over to the Panel was the way to go. However, the DPC has recommended I write to the bank asking them for their legal basis for refusing to provide their own Appeals Panel with the information they've formally requested & I've given my consent for in writing.

In good news, I had requested an Oral Hearing of our appeal from the outset and I've received confirmation that I will have an Oral Hearing whenever the file does arrive.

So my Appeal remains on hold pending information from the bank which, according to the Central Bank, they should have made available to the Panel in the first place...
 

elcato

Moderator
In good news, I had requested an Oral Hearing of our appeal from the outset and I've received confirmation that I will have an Oral Hearing whenever the file does arrive.
Can you explain what this actually is and when does it happen in terms of events ? You want to have a face to face with the appeal panel once the bank have made a final offer ? If so will the bank be allowed/forced to attend ?
 

SaySomething

Frequent Poster
Can you explain what this actually is and when does it happen in terms of events ? You want to have a face to face with the appeal panel once the bank have made a final offer ? If so will the bank be allowed/forced to attend ?
I applied for my appeal to be reviewed by way of Oral Hearing rather than the Panel to review it privately.

The guidelines for oral hearing/appeal review below are copied from the Central Bank document:

"The Central Bank expects that Oral Hearings will be held where warranted in the circumstances of an appeal and that any party to an appeal shall have the right to request that an Oral Hearing is held. The Central Bank also expects that Appeals Panels shall have the sole discretion to decide whether to hold an Oral Hearing and may decide to hold an Oral Hearing on their own motion where warranted. Where a request for an Oral Hearing is refused, the Central Bank expects that the reasons for the refusal will be communicated to the parties to the appeal by the Independent Secretariat.
The Central Bank expects that Oral Hearings should be limited to hearing evidence from relevant witnesses and that Appeals Panels, through the Independent Secretariat, should notify the parties to the appeal of the witnesses from whom they require evidence to be taken. The Central Bank also expects that requests from any party to an appeal to admit evidence from other witnesses will be considered on a case by case basis by the Appeals Panels.
The Central Bank expects that Oral Hearings will be held in private and conducted in an informal manner (to the extent possible). The Central Bank also expects that Appeals Panels shall have regard to the legal principles which a Court would apply when conducting Oral Hearings."

Normally the appeals panel reviews an appeal in private. They then relay their findings to the appellant via the Independent Secretariat. I felt that it was important to go through the different issues that I've had in person, face-to-face and requested it from the outset.

I don't know when the Oral Hearing is going to happen. All I know is that once they receive my file they'll be in touch, via the Secretariat, to set a date for the Oral Hearing. From what I see above they're not obliged to attend but they can if they wish to. I'm guessing I'll get more information about this closer to the hearing date.
 

SaySomething

Frequent Poster
So this happens when the bank make a full and final offer via the appeals process ?
No.
The bank doesn't make any offers during the appeals process. The appeals process is carried out by a (independent) panel appointed by the bank.
The bank gives the customer redress and compensation as part of the Tracker Mortgage Examination. The customer, if unhappy, can appeal to the Panel and/or to the FSPO and/or go to court.
The Appeals Panel can award more compensation if they decide a customer is entitled to more, they cannot award less than the bank's initial payment.
After the appeal outcome the customer can either accept the offer and then they go no further and sign an agreement that their claim is settled.
Or they can go to the FSPO or court still.
 

Gemmamalone127

New Member
Hi there, we got letter from Appeals Panel yesterday saying our appeal was upheld and offering a nice sum of compensation (more than we anticipated!!). Just wondering now should be accept and be done with it all. I don't really know more about appealing it further to the Financial Ombudsman but it makes me think if the appeals panel upheld it and award that sum maybe we ourselves totally underestimated what claim is worth. Can the Financial ombudsman award less than the appeals panel does anybody know or how long would that process be? We must have been one of the lucky ones, we lodged appeal on the 25th October last and it moved very quickly along.
 

SaySomething

Frequent Poster
Hi there, we got letter from Appeals Panel yesterday saying our appeal was upheld and offering a nice sum of compensation (more than we anticipated!!). Just wondering now should be accept and be done with it all. I don't really know more about appealing it further to the Financial Ombudsman but it makes me think if the appeals panel upheld it and award that sum maybe we ourselves totally underestimated what claim is worth. Can the Financial ombudsman award less than the appeals panel does anybody know or how long would that process be? We must have been one of the lucky ones, we lodged appeal on the 25th October last and it moved very quickly along.
That's brilliant news congratulations!
The Ombudsman can award less than the Appeals Panel but cannot impact your original compensation payment.
The FSOP (Ombudsman) has been directed to start reviewing tracker complaints but I've no idea how long this would take. That's brilliant that it took such a short amount of time.
 

SaySomething

Frequent Poster
It's been a month since I last updated this thread. The bank finally released our file to us and the Appeals Panel. It only took 4 months.
We've been given 20 business days to respond based upon the file contents. Realistically it's going to take at least another 8 weeks to bring my appeal to a close.
 

notabene

Frequent Poster
Have been progressing appeal submitted in December with BDO. We have done one complete round of paper work (I submitted, bank responded) I submitted again to the bank’s response and we are now waiting again for paper work requested by the panel from the bank. The appeal is being considered by the Upper panel. An oral hearing at my request has also been granted and this will occur once the panel is happy that they’ve sufficient paper work in place.

I am just wondering has anyone yet had an oral hearing with the panel and if you were willing, what did it entail. I would suspect it will be May at the earliest, and that is providing that further rounds aren’t required, but I’m preparing myself already so it’s not a last minute job -thanks!
 

SaySomething

Frequent Poster
I'm also interested in the Oral Hearing experiences, like @notabene I know that we will have one but am unsure what to expect.

Just to note for anybody wondering, on the submission stage.
If new information is received by the Panel then the other party has 20 business days to respond. If the information is not new then 10 business days are given to respond.
It basically works like this:

  • Appellant (Customer): Submits appeal pack
  • Defendant (Bank): Has 20 business days to respond - they generally do and this may not arrive within the exact 20 business days as I've discovered, as have other customers.
  • Customer receives copy of Bank's response and has 20 business days to respond (as it may be new information to them).
  • Bank receives customer's response and has 10 business days to respond
  • Customer receives 10 business days to respond to bank's response, providing no new information has been provided, in which case it's 20 business days.
  • This continues ad nauseum and relies on either side to call a halt and stop submitting in order for the Panel to actually review the appeal.
  • Not responding at any point isn't effective. You have to physically write to the Panel to tell them you no longer wish to participate in the correspondence chain and request that they review the file.
I'm making a 20 day related submission today as the bank presented more information within the last month. Thankfully as the bank finally disclosed the file to the Panel, albeit incomplete, my submission doesn't contain new information and the bank should not be able to introduce anymore new information at this stage. From today I know that we are down to 10 day (2 week) response times.

Each response time has a minimum of 1 additional week to allow for BDO to process/copy/file the submissions before passing it over to the other party. So a 10 day submission is going to take at least 3 weeks in real time, if not more.

In case anybody is wondering I'm typing this up so that people can know what to expect.
 

Madra

Frequent Poster
@SaySomething In my case the bank have responded to documentation it got through the BDO and have basically upped their offer. I now have a choice to stop the BDO process or continue. The new settlement cheque is deemed to be the last offer prior to appeals from the bank i.e. I can stop the BDO process but have the right to appeal again within 1 year of the letter and cheque. Which brings me to another point. Does anyone know how Ulster came to the overpayment in interest figure ? I don't know whether they calculated it from the original mortgage or from the actual interest I paid having reduced the mortgage on moving. (This was necessary to bring LTV to 75% at the time). I did calculate what monthly payments I should have been on and the actual payment made (allowing for changes in the rate) and the figure they have paid me seems quite generous but I may not have my maths correct.
 
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