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NSW Clawback on Mortgage After Refinance - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Debt and Bankruptcy Law Forum' started by Kate_cake, 1 August 2016.

  1. Kate_cake

    Kate_cake Member

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    We got a mortgage with ING Direct through a Broker A, and after 4 months, we refinanced to a cheaper lender, CommBank.

    We made sure we thoroughly checked with ING first whether they would match the interest rate of the CommBank. They wouldn't. We also checked if they, ING, would charge us an exit fee. They said they wouldn't. We also checked with the new mortgage broker, Broker B, to see if there would be any fees at all with the move. Broker B assured us there were no hidden fees with the refinance, and they laid out all the fees we'd have to pay to refinance.

    We have just received a letter from Broker A asking us to pay a "clawback" fee of $4,500, which they received from ING. We've never heard of this fee! What is a ClawBack!?, but we can see they have sent us a photocopy of the contract we signed with them where it says "We may have to pay some fees in relation to closing down the loan early."

    Nowhere did it say how much, and no one let us know about this fee, even though we enquired about it with both the banks and the new Broker. We didn't think we actually had a relationship still going with Broker A!! They never contacted us.

    What I am upset about is that there was absolutely no warning about the cost of this fee, and we absolutely wouldn't have gone ahead with it, if we'd known we were going to be paying $4k.

    What can we do? It was not made clear to us that we were actually locked into a contract for 2 years with the lender because of this Broker... They didn't explain that to us. The bit of the contract where it was written up was a bland one liner about possible fees.

    Also, we contacted the Lender, and they assured us there were no fees involved with changing to a better lender.... there was no warning that there could be a cost that was $4k...

    It just doesn't seem fair or ethical.

    What can we do?
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi Kate,

    Consumer rights with respect to financial services are found in the ASIC Act 2001. This includes a prohibition on false or misleading representations. Therefore if Broker A has given you false information in response to a question regarding fees then they have contravened the consumer protection provisions of the ASIC Act. See here: AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION ACT 2001 - SECT 12DBFalse or misleading representations

    You can contact FOS - the Financial Ombudsman Service who can assist you to make a complaint or resolve a dispute with this broker.
     

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