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Friday, March 02, 2007

Mortgage Exit Fees

The hapless home owners, screwed by the endowment mortgage scandal and high mortgage exit fees, may be forgiven for thinking that the banks and loan companies merely regard them as a cash cow to be slaughtered for their personal consumption.

However, after some considerable pressure from the Financial Services Authority (FSA), there may at least be a some respite for those home owners who have suffered from unreasonably high mortgage exit fees.

In January, the FSA told lenders that they would need to justify raising mortgage "exit" fees.

The FSA said if they could not do so by 28 February, then they would have to agree to charge no fee at all, or keep with their original fee.

It seems that has produced a positive result. Robin Gordon-Walker, an FSA spokesman, said:

"Certainly the impression we are getting as we go through the responses is that most lenders have gone for the original mortgage exit administration fee option."

Many of the fees charged by lenders have doubled to between £200 and £300.

People who have paid the raised charges will now be able to go back to their former lenders, and ask for some of their money back.

Ray Boulger, from John Charcol, told the BBC:

"Around 10 million mortgages have been redeemed in the last four years.

But the number of people who claim compensation will no doubt be largely influenced by the amount of media coverage this topic receives.

However, I would estimate that the total compensation payable will be at least £50m and probably in the region of £100m
."

However, before people start popping champagne corks, remember that the banks and lenders will find other ways to part you from your cash.

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