Lawyers: BGH Strengthens Bank Clients When They Exit Home Finance
Getting a mortgage early can be expensive. Consumer advocates consider the so-called early repayment penalty to be too high in many cases. As a result of a decision by the BGH, lawyers now see the rights of bank clients enhanced.
FRATENFURT/KARLSRUHE (dpa) – Commerzbank has suffered another defeat in a legal dispute over higher costs for bank clients in the event of an early exit from a mortgage. The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) dismissed the institute’s inadmissibility complaint against a ruling of the Frankfurt Regional High Court (OLG) in July last year (Az.: XI ZR 320/20).
“The BGH is in fact following the decision of the Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt am Main and considers that further clarification of the matter is unnecessary,” said lawyer Marco Huth of the Berlin law firm Gansel, who won the OLG ruling against Commerzbank. With this, lawyers are of the opinion that the position of borrowers has strengthened.
Commerzal does not want to comment on the subject upon request. After the decision of the OLG last summer, the institute announced: “Against the background of the latest jurisprudence of the BGH regarding the requirements for introducing the calculation method for early payment fines, according to which only the basic criteria are generally required, the view of the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court, in our opinion, is not convincing “.
The Frankfurt office of OLG has come to the conclusion that the statements made by Commerzbank regarding the compensation calculation in the disputed loan agreement “do not meet the legal requirements”. The information must be “clear, concise, understandable and accurate”. The conclusion of the OLG as the second degree in these proceedings: “The early payment penalty was paid without legal reason. There was no obligation to pay.” (Ref: 17 U 810/19)
In the specific case, the borrower must pay more than 21,500 euros to Commerzbank to replace two loans. With this compensation, money houses simply secure compensation for the fact that they lose interest income in the event of an early termination of the loan agreement.
Lawyer Hoth said the ruling, which has now been confirmed by the Central Bank of Bahrain, is also important for clients of other banks. Some institutes have revised the forms, but they also “remain open to attack in some cases”. For many individuals, there is the option to avoid the prepayment penalty. This applies to contracts from March 22, 2016. At the time, the legislation had stipulated that banks must clearly instruct their customers on the so-called prepayment penalty, especially when it comes to construction financing.
According to consumer advocates, many banks are charging too much money from customers to get out of mortgages. Sometimes the calculation of the early payment penalty is so complex that even institutions fail to comply with their information obligations regarding this compensation claim. The Frankfurt Higher Regional Court ruled that the bank had the right to demand an “appropriate early payment penalty for damages directly related to early payment”. However, this claim is “excluded if the information regarding the calculation of the early payment penalty in the contract, among other things, is insufficient.”
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210628-99-168192 / 2
Frankfurt Higher Regional Court ruling
Definition of prepayment penalty in German Civil Code
Stiftung Warentest regarding early payment penalty
Investigation with the Consumer Advice Center November 2019
Implementation Act of the European Residential Property Credit Directive, March 2016