Karlsruhe (dpa) - Bank customers do not have to pay an extra fee for the rescheduling of real estate loans. This was decided by the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) in Karlsruhe, thereby strengthening the rights of borrowers.
The expense of the bank for a fiduciary contract to transfer the mortgage is already compensated with the interest, said the chairman of the XI responsible for the banking law. Civil Senate, Jürgen Ellenberger. The Senate rejected the revision of the Sparkasse in North Rhine-Westphalia Steinfurt against a judgment of the Oberlandesgericht Hamm. Ellenberger stressed the fundamental importance of the judgment. (XI ZR 7/199)
The Federal Association of Consumer Advocates had sued against the Kreissparkasse. In its General Terms and Conditions, the latter demanded 100 euros for the fiduciary contract if a borrower wanted to continue financing his property with another bank after expiry of the fixed interest period.
The attorney of the Federal Association argued in the BGH hearing, it was the duty of the bank to enable the customer to change to another bank.
When a bank buys a new loan customer, it takes its own property interests with the ordering, safekeeping and recovery of collateral, said Ellenberger. This also applies to the effort associated with releasing the security when a customer moves away. Because this effort falls in the fulfillment of its own existing legal obligation.
Sparkasse's lawyer had unsuccessfully argued at the hearing that the debtor borrower would not get a new loan without the bank's involvement. For he could not have the necessary security until the old loan had been repaid.
When rescheduling a property, the land charge and the transfer fee are transferred step by step between the participating banks. The previous lender then releases the mortgage, for example, under the fiduciary requirement that the transferring bank may only dispose of it after payment of the remaining debt. The new lender then transfers the transfer fee to the old bank. Borrowers have the right to switch to another bank at the end of the fixed interest period. Financial institutions must not make this change unnecessarily difficult for customers.
From the perspective of consumer advocates, the verdict could have far-reaching consequences. As far as they are aware, such clauses are found in the general terms and conditions of many banks, as Jana Brockfeld of the Federation of Consumer Organizations said. "We are pleased that the BGH has made a decision that is so positive for consumers." Affected consumers should check whether they have any claims for reimbursement.
The Deutsche Kreditwirtschaft reacts by pointing out that "a further analysis of the judgment and an assessment of its effects" are only possible if the grounds of the judgment are available.