Hi, We bought an apartment in Protaras in 2006. We told the Bank how much we could afford to pay each month. We were advised to take up a repayment Swiss Franc mortgage over 25 years.We were given a computer illustration showing us the calculations 139,000 CHF over 25 years which worked out £283 a month.We agreed to this and the Bank prepared the mortgage agreement. We then paid a 20k sterling deposit.
When we attended the Bank to sign the mortgage paperwork we were not handed a copy. The agreement was on his desk as he continued to take telephone calls and deal with us at the same time. He got around this by pointing to the relevant places he wanted us to sign or initial and immediately turned to the next page not giving us any time to read it. Afterwards we were told it had to go straight to Head Office.
When we started to make the repayments they were a lot more expensive than agreed. We contacted the Bank Manager and were told that this was due to the currency exchange rate fluctuations. We struggled to make the payments and in 2007 had run into arrears. We arranged a meeting with the Bank to discuss our options and were told it was not possible to change the mortgage. We asked for a copy of our mortgage agreement again and were told they were still held at Head Office. Over the next few years we struggled on sending across what we could afford to pay each month. Every month interest was being added to our mounting arrears. We constantly asked for our mortgage documentation,but it was never provided.We put the apartment up for sale,but to date have had no interest in it.
Last Summer the Bank started to threaten legal proceedings against us.We appointed a London Solicitor to represent us,having spoken to the FSA and Financial Ombudsman who say they have no jursidiction outside of the UK. After paying out over £900 in fees we received a copy of our mortgage agreement in December 2010. This agreement shows the mortgage as being set up over 15 years not 25 as agreed. The reason why our payments were unaffordable. How do we stand? We have submitted a lengthy complaint form along with copies of all our correspondence. The Bank do not seem to want to accept that they are at fault and say they have acted within their Banking Laws.We have contacted the Ministry of Commerce Industry and Tourism who are contacting the Bank on our behalf. We feel we have been mis sold the mortgage and want compensating. Has anybody else experienced this level of awful customer service from their Bank?
Financial questions answered by Independent Financial Advisor Mark Nowell
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