Ask an Property Solicitor. Get an Answer ASAP.
At the time of entering into my mortgage agreement in 2007, I was told by the Nationwide mortgage adviser that if I took my mortgage with Nationwide I would be entitled to two twelve month mortgage holidays. The reasons for taking the holidays were at my discretion as was the length of the holiday save for a limit of 2 holidays of a maximum of 12 months each. When I took the first holiday it was executed exactly as promised by the Nationwide mortgage adviser ie no reason for the holiday was asked and I received the 12 months I requested. However when I requested the second mortgage holiday I was told I could only have 3 months as I was using it to set up a business. When I explained this was at variance to what I had been offered a the time of consenting to the contract and to the execution of the first holiday. I was told they had subsequently changed their policy and the mortgage holidays were not in their terms and conditions. I am contending that this is a breach of contract on the grounds of either negligent or innocent misrepresentation. Nationwide accept that such an offer was most likely made at the time but they have changed their policy and as it is not in the terms and conditions I have no right to the 12 months. Further they claim that in 2010 the Financial conduct authority instructed them to put a stop to these holidays. I am contending that this is a breach of contract on the grounds of misrepresentation. Have I a case?
Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.
Were the payment holidays put into the contract or terms please?
No. It was a statement of fact made by their expert to me as an inducement to consent to the contract. Did you receive the attachment? It is all made clear in there.
My wife was with me at the meeting at the Nationwide's office and will swear an affidavit as to what was said and how it was said. It is not a joint mortgage so she had no involvement beyond being witnessing the events. Nationwide accept that such an offer was most likely made at the time of consent but argue that the situation has changed since then and as it is not in the terms and conditions they are not bound by the offer. It is pertinent to note that the offer was made after I had said that although I already had my mortgage with Nationwide and also banked with them I should not be lazy and felt I had to shop around. As I rose to leave the Nationwide Mortgage Adviser said "You do know you will be entitled to two mortgage holidays if you stay with Nationwide?" She went on to explain the details of the offer and at no time mentioned that this was a discretionary offer which could be withdrawn at any time they chose but kept referring to it as an entitlement.
It was not the sole reason I entered the mortgage. I am saying that it was the sole reason for moving forward with Nationwide and forgoing shopping around. As I made clear at the time when I said to the Mortgage Adviser. "That's a deal clincher" and we all smiled!
The statement was unequivocally purposed to induce me to move forward with Nationwide and it worked. It is only when requesting the second holiday that things changed.
An untrue statement of fact or law made by Party A to Party B which induces Party B to enter a contract thereby causing Party B loss. An action for misrepresentation can be brought in respect of a misrepresentation of fact or law.
Negligent misrepresentation: a representation made carelessly and in breach of duty owed by Party A to Party B to take reasonable care that the representation is accurate. If no "special relationship" exists, there may be a misrepresentation under section 2(1) of the Misrepresentation Act 1967 where a statement is made carelessly or without reasonable grounds for believing its truth.
Innocent misrepresentation: a representation that is neither fraudulent nor negligent.
The above is what I am basing my claim on.
You should to write and set out your losses and ask for a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court. Make sure you send this recorded delivery and keep a copy. If they refuse then you can issue proceedings which can be done online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by competing form N1 at: https://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf
The Court will then issue the claim which will be sent to the Defendant and they will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce it. If the matter is defended it will be set down for a hearing. If the losses are £10,000 or less then it will be a small claim and you do not need representation. Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?