Mortgage arrears charges
If you have ever built up mortgage arrears, it's probable that your lender has charged you 'arrears fees'. If these fees are a penalty or 'unfair' charge, you may be able to get your money refunded for free.
What are mortgage arrears charges?
Mortgage arrears charges or arrears fees are charged by lenders to cover the additional work of supervising a mortgage account that has gone into arrears. For example, they may cover the costs of sending out letters to you, or speaking to you on the phone.
Are mortgage arrears charges fair?
In some cases, your lender may have charged you arrears fees unfairly, because the fees are higher than they need to be to cover the costs of the additional work. In this case, it may be possible for you to ask for a refund.
What can I do if I think I've paid unfair charges?
If you believe you have been charged unfairly, you can write to your lender, asking for a refund. If your request is ignored, you can make an official complaint to your lender. If this doesn't work, you can either try getting your money back using the small claims process, or making a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Where can I find out more?
You can find out more about unfair mortgage arrears charges and how to get them refunded at Mortgage Charges. This website also includes helpful sample letters you can download and send to your lender to ask for a breakdown of the fees you've been charged and to make a complaint. You can also get advice at your local Citizens Advice Bureau.