Permanent TSB has told a couple they must accept the bank’s “derisory” €6,000 offer of compensation before it will repay €61,000 it overcharged them on their mortgage, the High Court heard Friday.
Liam Fitzgerald and Angela Wallace are among 1,100 customers of Permanent TSB who, a Central Bank investigation found, were overcharged. The pair are suing the bank for damages.
The couple, from Lusk in Co Dublin, were told in late July they had been overcharged by more than €61,000 by PTSB in respect of a mortgage relating to their current and previous family homes for a period in excess of six years.
Mr Fitzgerald and Ms Wallace claim the bank had written to say it would repay what it had overcharged them, but subject to their accepting PTSB’s offer of compensation of €5,798.92.
Mr Justice Gerard Haughton heard the couple had always abided by their mortgage terms with PTSB. The couple told him in an affidavit it was “utterly improper and unlawful” for the bank to place such a condition on the repayment of money PTSB had admitted was due and owing to them.
They told the court they were being asked to accept a “derisory compensation offer”.
In their High Court action against Permanent TSB Plc, they sought an injunction requiring PTSB to discharge its admitted liability in the sum of €61,195.13. They also seek damages for alleged breach of contract and unlawful interference with their economic interests as well as punitive and exemplary damages.
Judge Haughton granted an ex parte application to serve short notice of an application for various injunctive orders against the bank. He said that given the issues involved it was more appropriate to deal with the application when the bank was represented.
The matter was adjourned until next Thursday.
Mr Fitzgerald, a solicitor, of Perrin Way, Lusk Village, said in an affidavit that it was “utterly reprehensible” PTSB had not unequivocally offered to “immediately and without question” repay him and his wife the amount they were overcharged.
He said there was no legal basis for refusing to pay the sums overcharged.
The condition that they accept the offer of compensation before they could get back the amount overcharged was a disgraceful requirement.
Mr Fitzgerald said the overcharge had caused him and his family financial pressures in order to meet the mortgage repayments.
His family had to make sacrifices and he had to “beg and borrow sums of money from family members” to maintain the upkeep of his home.
He said they had no savings and none of these difficulties would have been encountered had they not been overcharged by the lender.
The compensation offer had represented a mere 9% of the money they were deprived of for the time they were overcharged, which worked out at 1.5% per annum.
At an absolute minimum he felt they ought to be compensated at the Courts Act Interest Rate of 8% per annum.
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