If you think you might have been mis- sold an endowment mortgage then you should act fast as time is running out if you want to make a complaint. Making a complaint about your endowment mortgage is similar to a complaint you might make about being mis sold any financial product but there are a few specifics you need to know. In this brief guide we will cover those.
You might have been mis-sold an endowment mortgage if:
- It didn't fit your needs at the current time
- You were not told it was an endowment mortgage
- You didn't receive mortgage advice
- You financial circumstances and plans were not considered by the financial advisor or firm. No fact find or assessment was completed.
- The fees and charges were not explained to you before you accepted the endowment mortgage
- You received mortgage advice but it was misleading
- You were not informed of the risks of having an endowment mortgage
- You were guaranteed that the endowment mortgage will pay off your mortgage
- You weren't told that there could be a need for you to inject capital to pay off your mortgage at the end of the term.
- Your endowment mortgage was set to continue into your retirement
- You were told by your financial advisor or the lender to cash in your current endowment mortgage and then they sold you another one.
You can't complain if your endowment mortgage is not performing well and you were informed of the risks of endowment mortgages prior to accepting the product.
Time limits for complaining about your endowment mortgage
There are strict time limits in which you have to make your complaint if you think you have been mis-sold an endowment mortgage.If you make a complaint outside of these time limit it will likely be rejected due to something known as time-barring.
In some cases you might still be able to make a complaint outside of the time limit to the financial ombudsman even if the firm has rejected your complaint due to the time-barring limit.
**You can do this within 6 months of the firm sending you a final response letter to your complaints if:
There are exceptional circumstances which should be considered
You feel the time bar was unfair
You feel the time bar was wrongly applied
What will the financial ombudsman do?
The financial ombudsman may find the decision in your favour and order the company to pay you compensation. This compensation might not cover any total costs which you have had to incur but will go some way in making sure the wrong is rectified.
The financial ombudsman may also find that the company has no case to answer and let you know its decision.
If you are happy with the financial ombudsman's decision then you can accept it and this makes it a binding decision.
This means you cannot decide to claim more compensation in the future. If you are not happy with the decision then you can take your case to court, this route is very costly.
Your endowment mortgage complaint may be deemed out of time and rejected if:
You received a warning letter indicating there was a high risk your endowment will not be able to pay off your mortgage at the end of the term and then receiving a subsequent letter letting you know you have 6 months left to make a complaint. The letter must also indicate a final date by which you must make your complaint by.
The final date indicated indicated on the letter is at least 6 years since your policy started and 3 years since you received the initial warning letter.
Steps to complaining about a mis-sold endowment mortgage
Step 1 to complain about a mis-sold endowment mortgage:
Complain to the lender or mortgage advisor who sold you the endowment mortgage as soon as possible. If you don't remember the details of your account, if it a closed account or the company isn't being cooperative then you can legally make them submit all data they hold on you through a subject access request which gives them one month to reply to your request. Some companies may charge a fee for processing a subject access request but usually nothing more than £20.
If the company(mortgage advisor or lender) no longer exists then you can take your complaint to the financial services compensation scheme who will then have to pay you compensation on any mis sold endowment mortgage.
Step 2 to complain about a mis-sold endowment mortgage:
After you have made a complaint to the company the company will have 8 weeks to give you a final response. This final response might include an offer of compensation but if it doesn't and you feel kit should have or you are not happy with the company's final response then you can take your case to the financial ombudsman. You will have to take your complaint to the financial ombudsman within 6 months of receiving the company's final response.
Selling your endowment policy early
You might be tempted to sell your endowment policy early but there are a few things you should know before you do this as it might be very tempting , especially if you have just received a large lump sum payment as compensation for being mis-sold your endowment mortgage.
Endowment policies are long term investments and selling them nearly means you might get a much lower amount than you initially invested or are expected to receive if you had waited till the end of your mortgage term.
Your endowment policy will also have life insurance built into it which means you will be cancelling your life insurance by selling off your endowment policy early.
If you chose to sell your endowment policy early you should ensure you have an adequate plan to pay off your mortgage at the end of the mortgage term.