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There are now, minus the interest on mortgages?

anyone Who has large sums of money on a Bank account, must today pay negative interest rates. But why do banks pay actually, Vice versa, their customers negative interest rates on mortgage ? The Federal court has released dealt with, and recently a judgment. It was not a mortgage but a large loan from a municipality, which stopped after the introduction of the negative interest on their Bank Transfers to the Bank and instead own an interest payment required. However, with the judgment's conclusions for a mortgage can be drawn.

The question of negative interest rates in the Libor-rate mortgages, which are guided periodically at the interest rate level of the market, and not, for example, in the case of fixed-rate mortgages in which the interest rate for a specific term is fixed. Actually, the Swiss franc Libor rates at which banks are to be guided are, for a long time in the Minus. But that does not mean that Mortgage borrowers can now recover in the case of banks with negative interest rates. The chances are after the Federal court judgment, on the contrary bad: "I see this little room," says Corinne Zellweger-Gutknecht, is Professor for financial markets law at the Kalaidos University of applied Sciences.

old contracts

the Legal in-game space, it is only when the Libor-mortgage has been completed after the start of the Phase with negative interest rates in early 2015, and the Bank requires still flat and without Reservation in respect of a Libor rate. Because in this way, the Bank took into account that the interest rate could fall below zero. This happened to me, without that, the Bank has adjusted the terms correctly, there is a realistic possibility, interest paid to reclaim.

such A recovery would have to be done under the legal concept of "unjust enrichment". This has the disadvantage of being time-barred rapidly – just one year after the customer learned of his claim. Customers could argue the best case for the past year, legally to mortgage interest rates. Due to the low interest rate levels it is not but, as a rule, rather deep in dispute totals, so that the process is worth the risk for most. Also Affected would have to prove that you have mistakenly paid too much. And finally, most of the banks have hedged their customers are already legally, so this is obviously no longer an Option, as Zellweger-explained Gutknecht.

In principle, the Federal court concludes that a reversal of the interest rate is a debt due to negative interest rates only possible, if this is provided for in a contract explicitly so, or if there are special indications to speak. It leaves open the question of whether the margin agreed between the Bank in addition to the Libor rate will be offset by the negative interest rate. The court considers that it is for "at least acceptable", that the margin will remain fully owed.

Unusual legal matters

In the present case, the language according to the Federal court, that the parties wanted the Libor rate, not below zero decrease. It is based on an Argument of the banks: The financing is done through savings accounts of customers. On these deposits, the financial institutions do not receive negative interest rates. However, this Argument can be relativized. On the one hand, banks require high level of customer deposits as well as negative interest rates. On the other hand, the banks refinance their mortgages in part on mortgage loans, which is also the case that negative interest rates. The Raiffeisen group confirms this, put into perspective but at the same time, mortgage loans were only a small part of the refinancing accounted for and that it is only in exceptional cases a negative interest rate give. However, these are arguments that can bring a prospective house owner, if he is negotiating with a Bank for a mortgage interest rate.

And finally, when negative interest rates are unusual legal issues. Thus, it is controversial whether or not a loan can be spoken. The Federal court says Yes – but this was an atypical loan. Some legal experts believe that a loan at negative interest rates to a "Deposit". That would be as if someone entered a value object such as a painting somewhere and a fee paid, and would also be legal for others to follow. (Editorial Tamedia)

Created: 01.07.2019, 15:03 p.m.

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