Update: The decision of the BGH on the limitation period has now been made.
According to two judgments by the Federal Court of Justice (Az. XI ZR 405/12 and XI ZR 170/13), the processing fees charged by many banks for granting a consumer credit are inadmissible.
Process the loan with credit check
The basic judgment on the validity of such clauses was given because the court held that the banks hereby charge the borrower costs that they incur in their own business interests or under an existing legal obligation. In addition to the general processing of the loan, this is also the credit check, which is prescribed by the German Banking Act. According to this, the banks may only charge interest on a loan.
This disadvantage for customers was the case among others at Best Bank, Astro Finance, Cream Bank, Good Lender Credit Bank and Capital Lender. The amount of the fee was usually between one and four percent of the loan amount.
Thousands of credit customers can get their fees back
If the loan was less than three years ago (effective date: January 1, 2011), the fees paid should be reclaimed from the bank with reference to the BGH judgments. For older contracts, you should still try – despite the banks’ appeal to the limitation period – since the case law is not yet clear. Another BGH ruling as to whether the so-called long limitation period of ten years will apply is expected this year.
For the repayment, a written application should be made, which lists the loan amount, the contract date and also the amount of the processing fee. Not only normal consumer loans, but also car financing could be affected. However, no decision was taken on construction and commercial loans.
If all customers exercised their right, the banks would face millions in claims. Best Bank alone raised almost $ 200,000 with additional loan fees within three years.
Attention: If the processing fee was negotiated freely, it is probably permissible. To do this, however, the customer must at least have been spoken to and he must have had a negotiating influence on the amount. It must also not be noted in the bank’s list of prices and services. In most cases, the corresponding clause was listed directly in the loan agreement.