Building Society Challenged over Rate Rise

24th February 2010

Skipton Building Society faces a legal challenge to its plan to raise the ceiling on its standard variable rate mortgage for over 60,000 customers from 3.5% to 4.95% when their current mortgage deal reaches its end.

The building society, the UK’s fourth biggest, claims it may do so in exceptional circumstances.

However, the legal challenge will proceed on the basis that the change is unlawful in terms of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, and that the recent economic downturn does not constitute exceptional circumstances.

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Sharp Customer Wins Right to Challenge Unfair Bank Charges

24th February 2010

In the case of Sharp v Bank of Scotland, a client of Govan Law Centre succeeded in persuading Glasgow Sheriff Court to admit a challenge to bank overdraft charges in terms of the Consumer Credit Act.

This follows a decision of the House of Lords in November 2009 to reject a general challenge brought by the Office of Fair Trading, when it was ruled that a scale of bank charges was not susceptible to challenge under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.

However, the new case proceeds on the basis of section 140A of the Consumer Credit Act ...

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Property Factors Bill

22nd February 2010

The Property Factors (Scotland) Bill appears set to become law as it has received cross-party support from MSP’s. The proposed law would require all Scottish factors and property managers to register and to be accredited.

The Bill’s sponsor, Maryhill Labour MSP Patricia Ferguson, commented, "I am delighted that so many colleagues have recognised the need to legislate so that factors can be properly regulated, and I am grateful to them for their support. I am looking forward to being able to bring forward the legislation and to give MSP colleagues the opportunity to discuss the issues raised by ...

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SLAB Guidelines on Mortgage Cases Lead to Further Confusion

18th February 2010

Please click here to link to the relevant page in our Advice Section.

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Homeowner Bill Passed by Parliament

12th February 2010

The Homeowner & Debtor Protection (Scotland) Bill has been passed by the Scottish Parliament. The new law has already featured in a number of news articles on this website, and Renfrewshire Law Centre was involved in government consultation on the proposed legislative reforms.

Housing and Communities Minister, Alex Neil MSP commented that, "One of the most significant consequences of the economic recession is that too many Scots find themselves caught in a debt trap, putting family homes - and families - at risk. Our response, embodied in this bill, has been to act quickly to introduce more protection for home owners and to ...

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False Economy of Government Winter Roads Policy

11th February 2010

Scottish councils stand before floodgates of litigation over incidents related to the severe winter weather of late 2009 to early 2010, particularly personal injury and vehicle damage.

Hospital A&E wards dealt with three times the usual number of patients with broken bones sustained in falls on icy pavements and roads, while insurance companies have received hundreds of claims in respect of collisions caused by treacherous driving conditions.

Moreover, the thaw revealed an additional, hidden cost in the form of countless potholes created as snow on untreated roads was allowed to turn to ice, expanding cracks in the surface. The ...

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Reasonableness is Here to Stay: Homeowner & Debtor Protection Bill

3rd February 2010

Today Jon Kiddie of Renfrewshire Law Centre and his colleague, Angus MacIntosh of Castlemilk Law & Money Advice Centre, travelled to the Scottish Parliament to represent the Scottish Association of Law Centres at a consultation with Government and Opposition MSP's and civil servants on the Homeowner & Debtor Protection (Scotland) Bill.

The new law, which has already featured in articles on this webiste, will introduce important, welcome changes in the procedure for banks and other lenders applying to repossess the homes of mortgage customers. Court actions will require to call in open court, and lenders will require to satisfy the sheriff ...

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RLC Solicitor Appointed Secretary of SALC

3rd February 2010

Jon Kiddie, Principal Solicitor of Renfrewshire Law Centre, has accepted appointment as Secretary of the Scottish Association of Law Centres (SALC), assuming the role from Angus MacIntosh of Castlemilk Law & Money Advice Centre, who has served SALC in this capacity since 2007.

The Association, which represents the views and interests of law centres throughout Scotland, proposes to develop its profile in the future by attracting new law centres to join as they emerge all over the country, by campaigning for legal reform, and by rolling out a training program for lawyers and legal advisors.

Click here to click to the ...

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