29. Aug 16

Last chance to use get-out-of-jail-free card – Loan withdrawal possible until June 20

Anyone who still wants to make timely use of their get-out-of-jail-free card before June 20, 2016 and withdraw from a loan can benefit from low interest rates or reclaim an early repayment penalty

GRP Rainer Lawyers and Tax Advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London conclude: This is the last chance for many consumers to make use of their get-out-of-jail-free card. Anybody who fails to withdraw from a real estate loan concluded between November 2002 and June 10, 2010 by June 20 of this year is too late, as the withdrawal period comes to an end at midnight on June 21. Those who fail to seize this opportunity are willingly forgoing a lot of money. A successful withdrawal from a loan makes it possible to take advantage of historically low interest rates for the purposes of refinancing under favourable conditions. If a loan has already been prematurely paid off with an early repayment penalty, it is possible for consumers to reclaim this following a successful loan withdrawal.

To this end, two conditions need to be met first and foremost: firstly, the bank or savings bank has to have made use of flawed or inadequate guidance on the right of withdrawal. The chances of this being the case are high. According to research conducted by the Verbraucherzentrale Hamburg (Hamburg Consumer Advice Centre), flawed or inadequate guidance regarding the right of withdrawal was used in connection with around 80 per cent of real estate loans concluded between 2002 and 2010. It is generally still possible to withdraw from these loans today because the withdrawal period never commenced. Secondly, the notice of withdrawal has to be received on time by the bank before June 21. Moreover, it is a good idea for consumers to have receipt of this acknowledged, e.g. by certified mail with a return receipt. One should therefore err on the side of caution and not wait until the last minute. It is advisable to declare notice of withdrawal no later than the 24th calendar week.

Withdrawal is possible in the case of many but not all real estate loans concluded between 2002 and 2010. However, it is difficult for a layperson to recognize whether the bank in question made use of flawed or inadequate guidance concerning the right of withdrawal. Typical indications include the wording “die Frist beginnt frühestens” (the withdrawal period shall begin no earlier than) or use of footnotes. Lawyers who are experienced in the field of banking law are able to quickly establish whether the conditions for withdrawal have been met and provide consumers with further assistance.

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