Processing fees for loans represent additional costs for consumers. For their services, banks can already be compensated for by the term-dependent interest on the respective loan. Therefore, additional processing fees have been judged by local and regional courts as inadmissible for several years. A decision of principle of the highest German court, the Federal High Court, stood but so far still. Already in 2012 could have come to it, however, the defendant savings bank withdrew its revision at that time. She probably prevented an earlier ban on processing fees. Thousands of consumers can now appeal to the current judgment of the Federal Court of Justice.
In one of the two cases, which lie with the BGH, it concerned a handling fee of 1,200 euro for a credit over altogether 49,100 euro with the Postbank. The client had completed the loan application online in 2012. Only those who read the fine print will notice the handling fees. Other victims have so far renounced going to the lawyer and the resulting costs. After all, not every borrower has to pay more than 1,000 euros in processing fees for his loan. In addition, it is not yet clear how many years – even after the loan expires – the former borrowers can reclaim their processing fees. This could even be possible by the year 2003.
Update October 28, 2014: The Federal Supreme Court has now decided that bank customers may claim back credit fees that have been improperly levied until 2004. The court thus extends the limitation period to ten years.
Who is now looking for a cheap loan should pay attention to the conditions- their website. If credit processing fees are levied, consumers should point out the BGH judgment and demand the cancellation of the fees.
The Federal Court ruled that “pre-formulated provisions on a processing fee in loan agreements between a credit institution and a consumer are ineffective.”
The BGH bases its decision on the fact that banks unduly prejudice consumers by the additional processing fees. The BGH senate chairman Ulrich Wiechers already explained in a “preliminary assessment” in the morning that the banks would have passed on costs for an activity “in their own interest or due to an existing legal obligation” on the consumers, reports the Süddeutsche Zeitung. The Supreme Court is still around 100 more lawsuits to the processing fee for loans pending. For Wichert, however, this is “just the tip of the iceberg.” Various associations of consumer protection officials are also taking legal action. For example, the protection community for bank customers already represents hundreds of cases.
If you want to recover your processing fee, you can, for example, join a class action lawsuit by the Schutzgemeinschaft für Bankkunden or by meta-claims. Affected parties can assert their recovery at the bank themselves with the help of a sample letter.
In view of these developments, it is not surprising that the front of the restitution deniers begins to break. Already in 2012, some banks, for example, Sparkasse Chemnitz, Ostsächsische Sparkasse Dresden, Sparkasse Leipzig and Volksbank Riesa, have begun to pay back processing fees for loans. Banks are currently granting consumer loans of 175 to 200 million euros annually. The Stiftung Warentest calculates: Assuming an average loan processing fee of two percent, which demands the banks between the years 2005 and 2013 of their borrowers, the institutions are with 13 billion euros in debt. So far, only a small part of it has been refunded. The judgment of the BGH, therefore, has far-reaching financial consequences for the banks.