In the past few years, eight different higher regional courts have ruled that banks should not charge fees for processing private loan applications. Few borrowers are aware of this and most banks simply ignore the relevant judgments. According to the new case law, banks can only charge processing fees if they grant a loan to a trader, for example, a craft company.
In the case of credit transactions between banks and private consumers, the credit contract must be processed free of charge. All processing fees that were charged due to early repayment of the loan cannot be reclaimed, provided they do not exceed USD 200.
Request processing fees back
All private borrowers who have paid processing fees to their bank without knowing the legal situation can reclaim them. The banks themselves are of course not interested in the reimbursement of the fees, they only pay on request, whoever does not complain will not receive any payment. The bank may not terminate the current loan due to the recovery, as long as the borrower pays his installments on time, he is legally on the safe side.
The statutory right to reimbursement of processing fees expires three years after the end of the year in which the loan agreement was concluded. For contracts from 2010, the recovery period ends at the end of 2013. But there is still hope for borrowers who signed their contract in 2009 or earlier.
Always ask about processing fees for new contracts
The first consumer-friendly judgments regarding “processing fees for loan contracts” came only in 2010. According to a judgment by the Bonn district court, it was previously unreasonable to expect the borrowers to assert their claims against the banks. Accordingly, the limitation period for them also had to start in 2010.
When entering into a new loan contract, one should always ask about the processing fees and, if necessary, inform the bank of the relevant judgments. If she insists on the fees, you should better refrain from the offer and choose another provider.