RMBL conducts business as a mortgage lender, accepting investments from members of the public and then lending those funds to borrowers under a contributory mortgage fund scheme.
Under the loan agreements between RMBL and borrowers, borrowers are required to pay ‘collection charges’ to RMBL (in addition to their regular interest payments), purportedly to compensate RMBL for its costs, charges and expenses incurred in collecting those interest payments. In the case of the lead applicant in this action, those ‘collection charges’ were originally set at 5.5% of the amount of interest payable each month (or each quarter), but during the course of the loan were increased successively to 27.5%, purportedly in the exercise of RMBL’s discretion. The loan agreement also states that RMBL is not obliged to accept early repayment of the loan prior to the due date.
This class action alleges that, when properly understood, the loan agreement only entitled RMBL to demand, and only required borrowers to pay, the actual amount of costs, charges and expenses incurred by RMBL in collecting interest payments (and not at some pre-determined, arbitrary, rate); or alternatively, that the purported increases to the ‘collection charge’ rate from time to time were void and of no effect. Thus, it is alleged that in imposing the ‘collection charges’ which it did, RMBL acted in breach of contract and has engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct.
The action has been commenced on behalf of borrowers who have suffered losses as a result of entering into a loan agreement with RMBL containing the ‘collection charges’ clause and who have paid charges pursuant to that clause at any time.
If you would like to register or have any queries, please call the Maurice Blackburn team on 1800 931 361 or email RMBLclassaction@mauriceblackburn.com.au.