Agreement with VKI after OGH judgment – registration for the VKI collection campaign for those affected by September 12th, 2023
Vienna (OTS/VKI) – The Association for Consumer Information (VKI) had obtained a fundamental decision for affected borrowers in connection with the legally ordered loan deferral (credit moratorium) from the Supreme Court (OGH) at the beginning of 2022. After the Constitutional Court (VfGH) ruled at the end of last year that the relevant provisions of the “2. Covid-19-Judicial Accompanying Act”, the VKI has now also been able to reach an agreement with Raiffeisen-Landesbank Tirol AG (RLB-Tirol). Accordingly, the debit interest charged will be refunded if the affected customers have suffered significant income losses as a result of the pandemic and the payment of the loan installments during the deferral period was therefore unreasonable. The VKI starts at www.verbraucherrecht.at/rlb-tirol a collection campaign to which those affected can register until September 12, 2023 can register.
In the “2. Covid-19-Justiz-Begleitgesetz”, the legislator had provided consumers with a right of deferral for the period from April 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021 if they were no longer able to service their current loans due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was unclear whether interest could be charged for this period. Most banks, including RLB Tirol, continue to calculate debit interest.
At the beginning of 2022, the VKI was able to obtain a fundamental decision from the highest court in favor of consumers from another bank. According to the decision of the Supreme Court (3 Ob 189/21x), further charging of debit interest is not permitted during the statutory deferral period.
After RLB Tirol had charged affected customers debit interest during the statutory deferral period, the VKI – on behalf of the Ministry of Social Affairs – brought a class action lawsuit against RLB Tirol.
After constructive negotiations with the RLB Tirol, the VKI has now been able to reach an out-of-court solution for the customers concerned. RLB Tirol will reimburse those affected for the debit interest charged on loan agreements during the deferral period (April 1, 2020 – January 31, 2021). The prerequisite is that customers have suffered significant loss of income as a result of the pandemic and that it was therefore not reasonable for them to pay the loan installments during the deferral period. For the refund, which takes place by means of a credit note, the free registration is under www.verbraucherrecht.at/rlb-tirol necessary. Participation in the VKI campaign is possible until September 12, 2023.
Corresponding information will be sent by RLB Tirol to all affected customers in the next few days. Affected consumers who have already repaid their loan can also take part.
“It is gratifying that we were able to find a good solution for affected consumers with RLB Tirol,” comments Mag. Thomas Hirmke, head of the legal department at VKI. And he adds: “We also call on those banking institutions that have not yet offered refunds to follow the OGH ruling and pay back the overcharged interest to their customers.”
SERVICE: There is further information on registering for the collection campaign “RLB Tirol – reimbursement of debit interest in the event of a credit deferral due to Corona”. www.verbraucherrecht.at/rlb-tirol.