If you believe that you have suffered loss due to negligent financial advice, there are powerful reasons why you should consult a lawyer straight away. In a case on point, an elderly couple who claimed to have been ill-advised to enter into an interest-only mortgage came within an ace of having their claim struck out for delay.

The couple claimed that they were negligently advised to remortgage their home for £250,999 on an interest-only basis when a capital repayment mortgage would have been affordable by them and better suited to their needs. They also contended that a financial adviser failed to alert them to the need to have a repayment vehicle in place so that the loan could be paid off at the end of its 13-year term. They launched proceedings against the company that employed the adviser in question.

Professional negligence claims must generally be lodged within a six-year time limit, but the couple did not issue a claim form until more than a dozen years had passed since they entered into the mortgage. In those circumstances, the company argued that their claim should be struck out.

The couple, however, asserted that they only became aware that they might have received negligent advice some years after the event when the man listened to a radio programme which spoke of potentially missold interest-only mortgages. They argued that, given their date of knowledge, the time limit should be extended for a further three years from the date of the broadcast.

The High Court found, with considerable hesitation, that the time limit issue should not be decided on a summary basis and that the couple’s case should be permitted to proceed to a full hearing. The company’s arguments that their claim should be struck out because it had no real prospect of success also fell on fallow ground. The Court, however, ruled that the valuation that the couple had put on their claim was unrealistic and directed them to amend their case accordingly.


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