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Last Updated: Friday, 29 April 2005, 17:40 GMT 18:40 UK
Have your say: Mortgage costs
House details, calculator and mortgage information

Switching lenders can save you a lot of money on your mortgage, but providers are increasing the price you have to pay to get out of your existing deal.

You can also be hit by these charges when you have finally paid off your mortgage.

Fifty three lenders have put the charge up in the last 12 months, and 23 of those have more than doubled the cost, according to personal finance data publisher Moneyfacts.

What do you think about this trend? Have you been put off changing mortgages because of the cost of leaving?

Or have arrangement fees for a new mortgage made you stay put?

What do you think of being hit by a bill when at last you have paid off your mortgage?

Whatever your opinion please send us your views using the e-mail form at the bottom of this page.

We will continue to post your comments on Wednesday.

Despite working as a financial adviser, the increased sealing fee on my mortgage came as a shock.

We have never been advised by our employer to explain that these fees could be infinitely variable, so there isn't much hope for the general public.
DE, Wakefield

I think it's the principle in all of this that matters.

Mortgage regulation has brought in the Key Facts Illustration which is supposed to lay out very clearly what you are likely to pay for your mortgage.

However, it seems this extra administration fee can be added at any time and at any amount.

[This fee] should not be retrospective once [lenders] have captured their prey
Yvonne Skillings
Ideally the lender should offer a service and a rate that retains custom, not a hefty fine to anyone with the audacity to change lenders.

I see no reason why lenders should not be able to apply this fee, as long as they inform borrowers before they take out the mortgage. It should not be retrospective once they have captured their prey.
Yvonne Skillings, Ashbourne

If there was a set fee when the mortgage is arranged, that is the fee that should be charged when the mortgage is redeemed.
NC Powis, Thorpe-le-Soken

I too have encountered this problem. I am on the point of selling my house and have discovered that my mortgage lender has increased its mortgage discharge fee to 250, from 80 when I took out the mortgage five years ago.

The mortgage terms and conditions state that "costs, charges and expenses reasonably incurred" may be passed on to the borrower.

I have asked for a breakdown of their expenses and an explanation of why the charge is now over 300% higher than in 2000. I await their reply with interest!
Helen, Cambridge

I am astounded Abbey can do this.
Robert Bristow

I am astounded Abbey can do this. I have no choice. I am locked into this. If I end my relationship with Abbey, which I most certainly want to do after this, then I pay, or if I stay to the end then I pay.

All I can say is that I will never do business with Abbey again.
Robert Bristow, Exeter

I am an Abbey customer who will have to pay these charges when my mortgage terminates. This is profiteering in its purest form.

I accept some administration charge is necessary. However, now that most records are kept electronically this extortionate fee surely cannot be justified!

Frankly a business treating its customers like this, many of whom have been with them for decades, must only be described as using sharp practice of the worst kind. The OFT must investigate as soon as possible.

It is a real rip-off. Five years ago I was charged 80... bad enough even then just for returning your deeds and closing the account. But now the same provider is charging over 220!
EM, Gloucester

If this applies to those who are not switching mortgage providers, it is grossly unfair and smacks of sharp practice.

Existing customers... are subsidising those who save money by switching mortgages
V Stone, Kingswinford
It means existing customers, through no action of their own, are subsidising those who save money by switching mortgages.

It was the mortgage companies themselves who introduced and built up this practice for their own profit. They should bear the costs, not pass it on to unsuspecting customers.
V Stone, Kingswinford

We held a mortgage for about 15 years and when we came to pay it off, we were charged a 250 fee. I wrote to the complaints department and they waived it.

It should never have been charged in my view.
Neil Davis, Worcester

It was the lenders that encouraged people to move around in the place with their very prominent advertising campaigns.

How do we know what their costs really are?
John Walker, Stevenston
They really should own up to the fact that if this was going to cost them money then they should have thought twice about it. They cannot have it both ways!

And how do we know what their costs really are?

These financial institutions have no concern for their customers. All they want to do is milk them of as much of their hard-earned cash as possible in order to maximise their profits.
John Walker, Stevenston, Ayrshire

While charging for switching is perhaps reasonable, charging when a mortgage has run its term is naughty.
P Stafford Allen, King's Lynn

I have recently finished paying off my mortgage with my small local building society.

Its charge is 50 for redemption of the deeds.

When my wife and I went to collect the deeds the member of staff dealing with us went to retrieve them and came back to her office one minute later.

These fees are all to often extortionate
Les Greer, Leicestershire
I asked if she had difficulty finding them and she told us that she just walked into the archive and found them immediately.

I queried being charged 50 for one minute's work, to which she replied there was nothing she could do about it as these were the rules.

These fees are all to often extortionate.
Les Greer, Leicestershire

Yes, my mortgage has shown this escalation. But does it really cost this figure to terminate a mortgage? Can Moneybox use its clout to get a breakdown of these fees?
Howard Fisher, Peterborough

I have just redeemed my mortgage and was asked to pay a 195.00 redemption fee. This charge was not for early redemption of the account but to return the title deeds to me.

I thought the cost was extortionate and requested a breakdown of the charge. Despite several requests the information was not provided.

The fee is exorbitant. It was 95.00 when the mortgage was taken out just five years ago.

Action is needed to break this profiteering
Ray Seymour, Bedford
After many months of correspondence, the charge was waived for me. I received my title deeds together with a Land Registry form for me to complete, in effect a do-it-yourself redemption.

From what I can see the charge covers merely the retrieval of deeds from archive storage, secure mailing, and presumably some insurance in case of loss.

Certainly, there was no evident expertise or service provided and nothing to merit a charge of 50.00 let alone 195.

I have already asked the Office of Fair Trading to look into this practice; compare prices charged, the services provided for the money, and the options available to consumers.

I am of the opinion that the return of the deeds on redemption should be free of charge.

Action is needed to break this profiteering.
Ray Seymour, Bedford

I believe it is purely for commercial advantage, to offer lower mortgage rates by subsidising the cost with the closing fee.

This is fine, if the costs are made clear up front.

What is not fine is making a contract on the basis of a 50 closing fee and then hiking it by 350%, which is what has happened in my case.
Colin Gardner

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