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Dear Sir/Madam

Penalty & unfair charges - request for refund for [YOUR NAME, SORT CODE, and LOAN ACCOUNT NUMBER].

[INSERT the amount of charges applied i.e. 'Since 2006 you have applied mortgage 'arrears charges' to my account in the sum of £1,000'.  - if you don't know send the 'Data Protection' letter on the Step 1 page].

I believe these charges are a penalty charge and legally unfair in terms of the 1999 Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations (SI. 1999/2083).  I believe this because:

Your mortgage default charges are very similar to credit card default charges. 

On 5 April 2006 the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) announced that credit card default charges which are set at more than £12 will be presumed to be unfair and unenforceable in terms of the 1999 Regulations.  Charges above this sum will be subject to legal action by the OFT (press release 68/06 - online here: http://www.oft.gov.uk/News/Press+releases/2006/68-06.htm).

The OFT stated that a charge is not fair simply because it is below this sum, and I believe that a reasonable charge would be no more than your loss of base rate interest on the sums I have failed to pay.  For example, if I was in arrears of £500 for one month your loss would be:

 (base rate interest) x (level of arrears) x (length of time in arrears)

5.75% x 500 x 1/12 = £2.39

Please refund all charges applied to my account within the next 7 days. I reserve the right to commence court proceedings without any further notice, and to seek an additional award for distress and inconvenience, together with legal expenses.

Yours faithfully