Sernac filed a class action lawsuit with Banco de Chile after detecting abusive clauses in its contracts

The National Consumer Service Sernac filed, on Wednesday, a class action lawsuit against the Bank of Chile to demand fines and compensation after detecting “abusive clauses” in the contracts, which have allowed the bank to make illegitimate charges to consumers under the concept of “judicial fees”.
According to the agency’s accusation, the Bank of Chile made extrajudicial collection expenses above the maximum amounts established by law and that are not consistent with the procedures actually carried out, in addition to not providing the consumer with the minimum information that the law requires when contracting products and / or financial services.
That is why the judicial complaint seeks to restore the amounts that were charged to consumers improperly, that abusive clauses be declared null and void, that the damages caused to consumers be compensated and that the bank be condemned the maximum of the fines established by the Law.
The legal action of Sernac ensures that the bank incorporates in its contracts a charge for “judicial fees”, calculated in advance and arbitrarily a minimum value and a maximum limit, since these are calculated “between 10% and 15% of the demanded, plus expenses and / or judicial costs, “explained the institution.
The National Director (s) of SERNAC, Jean Pierre Couchot, clarified that this type of charges applied by these financial institutions are serious, because, in addition to being limited in the law since 1999, they affect consumers who are already delinquent, that is, they have overdue obligations, and are not in a position to be able to negotiate.
“In practice, this type of improperly applied charges recharge the backpack even more to consumers who are already in a complicated situation, because behind an unpaid debt are hidden difficult economic situations, which have been aggravated by the pandemic. No one has unpaid debts for pleasure,” Couchot emphasized.
Broadly speaking, according to the information handled by the institution, it was established that the maximum amount charged to a consumer for court fees was $15,103,903, while the average amount charged is $353,170.
Sernac states that this charge is applied when out-of-court agreements are entered into that put an end to the collection trial, so they are not established by the court. In the opinion of the institution, the inclusion of this clause and the execution of these charges do not comply with the provisions of the Consumer Law and violate good faith, since they do not obey objective parameters and produce a significant imbalance to the detriment of consumers.

Original source in Spanish

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