Lawyer for CIBC class action dispels rumours

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The lawyer spearheading that class action suit against CIBC over prepayment penalties is putting the kibosh on speculation he’s cancelled the action.

“Whoever suggested the actions have been dropped was sadly misinformed!” Kieran Bridge, a Vancouver lawyer with the Construction Law Group, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “The actions, in B.C., Ontario and Quebec, are certainly proceeding."

He helped launch those twin class-action suits against CIBC over “vague prepayment terms” late last year. In the intervening months hundreds of the bank’s mortgage clients – including FirstLine borrowers – have reached out in an effort to join in.
 
“There have been hundreds of inquiries about these cases to our office and that of our co-counsel in Ontario,” said Bridge, pointing to borrowers who paid out CIBC mortgage from April 2005 onward.
Firstline clients are among those concerned they’ve been adversely affected by the lender’s prepayment policy.

While a Case Management Judge has been assigned, Bridge is still waiting on a key building block to be put in place in order to win to certification.

“We have been compiling our certification materials, and I will be meeting with one of the witnesses tomorrow,” he told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “The certification hearing date has not yet been set; the assigned judge in B.C. has been in a lengthy trial.”

The twin lawsuits were filed in B.C. and Ontario last October, alleging some CIBC mortgage borrowers have been unfairly penalized by unclear prepayment terms giving rise to two substantive complaints.
 
Aside from what Bridge terms “uncertain and unenforceable language” in contracts dating as far back as 2005, he also points to the mathematical formula CIBC used to determine those prepayment charges, calling them “invalid,” or in legal speak a “miscalculation.”

The suits rely on individual representative plaintiffs in B.C. and Ontario. Each of those two notices of claim alleges CIBC applied terms and conditions to certain mortgage contracts that allowed it “unfettered discretion” in calculating mortgage prepayment penalties.  

Bridge is looking toward the fall for movement in the case.
 

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