Big bank saddles mortgage borrower with hefty bill

A Canadian couple was shocked to learn that they owed their lender tens of thousands of dollars to end their fixed-term mortgage early.

Shane and Joy Trusz, an Edmonton couple, knew they would be dinged with a penalty and expected to pay the equivalent of three months interest — $4,000 – but were surprised when TD Bank charged them a much bigger figure, according to CBC News.

“We came out with a figure, it was about $7,000,” Shane Trusz told the CBC. “So, how is TD coming up with $17,000? I have no idea.”

The contract with TD stipulates that the bank will charge an early exit penalty of either three months interest or the Interest Rate Differential.

Shane Trusz, who has been a TD customer for just under 20 years, told the CBC he expected the bank to make an exception in their case. The couple decided to sell their home and their positions to move to Haiti to run an orphanage.

“We have some money set aside for project costs, to buy land, create businesses. We’re going to be using our own money to do that – and so when all of a sudden we’re going to have $17,000 less than we thought we were going to have, we see that in human terms,” Trusz said. “The last time I was there I lent a Haitian $2,700 to build his first home with indoor plumbing.

“He has two girls, so they’re going to live in a house with a toilet and a sink for the first time in his life.”

The Trusz family plan to live in Haiti on a budget of $24,000 a year. Pleas to the bank’s district vice-president were declined.

“I was devastated,” Trusz told the CBC. “We’re laying down everything we love about this world, living here in Canada, to go and help people. So, if you can’t make an exception for that, what would you make an exception for?”

Calls to TD from CBC Go Public eventually lead to a settlement offer to the couple, which was accepted.

by Jamie Henry | 08 Oct 2014

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