Vancouver class action lawyer Kieran Bridge, lead counsel on the case nationally, said the suit has been launched in both B.C. and Ontario and represents a national class of individuals. Siskinds LLP is the solicitor of record in Ontario.
Bridge said the case contends that the language in CIBC’s mortgage contracts since 2005 is too vague and thus unenforceable.
“[The language] purports to give them tremendously wide discretion to calculate the penalties any way they see fit,” he said. “It’s what lawyers call uncertain; it’s not really clear what your rights are as a customer and if a court, for example, couldn’t look at it and say, ‘You’ve done it right’ or ‘You’ve done it wrong’ because it’s so vague – [then] it’s unenforceable.”
Bridge said the suit also targets the mathematical formula used to calculate the penalties.
“When they calculate the penalties, they use a mathematical formula which doesn’t take into account they’re getting all this money early,” he said.
Bridge said the case arose out of B.C., where an individual was charged a mortgage prepayment penalty of more than $47,000.
The case has yet to be certified as a class action.