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Case Details

Case Details
National ID e3K-3-438-415/2016
Valstybė narė Lietuva
Common Name link
Decision type Supreme court decision
Decision date 12/10/2016
Teismas Lietuvos Aukščiausiasis Teismas
Tema
Ieškovas G.S.
Atsakovas “Danske Bank A/S”
Raktažodžiai contract law, credit agreement, disproportionate remedy, unfair terms

Unfair Contract Terms Directive, Article 3, 1. Unfair Contract Terms Directive, Article 5

A national court is under obligation to evaluate ex officio any provisions of the consumer agreement, including those which provide for actions to be regarded as a material breach of the consumer agreement on the part of the consumer, in the light of the rules against unfair terms in the consumer contracts.
The plaintiff and the defendant concluded a consumer mortgage agreement, under which the plaintiff was granted the credit in the amount of EUR 202 734 for the purchase of an apartment. The consumer mortgage agreement established that the delay in payment of even a minor instalment was considered to be a material breach of the agreement, entitling the defendant to unilaterally terminate the agreement and claim the return of the received credit, as well as interests and other payments under the agreement.

After six years following the conclusion of the consumer mortgage agreement and proper execution thereof, the plaintiff faced financial difficulties and became indebted to the defendant in the amount of EUR 6000. The defendant therefore requested the plaintiff to immediately make a payment of EUR 6000. The plaintiff requested to extend the term for paying the overdue instalments. The defendant covered almost all the debt within the extended term; however some minor non-returned amount was left unpaid. Thus, the defendant terminated the consumer mortgage agreement based on the argument that the consumer mortgage agreement provided that the delay of payment of even a minor instalment is a material breach on the part of the consumer.

The plaintiff sued the defendant for illegally terminating the consumer mortgage agreement.
Does a national court have a duty to evaluate ex officio provisions providing for actions to be regarded as a material breach of consumer agreements on the part of the consumer in the light of rules against unfair terms in the consumer contracts?
The court stated that a national court is always under an obligation to consider ex officio every single standard provision of the consumer contract with regard to rules against unfair terms of the consumer contracts. This duty exists and therefore the consideration must be applied even to provisions providing for actions that are considered to be a material breach of the consumer agreement on the part of the consumer.
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The case was referred back to the appellate court in order to analyse and consider if the provision on material breach of the agreement on the part of the consumer was in compliance with rules against unfair terms in the consumer agreements.