The financially inept want their money back? Tell them they’re dreamin’

Amelia Wade reports

An Auckland woman says she is owed $10,000 in excessive bank default fees after she was not able to meet her mortgage repayments during a time of financial hardship.

She intends to either join the class-action lawsuit against New Zealand banks or sue privately.

In less than 24 hours, 10,000 people registered to join the billion dollar legal case after Auckland barrister Andrew Hooker announced the plans, backed by Australian law firm Slater & Gordon and Australian litigation funders Litigation Lending Services.

This is all about lawyers having a tilt at the banks.

If you fall onto hard times and can’t pay your mortgage, you go to the bank and talk it through.  You don’t sit there and let the payments bounce for a few months first.

We all have spots in our lives where things don’t quite go as planned.  But some people think they are victims, it isn’t “fair”, and they are owed something because life is so hard:

For years, the woman struggled to stay in work as her profession was severely affected by the global financial crisis. She also had a bout of pneumonia and has a 20-year-old disabled son who needs special care.

At first she battled Westpac to have the default fees removed and succeeded twice, but the constant struggle over the phone became too much as she knew she wouldn’t win.

The bank just didn’t make the rules up half way through the mortgage.  You default, there are fees.  If you can’t pay and you don’t work with the bank, there are fees.  This isn’t new.

I have no doubt that there is an argument to be made that dishonour and other penalty fees may be unreasonable, but it really amuses me that this is a case where those who can’t manage their finances are herding together on the promise of a smell of an idea of some money that they will probably never see.

Not for a good 10 years, anyway.  The banks will tie it up in court for as long as possible.  By the time they is a payout, once the cost and fees are taken off, and inflation has taken its toll, most of the deadbeats will not even get enough to pay their next mortgage payment.

Source: NZ Herald

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.