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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  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    Just got off the phone. Sheep is going to announce a policy that Labour will refund all the fees, if the banks don’t. There you go bros!

  • Rat

    Does she still have the house ?

    • Michael

      She was 64. The next birthday she probably got the best income of her life at 66% of the average wage and she was obviously able to capitalise her missed payments and start paying again,

  • peterwn

    I understand people who kicked up a stink about the fees often got them cancelled – seems the bank call centre operators or their immediate supervisors are authorised to do this.

  • Solidarity

    Slater & Gordon… Isn’t that Gillards old employer where there was some issue surrounding the legality of some of the work she did there setting up what she thought was a slush fund for the union… But it turned out it was just a slush fund for the senior union members?

    Pieces are starting to fall into place…

    This bank-bashing 101 by union/labour/socialists… With a convenient target with low hanging fruit…

  • SJ00

    Owed $10,000 in excessive bank fees? Does that even make sense? That would mean she default 500 times if the fee was $20. 667 times at $15. Or does she admit that they are allowed to charge some bank fees for her defaulting, which she has worked out for the bank and they have over charged her $10,000? Or is she accounting for interest and some other shit as well? If a customer defaulted 10 or more times, I’m surprised the bank haven’t given her the flick (if they can?).
    And does the ‘woman’ even have a name? If they aren’t putting her name down, then this story is complete bullshit. $10,000 in excessive bank fees shows someone so useless she can’t manage even basic money issues. Or maybe she fears being exposed by Cameron as some union patsy or lawyer plant or someone dodgy person.

  • BJ

    And the lawyers will be gleefully rubbing their hands together the more herd mentality there is – suckers!

  • blazer

    dont worry ,alot more to come re the banks and their practices.Lets face it their appalling behaviour has desensitised most to their inherent criminality…’You see, in their rush to churn out mortgages as fast as possible in order to earn commissions, some lenders made a big mistake. They altered people’s financial details on seemingly unimportant loan paperwork to get them past lending standards. ‘…to be cont…

    • Callum

      Evidence of that should see them in jail for fraud.
      However there are also a lot of people looking for a scapegoat to avoid the consequences of their own optimism or in some cases dishonesty.

      • blazer

        not one banker in Europe or the U.S has been jailed for blatant fraud.Eric Holder,U.S attorney gen said it would impact too severely on the international financial situation.

  • Rodger T

    I`ve bounced a few cheques in me time , so yeah I`ll sign up for a slice of the pie, heh,heh.

  • unsol

    The woman – an idiot.

    The Castle – brilliant. So wish we could claim it as our own!

  • J.M

    Run your accounts within agreed arrangements and you’ll have no problems. Hate these cunts complaining about it.

    • Callum

      Exaclty, default fees are disclosed to the customer so if you don’t like them find another bank BEFORE you default.

  • Gazzaw

    This is really all about ambulance chasing lawyers financial welfare.