Cry Baby of the Week

Cry Baby: Teresa Fesuiai and her husband

Photo: KENT BLECHYNDEN/Fairfax NZ

Photo: KENT BLECHYNDEN/Fairfax NZ

The incident: In 2003 Teresa Fesuiai and her husband borrowed $819 for pay for some new car tyres. They then went back to the lender and borrowed more money…six more times to pay for for family events, gifts and other expenses.

They then consolidate their lending with a loan of $18,639 to settle the existing total and a $1000 cash advance.

The Fesuiais make regular payments until March 2007, and manage to pay off $23,000. And then they stop paying.

They are then pursued by debt collectors, lose a court case and have to pay costs associated with the collection efforts. They are now facing losing their house to settle the debts.  

The appropriate response: Pay debts as they fall due, if you borrow money then it is incumbent upon you to repay the debt. A contract is in force.

If it is getting tough then adjust your lifestyle to cope, seek budgeting advice and look to reduce expenses.

The actual response: Teresa Fesuiai and her husband stopped making repayments and then tried to get off their debts with a cry-baby excuse that it was too “burdensome” to make payments.

Despite the fact that they kept on topping up their loans and getting new ones they never now seem to think they shouldn’t have to pay back what they signed up for.

After crying a river of tears at a local legal advice centre they stupidly stop making payments and then attempt to sue the finance company, after speaking with another local flea lawyer. They lose the case and must now cover court costs of $41,000 for both the finance company and also the collection service.

Court costs, the remaining loan balance, plus costs for their lawyer mean they now owe $70,000. Their house has been placed on the market.

To finally qualify as gold standard cry-babies they run off to the media and give an interview that confirms for all but the most stupid reader that they are dumber than a sack of hammer. They even pose for a teary photo.

They blame, first the finance company for hoodwinking them, then a succession of lawyers for duping them.

There is one saving grace…they seem to have learned their lesson.

“I tell the kids now, if they don’t have any money for something, don’t get a loan. Just save up for it instead.”

These people are not victims of loan sharks which is what the article is trying to do, they are victims of their own stupidity.

I’ll bet the Church never missed their tithe though.


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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. 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 who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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