Cry Baby of the Week

Cry Baby: Teresa Fesuiai and her husband



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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  • johnbronkhorst

    When we got this low, in early 90’s…we sold the TV, video , CD and video collection and many other things that weren’t nailed pay our mortgage. Couldn’t afford to have a TV for about 8 months, eventually got a full time job (to replace all the casual work ones) also sold AMWAY to supplement income. Never looked back, though have had some other ups and downs since.

  • spollyike

    Haha, grow up! (That’s what i tell my 4 year old anyway – seems to work).

  • Mr_Blobby

    And this is everybody else s fault how. You enter into a contract not once but multiple times and continue to borrow like there is no tomorrow. They weren’t fucked over by the finance company, they were fucked over by several lawyers. Doubt if the law society will look to closely at the legal advise given. Would have been better to just pay off the loan and honor your word. Or better still if you can’t afford it don’t do it.

    Now whats the bet that they have been breeding like rabbits and most of the family are obese.

  • cruiseyman

    This kind of attitude totally shits me. We had over $200,000 of debt from a failed business, could easily have declared bankruptcy, instead we started a new business and that I worked in full time plus another full time job and a part time until we got on our feet. We weren’t even technically obligated to pay a lot of the previous debt as it belonged to a different company, morally however we believed we borrowed it so we should pay it. End of story.

    • cruiseyman

      I just want to add also that it’s not the finance companies that need to be held accountable, it’s the PI culture in which the church, community and extended family place massive pressure on people to contribute way beyond their means, I have witnessed this personally, this couple both had jobs and owned a home so would have been seen as well off by their family and would have been under constant expectation to hand money over. This is what has to stop, saying ‘no sorry we can’t afford it’ needs to become an acceptable response.

  • Patrick

    Reminds me of a discussion I had with a used car salesman in South Auckland – when I asked him why he didn’t display the sale price of the cars on the windshield he told me the sort of customers they get are not interested in the price – just what the repayments are each week/month. So a $10k car could end up costing these folk $30k by the time they pay it off, & by that time the damn thing will be a worn out broken down pile of pooh. We really are a bunch of financial illiterates in NZ.

    • Yes, I managed to leave secondary school with an excellent knowledge of the Napoleonic War, and no idea what a mortgage was. And that was despite studying what was called Economics.

      Civics and financial literacy should be compulsory subjects. Aside from the personal benefits, our fellow citizens would have some understanding of the real world impacts of the policies that seemed superficially attractive, rather than seeing them as “free money”.

      As an aside, though, it’s interesting how many can come here and rail against Labour & the Greens for duping the gullible into voting for them, yet when a loan shark dupes those same people, they’re held to bear none of the blame.

      • Patrick

        Only thing I remember about 3rd form economics is it is “about needs & wants.” Oh how we took the piss out of the Indian economics teacher with his accent – but it has stuck with me all these years. When I am purchasing big ticket items I do my best to distinguish whether it is a need or a want. Admittedly in the case above tyres were more than likely a need. The other items they added to their loans however may not have been.

  • paddles83

    To put it bluntly the Dominion had Fuck Head Line News so come up with this story
    Read my Lips you borrow it then pay it back

  • Betty Swallocks

    ‘June 2007: On advice from a local community law group, they stop paying the loans and tell Finance Now in writing it has become “burdensome”.’

    Be interesting to find out who the ‘community law group’ was that advised them to stop paying , instead of advising them to write to the finance company and ask for lower repayments/increased term or whatever. Wonder if it was this crowd?

    • Anonymouse Coward

      Whoever advised the borrower failed to read properly the hardship provisions of the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act.

      It requires you to notify the lender of your unforeseen hardship and these hardship provisions only apply if you are current with your payments.

      The advise given to send a letter to the finance co simply asserting hardship and to unilaterally stop payments was wrong.

      Take away lesson; If you find yourself in the financial poo, talk to your lender.

  • John1234

    $819 in 2003 for car tyres? WTF are they driving?

    And to think, in 2008 they “only” owed $11k.

    • Dave

      Tyres, no doubt for a very large 4WD.

    • Mr_Blobby

      Probably a set of mags.

      • Dave

        Agree, Mags and Tyres even.

    • Stuarts.burgers

      4 x 205/55/16 Goodyear NCT5s for Mondeo about $200 a tyre

      4 x 31/10.5/15 Gt At Plus for a Surf at $225 a tyre

      and we are not talking Pirelli Continental or high end Bridgestone here so $819 for a set of tyres not all that unusual.

  • Dave

    Classic case of teaching Financial Literacy and Economics 101 at school, especially to the Poor. And why the F…… haven’t stuff asked the finance companies and law firm for their comments, or is it the sensational headlines they are after instead of a true investigative journalist.

  • kohibruce

    They have been naive and have themselves to blame, but I can’t help feeling sorry given they had got themselves into jobs and bought a house. Are we seeing the whole story or some spin – what advice did they reject, what family and church pressure were they under, and who were the advisers that should have told them to bring in that tough budget man rather than submit themselves to the sharks mercy.

  • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

    Ask yourself this question: if you loaned to them and sought the terms you sought knowing what kind of people they are, would you sleep at night? This doesn’t mean they aren’t victims of their own stupidity, they are indeed, but the word bottom-feeder has an applicable meaning, and not just to people like Hone Harawira and Trevor Mallard – my idol.

  • Pissedoffyouth

    Yeah I really hate paying shit back, might just stop

    Or not, how about not taking the loans out in the first place?

  • I feel sorry for them, they thought they were at the WINZ free loan service.

  • Rodger T

    Free money always costs bigtime in the end. Here endeth the lesson!

  • Michael

    I believe Russel Norman has signed this couple up to his ‘print free money’ scheme.

  • get a grip

    Follow the money! Who was the dopey lawyer that gave them crap advice then allowed them to go to court on a fools errand. Seems to me they did the right thing in asking for advice from their local community law office. It all turned belly up when they got crap advice……so called professionals who didnt understand the real world and certainly didnt seem to understand the law!!

  • Mediaan

    Borrowed it in 2003. They caught it from the Labour Party attitude: teaching people to be hands-out.

    Labour, if you recall, when in government put out booklets on “what you should be getting from welfare” and pressed it into peoples’ hands. “Look it up and see what else you may be entitled to,” they said. Radio news items publicised professional welfare-distributors urging everybody to put more effort into telling those in the neighborhood about grants and extras they might have been qualified for.

    I feel quite sorry for Pasifika people who get here and need to adjust to our different ways. In their culture they feel very, very bound by demands on them, such as from relatives.

    No doubt theis family did do the idioitic new-building gifts, the church minister donations, the hand-outs to relatives, the obligatory hosting of 17 islands family on a long isit, the compulsory trips back to the islands to attend an unveiling…

    Reality: develop a tough-think idea of money FAST, if you come to live in NZ. This is what Social Welfare should be teaching them, (not “you have a limp, maybe the government would put in a new bathroom with better flooring and grip rails, and a staircase elevator…”)