Banks are ramping up repossessions of properties, selling off Queenslanders’ homes for mortgage repayment debts as low as $3000.
Legal Aid Queensland consumer credit lawyer Catherine Uhr said banks had adopted a tough new policy to quickly repossess the homes of clients who were in arrears by one or two mortgage repayments.
“We’ve seen a number of repossessions over arrears of under $5000, and some for $3000,” Ms Uhr said.
Claims for repossession of properties in Queensland have skyrocketed in the past few months, with 532 claims lodged in July, August and September in Queensland supreme and district courts. This compared with 448 claims for the same period last year.
“It’s a curse to be a Queenslander,” Ms Uhr said. “If you miss a mortgage payment they’ll sell you up.
“I’ve spoken to five people in the last three days who all have one thing in common – they owe between $3000 and $5000 because they’ve missed one or two payments.
“They all are rescuable.”
A Sunday Mail survey of 483 repossession claims by lenders, filed in Queensland courts between July 1 and November 4, showed the Commonwealth Bank was easily the most prolific litigant.
The Commonwealth had 160 claims, compared to Westpac (59), Bank of Queensland (59), NAB (54) and ANZ (33).
Ms Uhr said banks were moving quickly to foreclose instead of working out a plan to get people back on track with their repayments.
“They are failing to consider hardship applications and knocking people back for spurious reasons,” she said.
This is way over the top I feel. Times are hard, businesses are closing or moving o/seas, people are losing jobs, regardless of what the Government is saying, this is reality. You would think that the banks would at least wave payments for 12 months, to allow people to try to find another job, or sell their home, rather than rip it out from under them. I know years ago, the banks used to give you a bit of breathing space if anything unseen happened in your life, seems this does not apply anymore. I’m also getting sick and tired of hearing how great everything is from this Government, and it maybe for some, but what about all those that are finding it hard? There are also a lot of people who may not have lost their job, but are now on casual instead of working full time, this also has a big impact on everybody.