Close to 1 million Australian borrowers face the threat of bank foreclosures or other recovery action once the government relaxes its restrictions.
Huge numbers of people stand to not only lose their jobs but also lose their homes, businesses and farms.
What is the responsible solution? Given that this crisis is not the fault of either borrowers or lenders, surely a calm measured approach is needed in which those best able to withstand financial pressure, do so.
For that to happen voters with loans need to work together to develop good solutions then persuade government to encourage the bankers to listen to those proposals. They can do that free of party politics by joining Voters Network Australia’s working party on the loan issue. Part of that probably requires government action on job creation and given the lack of human support for customers of some of the biggest corporations, that should not be so hard to achieve.
As a business owner, farmer and former FCA, CPA specialising in debt issues I believe that there is no need for banks to foreclose on most loans particularly long term loans (eg 15 – 30 year terms), when property values fall. The great depression of the 1920’s only lasted about 6 years. Values will go up again and if borrowers can manage to keep up some repayments they can keep bring the debts down. Value is only important if a property is to be sold. I am very happy to talk to borrowers and help them devise loan management plans to put to bankers. My experience is that they are mostly accepted, sometimes with variations. Banks don’t want to lose the business, but they don’t want to lose money either. I would think that most banking consultants like my GBAC , accountants and lawyers, would be equally happy to help devise such strategies.
The best solution is one that works reasonably well for all parties. Thinking about what the other party wants is a very good way to start.
What is most important is for those with debt issues to actively do something about it rather than hoping and praying that somebody else will solve the problem for them. That often leads to court action and we are taught that it is always better to talk with the other party before it escalated to a court case. At that court stage it is almost always impossible for us to bring in the external support to which we can provide access, which can very significantly increase the borrowers’ negotiating power where the lender has acted inappropriately as the Banking Royal Commission showed is frequently what has happened.
When a debt problem becomes like a mountain that cannot be climbed, it is time to move that mountain to a professional debt mountain climber. That is what we do at GBAC and it helps a lot of borrowers.