I think the National Australia Bank sucks

"True obscenity is to know the truth and deny it" -Santayana

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The mess I'm in - the short version

  • in April 2006 I applied for a loan with the National Australia Bank (nab), this was a last minute decision and not a well thought out plan of action.
  • I came up with a simple business plan for farming activities we could do on the new farm to meet interest payments until our old farm (56 acres so merely a hobby farm and due to be a subdivision) sold - the bank manager knew that the business plan had been thought up the day I spoke to him, he encouraged my enthusiasm.  The bank manager knew that neither my husband nor I had any farming background or experience
  • even though we did not have the financial resources to meet the repayments, the bank approved the loan (this is not allowed under section 70 of the Consumer Credit Code of WA and the Trades Practices Act)
  • Oct, 2010 update - in May last year we discovered that the bank had actually rejected our initial loan application - the bank manager conveniently failed to inform us of this and decided to re-apply without our knowledge or permission.  The eCredit document the bank forwarded to the court within their 141 page affidavit is full of lies as well as distortions of our financial situation and business experience.  The document also clearly states that we cannot meet loan repayments.  I did not include this fact when I first updated the website so as not to harm my damages claim against the NAB.  Turns out it doesn't help to follow the rules when you're a victim, it makes no difference :(
  • my working theory is that they figured that if the 'plan' failed then they'd be able to sell both properties when we failed to meet interest payments
  • the bank ended up financing 3 interest repayments before they had finally put us into such dire straights that we had no possibility of ever meeting repayments
  • the bank issued default notices and I have since discovered that they should never have put us into this position
  • for more details than I can put here go to .......... (ok, I still need to finish all of the blurb but please - don't sue me!)
  • By the way, we had put in numerous offers to the bank so that we would be able to settle this matter out of court but the bank never seriously considered any of them.  I'm going on the theory that they thought I would have folded by now.  I even took down this website a while back when their lawyer indicated that the bank would be willing to negotiate if the website was down.  Their idea of negotiation was 'and now give us the second property and bugger off' - so much for good faith.

What I learnt about banking  last year

  • banks are not allowed to lend you money if they know you can't repay it
  • banks are bullies who try to intimidate you even when they know they did the wrong thing
  • when the bank has no legal leg to stand on in court their lawyer will make up fanciful facts about you in court (check out the transcripts if you don't believe me - will try to get copies online for your perusal)
  • banks are supposed to advise you to get professional independent advice before they give you a loan (especially in our case where there were lots of if-then type scenarios or unsubstantiated financials in our plan (there is a code of Banking Practice booklet available at all bank branches  -or should be- it's an interesting read)
  • banks have no problem at all in perverting the legal system to suit their own ends (go to For Your Information page)

What I hope to achieve with my legal fight

  • I want people to know that banks are not as trustworthy as they want us to believe
  • I want to educate people as to what banks can and cannot do
  • I want to keep my farm
  • Oct 2010 update - ooops big fail on that goal - we lost the appeal in Feb 2010 - still trying to recover from the emotional fallout and trying to find a lawyer who will help us sue the bank for damages (as advised by Judge Newnes in the Supreme Court)
  • I want people to understand that banking law exists to protect them from the banks NOT protect the banks.  Although trying to convince ASIC and ACCC of this fact seems a bit problematic. (info here)