“Can’t read? Can’t write? No problem!” – Bank

CCA has obtained evidence a major bank allowed a mentally incapable customer to sign a housing contract.

A doctor who has been treating Wollongong resident Craig*, said Craig could not properly understand the terms of a major contract without a lawyer explaining the details to him. It would take more than a lifetime for Craig to repay the loan.

Furthermore, the CCA believes the bank did not supply Craig with all the terms and conditions of the contract before asking him to sign. Craig was only given 6 pages of the 124 page agreement.

Craig signed the contract in 2008, with the bank agreeing to loan him and his wife $150,000. This was despite their only income being Centerlink payments.

In August 2015 Craig complained to the Financial Ombusman Service (FOS) when it was revealed his broker exaggerated his financial position in applying for the loan.

The broker told the bank Craig ran a business, suggesting he had additional income. This statements was false, and not verified before offering Craig the loan.

Craig wrote to Bank Victims in September 2015 asking for help. Bank Victims director, Russell Cousins, sent Craig’s details to the CCA for review.

Craig has been on a disability pension since 2007 after he was assaulted by another man. His wife, who is his carer, has Graves disease, anxiety and depression.

A 1997 letter from Craig’s psychiatrist states he was already suffering from depression relating to a work place accident and a “global memory deficit” from previous head injuries.

Following the assault, Craig’s psychologist reported he showed obvious symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He had become withdrawn, hardly left the house and kept a hockey stick, purchased shortly after the assault, within reach at all times.

Craig has told the CCA he has problems reading and writing.

* Name changed to protect client

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