Will the Royal Commission address the ‘imbalance in power’ issue?

Master - Slave, Bank - BorrowerWhen the bank wants your property (land, dwelling or both) and you have given the bank a mortgage over it, watch out — even if  you have made regular payments and not breached any agreement.

There are at least 3 parts to the ‘imbalance in power’ structural issue that allows a bank to unfairly cripple consumers.

1) The consumer signs the mortgage deed. A covenant that includes provisions that empower the bank to legally re-possess and sell your property from the moment it is signed.

Whilst this power is not exercised in every instance of course, the power nonetheless remains at the bank’s disposal when required, just like the Power of Attorney clause hidden in the mortgage that most people don’t know exists, allowing banks to sign and do all things on behalf of the borrower. What the …

2) Banks default your credit rating. After the bank decides it wants your property and motions are made to seize it, people attempt to refinance if their financial circumstances permit them to do so. However, even if you have the capacity on paper, good job etc, once the bank has flagged or defaulted your credit rating behind the scenes and often without your knowledge or any valid reason, getting new finance can be almost impossible — as all the banks are connected, work together and operate as One. This is the pact between them to which you are not a party.

Brokers, being agents of the banks, provide no remedy either — so don’t waste your time or money on these. The bank design of intentional delays hindering and obstructing a customer seeking refinance, especially when you’re in crisis, only serves to compound your woes. Like the inevitable countdown before the bomb explodes or ringing an ambulance for a medical emergency only to have your reasonable expectation of one arriving just not happen.

Remember, the world of credit has been setup by banks — it’s their system — under the guise of a trusted and ethical banking system intended to primarily benefit its customers and the public.

3) The bank has vast financial and legal resources. For most consumers any legal challenge is futile. It’s like sending a man into a gunfight with a feather.

Finding and securing a competent lawyer you can trust is a hard task in itself. It’s the first hurdle you must jump unless you intend on running a long and treacherous legal battle yourself.

Then there’s the conflict of interest issue that can arise dividing you from a trusted lawyer. Many lawyers often do work for the banks indirectly which can be used to prohibit their involvement.

If you get over these hurdles, then there’s the pure and simple lack of power and finances required to match the bank’s law firms and their array of dirty tricks in and out of court.

Then any experienced and ethical barrister knowing the power of bank agreements, covenants and long standing common law contracts would require proper defenses from your set of circumstances.

But beware of those lawyers who may afford you hope and seek money up front, commonly known as retainers, as they may very well have the intention of looting you. Then racking up a huge bill so they can then become a creditor in the spoils when your estate gets carved up, as it often is, so ensure you take off your rose coloured glasses when assessing the risks.

Summing Up

So the history so far has been that banks have been in a position of enormous strength, essentially getting what they want. Whether achieved unfairly or unconscionably and who it’s hurt has not seemed to matter in the slightest.

Whether the Royal Commission will have any real effect on bank and regulatory practices becoming fairer with any proper remediation for the consumer remains to be seen, with Commissioner Kenneth Hayne handing down his final report 1 February 2019.

Regardless of the findings however, it seems that if we heed the advice from former Dover Financial boss, lawyer and financial adviser Terry McMaster given on the ABC[1], he estimated that “in five years time institutions will be more dominant than they are now.”

He also pointed out that there is one rule for these institutions and another for the rest of us.

So the action to take to empower the little Aussie battlers, the hard workers and our vulnerable, may simply be that we all withdraw our energy and money from these crooked bank cartels wherever and however possible. In other words, we must STOP giving away our power to harmful institutions.

The power and control has always been with us —  but are we responsible and mature enough to use it?

[1] ABC The Business

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