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Australia’s major banks are putting profits before people, Debt Rescue operations manager Rachael Witton has claimed.
According to Ms Whitton, the banks have not been forthcoming with hardship provisions when customers find financial difficulty.
“They are obliged by law to offer clients certain provisions to meet their obligations where their circumstances change from the time they initially took out the loan, or credit card,’’ Ms Witton said.
“However, time and time again, they are either silent or totally inflexible. They seem like they have one objective only which is to get a repayment from the client regardless of individual circumstances even if it means sending them bankrupt.”
And given that Australia’s major banks lifted their mortgage rates independently of the Reserve Bank, Ms Whitton said she expects to see an increase in financial hardship.
“Already 68 per cent of Australians are facing some form of debt stress and we would expect that figure to escalate,” she said.
Ms Witton said that in the rare cases when clients formally applied for hardship with banks, they were often refused because the application was so daunting and complicated that it couldn’t be filled out properly.