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5385 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1783760 17-May-2017 16:37
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surfisup1000:

 

I don't know why learning about money, taxation,  and basic law (eg, consumer/contracts) is not compulsory at our schools.  

 

 

Learning literacy and numeracy is compulsory at schools, but some kids don't ...

 

 





Mike



398 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1783952 17-May-2017 23:43
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To answer some other comments.

 

People are still getting ripped off. A company called Synergy marketing actually came to my door wanting to review life insurance. They wanted me to sign a document allowing me to be contacted by an insurance reviewer. I did some research and found out that the company was owned by a door-to-door electronics company. They were using logos from insurance companies on their marketing brochures without authorisation. They even had a one page website setup. I did make a complaint to netsafe and the police, but they are actually powerless to do anything. So I made a complaint to one of the insurance companies on the brochure. They did look into it but I wasn’t told their findings. There was also another issue with a bank’s insurer who was contacting people outside of their authority and claiming to be from the bank.

 

Regarding the laws, in my case the bank’s debt collector falsified some of the documents in the disputes tribunal application in the name of the bank, and it spiralled from there.

 

Debt collectors are unregulated in NZ. They purchase debt from the banks who are regulated. The debtor is forced into contracts with the debt collector and end up paying fees and interest that they never agreed to. They get away with it because they can.

 

Yes people are naïve in our society, its because what we are told by authorities is not the whole truth. The banks work hard to keep people in debt. A lot of activity goes on between the written words of contracts that people sign.

 

That’s how the bank was able to pass the money I paid them to the debt collector without holding any record of the transaction.

 

The debt against me has not been written off. I have had to apply for consent to continuing working as a sole trader, if I make any profit it will be used to pay creditors. The right to automatic discharge from bankruptcy after 3 years also was taken away in new insolvency laws in 2006

 

Some of the laws I would like changed is like what they have in the UK, for the banking codes of conduct to become part of the contract a customer has with a bank. I’d also like for the courts and the disputes tribunals to recognise the unlawful actions of the bank and agents, to restore its integrity. And to stop harassment and bullying by corporations against people in financial hardship. The removal of credit scoring. That is another industry that is unregulated and affects the quality of peoples lives. Veda who do the credit scoring (also part of the NZ debt collection system) have been bought by Equifax, who are an international credit reporting agency. Over the last few years international corporations are moving into NZ, not just in the debt collection industry but in other areas. They are taking advantage of our lack of legal and financial knowledge and our weak laws. Look at what is happening in the housing market. And what about the bottled water saga in mid canty. The locals themselves had to stop the takeover of an international corporation from taking their water. Where was the council and government? The end result is still the same, to take our money.

 

 


 
 
 
 


431 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1783962 18-May-2017 03:18
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In your case, a debt collector became involved because you defaulted on repaying money you owed the bank according to an agreement you made with the bank. You went to the bank and asked them for the money. You were the one who defaulted on the agreement you made. You were the one who was unable to come to an agreement with the bank to remediate your default.

You got into this position either through no fault of your own due to circumstances outside of your control, or you mis-managed your debt repayments, or you deliberately defaulted on the repayments - I make no assumption or judgement about that. The cold fact is that you borrowed someone else's money and failed to repay it according to an agreement you signed up to.

Why do you think a lender is not entitled to recover money he/she/it is owed? Why do you think that lenders in general shouldn't be able to reference the history of a borrower shown to have defaulted on their obligations with repaying other people's money, so that those lenders can manage their risk?

What is the business of a bank? It is to borrow money from some people and lend it to other people, making a margin and therefore a profit for its shareholders. The bank is required to repay the money it borrows to lend, and takes steps to ensure it can do so. It makes provision for managing bad debtors so it can ensure it repays the money it borrowed - that is prudent business practice and certainly something I would want to make sure was in place before I lent money to a bank.

Banking is regulated and so is debt collection. If the bank or the debt collector acted illegally then that is illegal. If either of those falsifies documents then that is illegal, and you have recourse to the law.

Just because you think someone falsified documents, that doesn't mean they did do so, only that you think they did so. That is a serious accusation.

If someone involved in your case did act illegally then you can lay a complaint and have it looked into. It costs nothing to complain to the Banking Ombudsman, and I suggest that if a debt collector falsified documents to bankrupt a person then that would be a major issue the BO would jump on with urgency. No bank would use a debt collection agency that falsifies documents, and in fact you would be able to obtain a very substantial settlement if you can show you were bankrupted because of falsified documents.

Of course, I know nothing about your case, and make no judgement about what happened or why. I do find it to be very unlikely though that you were bankrupted for any reason other than you borrowed someone else's money, didn't honour your repayment obligations that you agreed to, and couldn't come to an agreeemnt with the lender to manage the default.

I could speculate as to how that all played out, and probably pretty accurately based on your posts, but I don't.




BlinkyBill



398 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1796300 7-Jun-2017 23:11
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Hi

 

Yes I did borrow money that I couldn't pay back. I was rung up by a bank after the earthquakes and they offered me money.

 

No contracts to sign until after three months. I said yes to the offer and I shouldn't have. That mistake will stay with me for the rest of my life.

 

With the other bank who bankkrupted me, I lodged an appeal with the disputes tribunal and my complaint included the false evidence from the debt collector and it was not considered by the Judges.

 

My defences have been deemed an abuse of the legal process. High court judges tell me because I do owe the debt I cannot file any defence.

 

When the debt collector of the first bank tried to get me to pay them $17,000 two weeks before xmas I lodged a complaint with the banking ombudsman.

 

I was awarded return of interest because the bank had not conducted any assessment of my ability to repay the loan and had not complied with the lending practises of the bank, and they lied about it to the ombudsman, but I had to sign the ombudsman's document stating I would not take my complaint any further. I did not sign the document. I was already in default of the loan when the bank rang and offered me money.

 

There is still an open complaint with the banking ombudsman, regarding the bank who bankrupted me.

 

There is a lot more I wish I could say, but people are being taken advantage of. Thats why I wish our laws to be changed.

 

So the issue of the debt and the law changes are two separate items. The debt will always override anything else.

 

I've spent 6 weeks breaking the law or else I would have been forced out of work. I recieved a letter from the Official assignee threatening prison if I continued to work without their consent. That is cruel. No one deserves that treatment. I have the consent now though.

 

Yes the banks are entitled to have their loan repaid I offered money and partial settlements to the banks but they refused it and returned my cheques.

 

I've told the official assignee but they won't even look into it. The Minister of Justice won't look into the matter either.

 

Yes I do make serious accusations that's why its being swept under the carpet, because other organisations are involved. In the meantime the banks will be doing the same to others.

 

I just can't stand by and do nothing.

 

Yes I can't dispute the bankruptcy in terms of the debt, because it is owed. But what I have found out along the way is criminal. Two wrongs don't make right.

 

Yes banks do use debt collectors who falsify evidence, so do government departments like the ACC use dodgy debt collectors as well.

 

There is nothing prudent about debt collection, when it concerns the banks.

 

I have been in hardship for some time and the bankruptcy means there will be no prospect ever of any repayment. The banks knew this even the official assignee has already deemed it unlikely of any repayment.

 

What laws I would like changed is so people who are self employed can continue to work if they don't have any other source of income. And I would like it so banks cannot close accounts against customers who are bankrupted. NZ people in general don't actually get to choose who they bank with. Its up to the individual bank if they accept a customer or not.

 

What do readers think about being able to have the right to choose who we bank with. Rather than the bank deciding whether they accept us as a customer.

 

The ordinary lending rules that the banks would normally be subject to didn't apply to me because I was already in debt, that is discrimination. I think people should have the right to know the truth about debt collection and how bankruptcy really works. Even one of the judges said that only the debt is relevant, nothing else.

 

I've been bankrupted now for 2 months. The debt has not been written off. I suppose it will be in time.

 

I even received a student loan statement from the IRD last week. And I have two IRD numbers.

 

I've got a contact for a legal drafter with NZ First and I'll talk to them about how to get a bill sponsored. I hope it will be supported.

 

They have already put a bill to parliament to have a mediation bill for the farmers who are in debt to the banks, because they are being forced out of their homes. And farming is such a big part of the NZ economy.  The Farmers have a harder time than me.

 

 

 

Ford

 

 

 

 


2122 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1796335 8-Jun-2017 07:21
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I think it's time for a reality check. Being bankrupt isn't supposed to be easy.

While I agree you seem to have been treated poorly at best, I don't believe you are trying for the right solution, in fact I believe what you are proposing is flat out wrong.

I don't for one second believe you have no other way of earning money. There is always work for people who want it, it just might not be what you want to do. I've not had to resort to cleaning toilets yet, but I would if I had to.
There also seems to be the mechanisms in place to allow people in your situation to keep working anyway, because you seem to be doing so legally now.

What you propose, allows bankrupts to shrug and carry on doing whatever dodgy crap they were doing. Start thinking critically about the consequences of potential changes if you seriously want something done in law. Also, you need to be looking at solving the cause of the problem, not the resulting situation.





Location: Dunedin

 




398 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1797704 10-Jun-2017 13:32
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Yes I agree that bankruptcy is not supposed to be easy. But the current regime does not deter people from bankruptcy. And it is such that legal and privacy rights are taken from people. Being in debt even before the bankruptcy meant that the banks don’t have to follow their regulated lending regime.

 

Yes I am now working legally but only because I stood my ground against the threat of imprisonment by the OA and refused to stop working.

 

Critical thinking is not a skill that comes easily to me. I can look back over my life and see some of where I went wrong. I am 50yrs old and have health issues and am learning disabled which do hinder my ability to obtain some work. I expect they will stand in the way of law changes I would like to see but I’ll forge ahead anyway.

 

The debt collection industry is not regulated. That’s one change I would like to see. Another change is that banks not be allowed to close transactional accounts of bankrupts. I’ve been given contacts for some of the MPs and I will speak to them at length. Because yes you are right there will be consequences to any law change.

 

If I am being treated poorly then so are others. I don’t think there is anything different from how I’m being treated to any other bankrupt. Even in bankruptcy the debt has increased against me through court costs, even when the courts and the creditors know of my financial position. They just keep making the debt bigger. Nothing I can do to stop that. That’s fundamentally wrong.

 

To have not reached this point in my life, I would have to have lived a completely different life. That is one reason why bankruptcy is hard, because you are forced out of a way of living that you have become accustomed to over the years.

 

Because I am in debt, its like the normal rules of business don’t apply anymore. High Court judges have said I don’t even have the right to defend the claims against me, amongst other things. My campaign for the law changes is to solve the cause of some of the problem. And yes I am creating a new life for myself to solve the part I played in the problem. I look at debt like an argument. It takes at least two parties to keep it going.

 

Yes, at the end of the day, for whatever reason, I still incurred the debt. So let me ask, (my situation aside) whats a suitable “punishment” for bankrupts. Does the current bankruptcy regime work for people? I hope the outcome is for there to be less bankrupts and less people getting into unmanageable debt, because that fuels poverty and that affects everybody.

 

Thanks for your comments, I will consider those.

 

Ford

 

 

 

 


gzt

10862 posts

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  # 1797705 10-Jun-2017 13:41
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What was the advantage for the bank in forcing a bankruptcy? I presume so they could take possession of any remaining assets, or was the situation a bit different? I would assume if there were no assets to possess​ then they would not force bankruptcy there would be no point.

 
 
 
 


gzt

10862 posts

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  # 1797706 10-Jun-2017 13:48
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Ford: Another change is that banks not be allowed to close transactional accounts of bankrupts.

What does that mean in practice at present? Personal accounts for eftpos and things are closed?

783 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1797709 10-Jun-2017 14:05
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gzt: What was the advantage for the bank in forcing a bankruptcy? I presume so they could take possession of any remaining assets, or was the situation a bit different? I would assume if there were no assets to possess​ then they would not force bankruptcy there would be no point.

 

There isn't really an advantage for an institution to go through with bankruptcy unlesss - 

 

It is suspected that the debtor may be trying to hide assets (or has recently disposed of them in an underhanded manner), at which point, the OA has certain rights / measures available to pursue the assets or funds.

 

The person in bankruptcy is essentially being punished for creating the situation in which another entity lost money. Given that debt is not a criminal matter, its pretty much all there is.

 

It helps protect society against bankrupts. By setting rules around what they can and can't do, they limit further damage to society of the actions of the bankrupt (eg, if someone was self employed, racked up a mountain of debt and then wen't bankrupt after siphoning all the assets off, bankruptcy stops them (or at least makes it a criminal matter) from doing it again for a short period).

 

 

 

 




398 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1797847 10-Jun-2017 22:15
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Its up to the individual banks who they give bank accounts to and whether they remain open or not. ASB bank take away services like phone banking. They used to take away eftpos cards, but they have allowed bankrupts to keep them. The reason for banks taking services is because phone banking and debit cards can allow bankrupts to get into debt or divert money from creditors. That’s the banks controlling our spending.

 

The point of bankrupting someone when they have no assets – in a word – revenge (in my case) because I dared to counterclaim with evidence the wrongs of the banks.

 

Bankruptcy is a criminal matter and is treated so by the courts and the Official Assignee. Doesn’t matter what the circumstances. As a matter of process the OA asks the banks to forward all bank statements and diary notes for the last 2 years. They do their investigations without letting the debtor know because they assume fraud in the first instance. I only found out by Kiwibank writing to me and telling me what the OA had asked for because I have a personal bank account with Kiwibank (no lending).

 

The OA also looks at actual kiwisaver transaction history and can withdraw money to pay back creditors under certain circumstances. Those being if large deposits have been made to avoid creditors. Thankfully in my case I had made regular small deposits and have not been deemed creditor avoidance. I had also withdrawn it last year in July for hardship. Half of the amount I used for creditor repayments. Kiwisaver is now on a 5 year holiday.

 

The two banks I am indebted two have known my full financial position since 2013. Without giving too much away I lodged a complaint with the police. Even the OA lists the prospect of any dividend unlikely and that was before I had completed the statement of affairs. That position is unchanged. The court action has increased the debt by nearly two thirds. Because there are no assets, the administration of the bankruptcy is ultimately paid by the tax payer. I sent cheques to one bank (part payment) and offered repayment arrangements and settlements. They were all rejected.

 

My research has pointed me towards Encore Capital Group and Equifax who now own Veda Advantage. Encore Capital Group specialise in the subprime debt markets. NZ is one of their countries. I believe they are linked to Baycorp. Debt collectors EC Credit Control is owned by Turners Group.

 

Yes there is the need to protect society and to punish bankrupts. I offered an alternative of community service instead of bankruptcy so I could continue to work and pay creditors. The courts rejected it. The only assets listed in my bankruptcy estate report is a $70 IRD overpayment. Which the OA won’t give back to the IRD.

 

Bankruptcy is a huge business. There is a section in the Insolvency Act section 220 that allows for the OA to invest bankrupts assets until they are paid out. I’m trying to find out how they do that.

 

Bankruptcy exists because I believe it is profitable for it to be so, at the expense of the debtors quality of life. There are other alternatives like wage attachment orders and community service and the like. Those things I believe are a suitable punishment and don’t infringe on anyone’s rights. Bankruptcy does not provide anyway for the bankrupt to learn from their mistakes or to make good on the debt (unless they have realisable assets). But the OA gets paid out first then the costs of the Petitioning creditor before any creditor gets paid. I was paying back the IRD under a wage attachment order. But because I am bankrupted they will get nothing and the tax payer foots the bill. The IRD does write off millions each year in debt including PAYE, GST and Income tax. Most creditor petitioned bankruptcies are by the IRD. Mine was by a bank.

 

Yes the OA has a lot of power, they can basically do what they like. My life is controlled literally by the OA. They could still prosecute me for working without consent. They also don’t provide any lawyer for the debtor.

 

The only alternative to Bankruptcy is to not get into debt in the first place. Trying to change a life of debt habits is tremendously difficult. My credit report has been manipulated by Veda Advantage so I will never be able to borrow money again. Yes I have evidence of that.

 

I think law changes are needed so people can know what they are getting into when the take on debt. They could then make different choices. Yes the banks would have lost money but nowhere near the amounts they are claiming. They are also protected by insurance. I am looking at getting income protection insurance. If I had that I would not be in debt today.

 

Ford

 

 


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  # 1797851 10-Jun-2017 23:16
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It is certainly true that institutions sometimes act with little forethought in financial matters.

 

I recall a case where a guy who worked for himself as an odd job man kept entering the Congestion Charging area in London without paying the charge. He did this many times and eventually, they found his van parked inside the area and towed it.

 

The fines and penalties had escalated to the point he owed the equivalent of about $30,000. Obviously he could not pay, so his van was sold (for very little) and he was bankrupted.

 

End result: He could not work, so he and his family became a burden on the tax payer and the debt was eventually discharged anyway. 

 

I always thought that was a particularly abusive use of power.

 

 

 

Some of the big banks have some funny ideas too. If you have a flexible mortgage, the documents usually say that they have the right to demand immediate repayment. Imagine how many borrowers could actually immediately repay, say, $150,000? If they had the money, they would hardly have needed to borrow it in the first place. Banks would argue that they are protecting their positions, which they are, but expecting anyone to repay on demand sums like that is simply unrealistic and the bank must know that.






UHD

656 posts

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  # 1797864 11-Jun-2017 00:06
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Geektastic:

 

It is certainly true that institutions sometimes act with little forethought in financial matters.

 

I recall a case where a guy who worked for himself as an odd job man kept entering the Congestion Charging area in London without paying the charge. He did this many times and eventually, they found his van parked inside the area and towed it.

 

The fines and penalties had escalated to the point he owed the equivalent of about $30,000. Obviously he could not pay, so his van was sold (for very little) and he was bankrupted.

 

End result: He could not work, so he and his family became a burden on the tax payer and the debt was eventually discharged anyway. 

 

I always thought that was a particularly abusive use of power.

 

 

 

Some of the big banks have some funny ideas too. If you have a flexible mortgage, the documents usually say that they have the right to demand immediate repayment. Imagine how many borrowers could actually immediately repay, say, $150,000? If they had the money, they would hardly have needed to borrow it in the first place. Banks would argue that they are protecting their positions, which they are, but expecting anyone to repay on demand sums like that is simply unrealistic and the bank must know that.

 

 

To be honest, if institutions have to deal with the sort of risk they are exposed to by the actions of guy in your first example I don't blame them. There is too little emphasis placed upon personal responsibility in the case of this guy not paying congestion charges. If he knew the van was his livelihood and that he was the only one in his family capable of making ends meet then surely not paying the few quid a trip is utter insanity? If he was working in London then he'd be able to simply add the congestion charge fee to his pricing model and it would all be a part of business but instead he risked it all for himself and his family all for what? A few extra per day?

 

Bankruptcy and state dependence are not great outcomes but an even worse one in my opinion is handing him the van back and expecting him to work off the 30,000 and start actually paying the charges. Someone in that deep has a pretty flagrant disregard for the rules and removing consequences from the equation might make the state balance sheet look a little better but overall contributes to a worse society.




398 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1797865 11-Jun-2017 00:33
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Yes there are many situations where what we see before us can only be described as bizarre, from our point of view.

 

I believe debt is used as a form of control. There is no logic, either financial or otherwise (for the debtor) to have more debt forced against them when they don’t have the means to pay it back. The IRD do that. They will let people incur debt for years before taking any action. They are making the money back via interest and penalties. At the end of the day, its still money regardless of what its called or what form it comes in.

 

This year the IRD are dropping some of their penalties and interest because people are speaking out about that. But what the government gives with one hand, it takes back with the other. The IRD will now list significant debt with credit reporters. This began in April of this year.

 

When lenders lend money to people who don’t have any other means to pay back the money reasonably quickly they have clauses like what you mentioned because they trigger fear, even if only subconsciously. Fear is a primal instinct and is used in all areas of business to control people. Think about debt collectors who harass people. They do so because the fear triggers the debtor to respond to their demands and have them enter into legally binding contracts, without doing any assessment of the debtors ability to repay the debt. In my case prior to the bankruptcy debt collectors used fear by asking for repayments that were more than 65% percent of my gross weekly income and then threatening court action, which ultimately they did do. The funny ideas you refer to are actually well thought out strategies designed to keep people in debt for life.

 

Its just as funny to price the family home in a way that means a person has to have a mortgage for most of their life. The banks do know that and they profit handsomely from that.

 

Most people have poor control of their emotions so they are easy targets for lenders. That is definitely being exploited. Certainly a lot more people would runamuck if there were no consequences to defaulting. All lending is risking. But a debtor doesn’t stay in debt on their own.

 

A good exercise for people is to try and go a month with just using cash to pay for everything.

 

What my research showed me also is that there is a section of the Reserve Banking Act that allows for the integrity of our country’s financial systems to be protected. That overrides the individuals needs. And it ties in with the workings of the financial markets in general. Someone mentioned we should learn in schools about money and contracts. That is definitely true because money and contracts are the foundations which everything is built on and tax as well. But school only teaches us to read and do basic maths.

 

We should also be taught how the stock market works and how to generate cashflow. Our credit card debt and our mortgages are bundled and sold on the stock market for profit, while we struggle with our meger wages. Businesses rely on the stock markets for attracting money from investors to create products and services for society. Even governments issue bonds and other forms of investments to attract money for public projects. We the indebted consumer are at the bottom of the ladder. Its our cashflow we exchange with our time (our jobs) that are making the banks and others wealthy.

 

Another form of control is the withholding of fundamental knowledge. If you don’t know your rights then you are a target for the people that do. Donald Trump is a great example of how people can exploit the systems through their knowledge and profit from it at the expense of others, who lack knowledge.

 

I was self represented in court, against lawyers and judges who have years of legal knowledge. If you are inspired to read some of the cases on the High Court website, you will see many instances where debtors lack of legal knowledge are used against them in court. I read Alan Bollards book. He was the reserve bank governor of NZ for a while. His book wasn’t hugely detailed, but it did suggest that Australian banks have a tremendous influence and control over the NZ economy. They get a way with a lot.

 

More needs to be put into prevention, but there is too much to be gained from other peoples misfortunes.

 

Ford

 

 


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