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The Corroboree
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Shafted by the bank

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I recently contacted my bank enquiring about financial hardship for my home loan. I was under the impression that they would freeze my payments and I would be stung with the extra interest, much to my shock they said I would still be charged the default fees for missing my payments aswell, which is $15 per 5 days- $60 a month.

I asked what the advantage of applying for the hardship was and they replied I would not receive phone calls on a daily basis asking about the money.

Are they allowed to still charge me default fees if both parties agree that their will be no payments till a set date?

Do I have to bend over silently and cop it?

I know $60 doesn't sound like much money to a lot of people, but I survive on a disability pension and have been doing it a bit tough as my fridge broke and needed to purchase a new one, hence why I fell a bit behind. Catching up on my loan would be so much easier obviously with out these extra fees.

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You should write an email to the manager of the bank and commonwealth finance, explaining your situation. End the letter by asking for their legal opinion about charging you a default fee even when the hardship provision means freezing and indicate your intention to seek your own legal advice and to submit the enquiry to Choice magazine. That should do it - let me know if it does.

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