Westpac hit with class action over ‘irresponsible’ mortgages

By Leith van Onselen

Queensland couple Ian and Michelle Tate are the lead litigants in a class action being brought against Westpac by law firm Maurice Blackburn. The class action alleges that Westpac was overly-reliant on benchmarks when assessing mortgage loan applicants. The Tates, who lost over $430,000 on two investment properties, are blaming Westpac, stating that it underestimated their living expenses by $6,570 a month and therefore incorrectly assessed their loan applications. The class action is open to those who have taken out a mortgage with Westpac or one of its subsidiaries since 2011. From The AFR:

The class action lawyers claim Westpac should have verified the family’s actual living expenses and assessed their ability to repay both the principal and interest, not just the interest. They argue the bank should have declined both loan applications because had they done the calculations properly, they would have discovered the family would be short by more than $100,000 a year on making the repayments.

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