Son looking to make ‘disposable’ mother homeless
A Townsville grandmother has been left "broken" and spiralled into a "deep depression" after realising her forever home is going to be sold out from under her feet due to a legal loophole, despite her owning the house.
The woman, who is being kept anonymous for legal reasons, bought her Mount Louisa home in 2013 after years of renting.
She claims she paid the full deposit on the home and was able to service the loan, but still added her son's name to the mortgage.
The son took over the mortgage repayments for a period of time and the bank advised the woman it would be a simple signature by both parties to resume the mortgage in her name should their circumstances change.
Circumstances did change and when the woman went to the bank to put the mortgage back in her name she was advised it wouldn't be possible as a result of the Royal Commission into Banking, as the bank "cannot be seen to be putting her into hardship".
The woman said she informed the bank she could service the loan, but they said her part-time job and part pension didn't meet the requirements to refinance the home in her name only.
Queensland is the only state in Australia which allows one party on a home loan mortgage to force the sale of a property and if the other party refuses to sell, the court will appoint a trustee and the property will be sold.
This is the action the woman is claiming her son is taking, which has left her devastated.
"I don't know what will happen," she said.
"My life savings and everything I've worked for have gone into this home. At my age I can't start again and don't know how to start again.
"Above losing my home I am so broken that my own child, who I have helped and supported all his life and through his most difficult times of the last ten years finds me so disposable.
"The effect on my health and mental wellbeing that my child would do this took me into a deep depression and, for the first time in my life, I understood how you come to believe it's better not to be here.
"At my age I can't recover from this loss mentally, emotionally or financially."
The woman said she is no longer on speaking terms with her son, meaning she hasn't seen her grandson for some time.
"I helped raise him for ten years and now I don't get to see him either," she said.
"We were such a close family but this has broken us."
She now wants to use her experience as a warning to others who could end up in a similar situation.
"This is bigger than me, so many people have been affected by this law. You end up so alone.
"All financial institutions and financial advisers should and need to be held accountable as a duty of care for advice regarding this law with their customers.
"I want to raise awareness of this law so other innocent victims are not traumatised with the loss of their home."
Originally published as Son looking to make 'disposable' mother homeless