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Sent to the Senator Email List - A part of my personal journey

Posted by on in Consumer Protection Disaster
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Firstly, let me introduce myself. My name is Lindie Mehan & my submission to this inquiry was published at # 69. It may only be a light-weight 4 pages long however, there is a 6 year (almost 7) history behind that backing up my submission. That timeframe has seen me visit some very deep dark places & now there is only ice cold anger at the processes I have been subjected to - very un-Australian processes from quite a few different directions.
Today I watched the Senate Inquiry via live streaming on my computer. Denise Brailey has her finger on the pulse which is far more than the other entities presented had. She disclosed how the banks & ASIC would try to blame the brokers well ahead of this inquiry. Please check her blogs on the website: Denise has been spelling out quite clearly what is not working, what is fraudulent, what is imprudent banking & most importantly how we can help ourselves.
I was not surprised listening to the ASIC pair as they simply reflected the incompetence I had received on the phone in 2008 & 2009. Unhelpful would have been too kind a description of my own dealings with ASIC or FOS. I was also quite shocked to learn that Jim Murphy represented the Dept of Treasury. How many ummms can one have in a single sentence? He came across as clueless. And even more shocking, he is employed in that role?
Listening to the excellent presentation by Sean Butler was a little close to home for me. He was describing so many similar things that I had encountered along my own journey & he was asking the very same questions I had been. The seemingly unanswerable questions.
In my situation, I have been left without a home, my marriage has been destroyed, my family completely torn apart leaving me with NO support mechanism at all, been done over by the fraudulent imprudent practices of Bankwest & those shysters they protect with their indemnity clauses - the business broker from GMO who character assassinated us & whose wife was unethically employed to run/manage our business & was present at "settlement" of the firesale knockdown price (apparently it was sold for less than a half of what we paid), the unscrupulous insolvency practioners (WA Insolvency Solutions) who failed to communicate anything at all about what they did or had done with our business & then there were the bank's lawyers, Gadens - which has left me in the position of bankruptcy. This, I might add, was not through any fault of my own. Between Bankwest & their "preferred" broker, Southshore Finance, our business loan package was changed WITHOUT our knowledge PRIOR to signing & nobody bothered to enlighten us. This was right at the beginning & once I discovered their error, it was a long, slow downhill ride from thereon. Even the loan documentation paperwork of date of signing differs by a week at least. There is most definitely something wrong even just with that one fact alone. We went into the Bankwest Tower to sign on the evening of 22nd June, 2006 at 5.30pm. The paperwork quoted in the Writ of Summons has the date of 28th June, 2006 & then a letter from Gadens for Deed of Compromise & Release [with the ever obligatory confidentiality clauses] quoted a date of 29th June, 2006. I know what date I signed so how then were there so many different dates being quoted? This was pointed out to my own lawyers but got fobbed off. Banks being dishonest? No, surely not! They could not or did not want to acknowledge that point could in fact BE true.
One overlooked little fact that Denise Brailey points out in her very FIRST step document to you is to obtain a complete copy of the Loan Application Forms (LAF). To this date, I have never laid eyes on the LAF from Southshore Finance nor the paperwork Bankwest used to approve our loan. I remember signing a piece of paper with Southshore but from my diary I recorded it as a Consent for Disclosure document only. However did Bankwest approve our loan package? What did they use? When did they change the loan package agreed to in Southshore's West Perth office? These most basic of foundational questions appear to be beyond FOS, SLAG, ASIC & anybody else other than BFCSA Inc. What does that tell you about those federal agencies or publicity seeking lawyers for that matter? At least BFCSA Inc keeps it simple - the truth is often simple, not complicated.
My own legal firm at the time, Slater & Gordon [SLAG] were happy to have me sign documentation for a rentention agreement, take money & then also did me over by breaching their OWN agreement! My ex-husband was NOT a signatory to this agreement & yet they took instructions from him, but not from me. I believe this is sexual discrimination based upon my marital status. I did raise this very point with SLAG & their written response was along the lines that as my now deceased father-in-law had paid, they would have taken instruction from him too! The same law firm who sought publicity for winning a case of Human Rights for a female from Woodside being sexually discriminated against & yet it is the exact stunt they pulled on me? Definitely a double-standard legal firm. Who will actually pull them into line? Another unanswerable question.
SLAG sold me out & now wants to form a class action against the banks as well? Believe me, when I state this is my promise - the moment I discover a law suit starts, I will submit my own document to the judiciary against SLAG. (Unfortunately for the people of Australia, the fact is, many politicians come from this breeding ground). I will never recommend this law firm to anyone based on my own first hand experience. They are terrible.
After SLAG sold me out to Bankwest, I emailed them requesting my A4 lever arch file of documentation that I had provided to be returned immediately. I received emails & sms texts that I had to wait for them to retrieve it from the totally useless barrister they had employed & was essentially fobbed off. What I do now understand is that SLAG kept my file to use it in a highly inappropriate manner defending my ex-husband. I most certainly did NOT give them any consent to do that or to use it in that manner & have yet to see my file returned. Would I waste my time or effort complaining to the Law Society? Absolutely not! Previously, I did that about another law firm when I had a franchise in the 90's & the recommendation I got back was laughable at best. The Law Society did not want to mediate & instead told me to engage another lawyer! This is the stupidity of self regulation at its worst. What I have learnt about the Law Society is that they are more interested in protecting their positions on the board than actually doing anything meaningful. They are a joke.
As if that wasn't enough to contend with, Centrelink has misjudged my circumstances & also acted in a very similar fashion that I have discovered first hand to be common of ALL federal agencies. My situation is TOO HARD to deal with therefore gets tossed aside. Centrelink's actions jeopardised my study & my health with their stupidity. With the shock of what I was coping with, Centrelink should have put me on health benefits first or Austudy but no, I was to be subjected to Jobseeker interviews while studying full time & being subjected to domestic abuse by my ex husband! Life just got a whole lot worse when dealing with Centrelink. This federal agency simply adds greater stress to anyone who is in difficulty. At least my family GP had the sense to place me on a Medicare Care Plan & send me off to a very good clinical psychologist in 2010.
And now, it just gets even better for me for in the last month I have also discovered that my accountant submitted tax returns on my behalf at my ex-husband's behest. The refunds were sent by the accountant to my ex last year. He wrote a cheque out to my daughter, not to me, which she banked as he did owe her money too. Apparently, this was MY share of the tax refunds? After 12mths of emails & phone requests that were never responded to, I asked my present family lawyer if he could intervene. He physically went to the office of the accountant to collect my files. Is this present family lawyer prepared to do anything about this? Nope. Because this accountant is also a client of theirs!! Funny, but I thought I was too. Heck, I even thought justice would prevail for once. Wrong again! From where I stand it now, it appears that I have been done over yet again. There are NO tax returns in the files returned to me. I have no idea what was submitted on my behalf in my name. I never gave any consent or implied consent for this to occur therefore, how can it? Another fraudulent action perhaps? Hell, if the banks can get away with it, the brokers & the lawyers too, then why not an accountant? Will a federal agency investigate? Somehow, I do not fancy my chances on that happening.
One thing I have learnt throughout this long process is not to trust ANY of the federal agencies. I twice went to the now FSO & discovered that to be a complete waste of time & effort. ASIC could not fob me off fast enough. Interesting to note that during today's hearing, neither ASIC nor any senator asked the question about how many phone complaints are received. ASIC was another agency that 'bounced' me off to another because they were, according to them, "unable to assist".
I have also learnt that "self regulation" does NOT work. All of the Codes of Practice are not worth the paper written on or the money spent creating them. The basic question that gets lost in those stupid Codes is, "who is going to enforce them"? As we have all seen first hand with the BFSO, now FOS,  they are employed by the banks of Australia to investigate the banks of Australia & we do know how well that does NOT work. There is a clear cut conflict of interest that will not go away. The stench remains & so does the bias.
This whole mess was begun when my ex-husband had a mid-life crisis & wanted a small family business. He could not do the normal thing many others of us do when we wish to leave a job such as - resigning. No, he had to have an excuse to leave Australia Post. So, he dragged us all into this & I am the one who had to continually chase up, follow up, fix up whatever I could, all the while, trying to run his dream small family business, the family home & raise the 3 teenage kids, one of whom has a physical disability. And, yep - I got my grounding for dealing with federal agencies very early on with her disability. Sarcastic I know but so very, very true nonetheless as anybody who has dealt with disabilities in federal agencies will attest to. What a fool I was for supporting him. What an even bigger fool I have been to keep fighting I suppose. There is just a small glimmer within me that hopes justice might just prevail - for once! That is what keeps me going. The mess I discovered dealing with Bankwest over their fraudulent paperwork was horrendous. 18 months of butting heads with idiot CRM's who were not interested in fixing their mistake made at their end. Their solution was to point me back to their "preferred" broker to attempt to "churn" my loan package when it should have been to RECTIFY their mistake at NO cost to us. Now, who would we turn to in order to make that happen? Certainly not Bankwest. Definitely not FOS. Absolutely not SLAG. So, who? Just another one of those unanswerable questions.
One thing I am pleased about is the integrity displayed by Geoff Shannon from Unhappy Banking who was supportive to myself & many others whilst coping with his own banking nightmare from this same god awful bank. His untiring efforts to push for this Senate Inquiry for justice the Australian way is something I am most proud to be a part of. Geoff has shown no bias to me. It did not matter how big or how small your business was, he was helpful & supportive.
I am also grateful to the advocate, Denise Brailey of BFCSA Inc for providing simple logical steps of support that I was unable to get from those totally inept federal agencies of ASIC, APRA & FSO or even the publicity seeking law firm, SLAG. Her process is by far & away superior to that provided by ANY of those incompetent federal agencies the public purse wastes money funding. The best part, yep at last, I came across Denise & BFCSA Inc when reading the submissions (hers listed at # 91) being uploaded by the Senate Inquiry team & thought to myself, why not? I have nothing to lose. For me, it was another opportunity to learn & boy, how much more have I learnt from her? Incredible!
With so many of us now starting to get vocal & speak up, sooner or later, we will not be quelled & nothing short of a FULL ROYAL COMMISSION INTO BANKS, FINANCE & INSURANCE with BROAD TERMS OF REFERENCE will quieten the people of Australia.
Thank you, Lindie Mehan
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  • doyla66
    doyla66 Wednesday, 08 August 2012

    Wow...I can only imagine your pain, suffering and frustration..I hope your day of justice comes soon xx and you can look forward to a bright new beginning..and put all this behind you!
    Thank you for sharing your story...
    Take care xx

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Wednesday, 08 August 2012

    Our stories

    Lindie..amazing letter,so well done !I sit here in tears reading it...too close to home.I too ended up on a mental health heart goes out to you...good on you girl,what you have had to bear and still standing to see the battle thru...we have disgust for slater and gordon and ASIC words...thx for sharing and for the senator list...jen x

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Wednesday, 08 August 2012

    Excellent letter, Lindie. You have every right in the world to be very angry, IMHO.
    Many similarities to my Bank West story, much shorter than yours at this stage. Sexual discrimination, yes, and appalling, when the woman is the one who has the lion's share of the family and financial responsibilities. GP, psychologist, mental health plan, yes to all, though that didn't stop Bank West, who knew, continuing to abuse me until "Death or Destruction". I believed at the time that they wanted me dead (with their hands clean of course) to get me out of the way. I still do, it just affects me less these days as I've learned more of what to expect from them and Gadens. Sadistic mongrels and nasty little boys.
    These dirty dealers ruined our lives. They tie us up in knots of injustice. They drag it on so we'll forget or give up. Our cases become the wallpaper and furniture of our lives.
    I'd trust a used car dealer before I'd trust a banker these days. They are lowlife scum.
    All 36 lenders should have their lending licences suspended until they comply with the law, at the very least.
    Thankyou for all the times you've been there for me and supportive, positive.
    Lisa xx

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Wednesday, 08 August 2012

    What an amazing woman you are Lindie! I cried for you as I read your story. Our fight is only just beginning but hopefully with Denise's help justice will prevail.There IS a silent epidemic out there and we must all speak out esp as you have naming and shaming our so called regulators who are supposed to be there to enforce the laws not sweep problems under the carpet! Perhaps you have just a little left in the tank to email your story to each of the Senators on the Committee Lindie? Their email addresses are on another blogg on this website and just maybe one of them will take up your case. Please don't give up you have lots of friends on this site. xx

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Thursday, 09 August 2012

    Senators email list

    Hey Jenny L, After I created the email list & sent off the Press Release for the Red Letter Email Day (Day 1 of the Senate Inquiry), I took notice of Lisa Martin's comment about us all telling our stories. I banged that out yesterday afternoon during one the session breaks, then sat on it pondering whether to share it. After dinner & 2 glasses of red shiraz ;) I finally had the courage to hit the send buttons on all 3 emails. While I was on a roll I thought, I've never done a blog on this site before, do it now! I knew if I didn't do it then, I'd lose my 'dutch' courage.
    So far, of all the senators sent to, I have only ever received the autoresponders in reply, "your email is important . . . yada yada yada". Now, we wait ever so patiently to see what the pollies are really made of :)

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Thursday, 09 August 2012

    Hey Lindie and good for you in getting up the courage to hit those send buttons! Common everyone else who's sitting on the fence, if Lindie can speak out after the hell she's been (and continues to go through) we can too. Just do it!

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Wednesday, 08 August 2012

    Enquiry into the construction industry - probably related to what Lindie has been taking about with developers...

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Thursday, 09 August 2012

    Not a property developer or publican, just a small family newsagency

    Hi STM, I did hear the reference to the construction industry during yesterday's hearing & had a quiet little chuckle. While I am aware most of Geoff Shannon's work was related to property development & publicans, I would not be surprised if he managed get that Inquiry up & running too. When I was in total despair, ready to admit defeat, his emails were always encouraging.
    My own personal thoughts; the pumped up banking madness pre GFC fuelled the fire of the property markets therefore ANY Inquiry into building & construction should drag these financiers in to explain their roles. They were the one tossing the funds about, stoking the fires. They have still got some explaining to do.

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Thursday, 09 August 2012

    Thank you Lindie for writing. Our journey is only just beginning. We wish for the day when thousands upon thousands of our fellow good citizens wake up to what is going on and don't just give in to the Banksters. PLEASE Join BFCSA and become empowered... and a FULL Royal Commission must be started ASAP.

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Thursday, 09 August 2012

    I did join in early June after reading Denise's submission at #91. I had been keeping an eye on each submission being published & read hers.
    I would have to say that was the best value for money ever! Joining fee of $50 versus the wasted monies paid to SLAG $10,000. There is simply NO comparison as to who provides the better, superior service.

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Thursday, 09 August 2012

    Google Alerts

    I've been following that & watching it develop.
    I have Google Alerts set up so anything published anywhere about SLAG or Bankwest, I receive an email. Wherever I can comment about their lousy service I do. Care factor if I p*ss off the editors is one big zero. This morning's alert was about how SLAG have employed Saatchi in Melbourne to increase their publicity profile so in goes a comment.
    This was today's, "I would never recommend the services of Slater & Gordon [SLAG] to anyone ever! First hand experience from these publicity seeking sluts of the legal profession showed incompetence, double standards in application & general failure to understand their own jobs! No amount of publicity will cover up their shortfalls in service delivery."
    Google Alerts brings up the news stories when they are featured & any article at all. The email provides a snapshot of the story so you can either read it or delete it. It certainly saves time.

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Thursday, 09 August 2012

    SLAG Article

    Hi Lindie. I'm sorry for what you have experienced. I thought you might find this article interesting.

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Thursday, 09 August 2012

    Lindie, I was going to say "Chin up", however you don't need to be told that. You are one gutsy Lady who has been let down by all who should have been there to support you. The corrupt regulators, hopefully the 'top dogs' will have their day in court - facing the Judges.
    You already have found strength and a great ally with Denise and all the Members of a mighty Team.
    Kind regards

  • doyla66
    doyla66 Friday, 10 August 2012

    Hey Lindie
    Your courage in speaking out has inspired me to thank Senators Bushby, Eggleton, Cameron & Williams for their interested and respectful hearing of Denise's submission on our behalf plus send them "our story" and call for a Royal Commission. Thank you!

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