Mortgage Saviours

Reporter: Damien Hamsen

Jay and Mickayla Andrews are the real life faces of mortgage stress. Together with their two children, they are about to lose their family home.

The family of four have survived on Jay's modest wage since Mickayla lost her job -- now they're $7,000 behind in their mortgage.

And they're not alone. The number of Australian families falling in arrears has jumped 30%in the last three months -- home loan defaults are soaring as families crumble under financial pressure.

RAMS lent the couple the full purchase price for their Gold Coast property, with their loan fixed for two years. When the interest rate rose so did their anxiety levels, along with their repayments. "The mortgage jumped from I think it was $550 a week to $780 a week", Mickayla said.

"We've tried everything, we've put it on for sale privately and we've now put it on the real estate. I've got friends who've even offered to get loans for us but I don't want to go down that road because it is just another thing you've got to pay back", Jay said.

If they can't sell their home in two weeks, RAMS parent company Westpac will sell it for them.

The Andrews feel they have no choice but to walk away.

But tonight we can show you exactly how anyone who's fallen behind in their mortgage, can save their home.

"There are laws written to help people in this situation and people just don't know how to access them and what to do", said Barrister Dominique Grubisa.

Dominique is behind aussiedebtrescue.com and this is her step by step guide to fighting foreclosure. "I believe there should be no barriers to justice and this is information that everybody should have access to", she said.

Step 1

Your first move is to write a letter to your lender. "

Step 2If your bank rejects your hardship claim, make an application to a financial ombudsman service.

"After you've put in that application the ombudsman then approaches the bank and all enforcement action is frozen.

Step 3.You'll automatically get at least 45 days breathing space.

Step 4If it's not resolved in your favour, agree to conciliation. "

"And most of them do resolve at that point so the lender will usually allow you three to four months without payment or some sort of exit strategy to get back on your feet and move forward".

Step 5.

Finallywait for the ombudsman to make a decision. "It is binding on the lender if you win but if you lose you can just walk away and the decision isn't binding on you".

If you're still unhappy you can fight the banks yourself in court.

"If you run away and don't return their calls, don't return their correspondence, don't cooperate in any way, then they are in a position where they feel that you're not cooperating, it will take a very hard line on you", said Wayne Ormond.

If there is anyone who knows how to beat the banks it's Wayne Ormond. "For someone to lose their home it is a terrible, terrible experience. It will scar them for a very long time", Wayne said.

Since launching Refund Home Loans in 2004, Wayne has shared more than $10 million dollars with his customers by refunding half the commission banks pay him for referring business their way.

Refund has grown to the largest privately owned mortgage broker in the country and today he's offered to meet with the Andrews. "It only takes a very small event to cause a massive ripple effect in their life and that is losing their home. That can be from losing a job or a few interest rate rises and we've seen a lot of interest rate rises over the last couple of years", Wayne said.

"We just need some more time, at least I don't know, three months, six months. You know it can't go on forever and we appreciate they want their money back", Mikayla said.

"When we look at it, it's gone up roughly by $1,100 a month. No wonder you're in trouble, eleven hundred dollars no matter who are is a lot of money. You've done everything you're supposed to do, you've looked for other options, you've tried to find other ways to sort this out", Wayne said.

Mickayla and Jay think that Wayne is here to offer them some advice on how to keep the banks at bay, but in reality, what he is going to give them will be much more valuable. "I don't want to see you lose this house, it is too important. It will effect your life, it will effect your daughters lives. You've got arrears of $7,500 and I'm going to pay that for you today", Wayne said.

"What I'm going to do is we are going to make additional payments with you of $1,500 a month for the next twelve months, which will help get you back on track, to get yourself a job and get yourself organised", Wayne said.

"We'll sort this out and make it a lot easier for you", Wayne said.

"These type of people are worth saving, they're worth helping and we've got to do more of it. It is a second chance absolutely", Wayne said.

For further information:

Refund Home Loans

http://www.refundhomeloans.com.au

1300 733 863

Aussie Debt Rescue

http://aussiedebtrescue.com/adr/download.html

Credit Ombudsman Service

www.cosl.com.au/

Financial Ombudsman Service

http://fos.org.au/centric/home_page.jsp