Royal Commission spotlights the mortgage fraud that could implode the banking system

From our friends at the CEC:
In its first fortnight of hearings, the Banking Royal Commission drew the nation’s attention to the huge problem of mortgage fraud. The hearings showed that each of the big four banks, which together control 80 per cent of banking in Australia, have engaged in fraud on a massive scale. The fraud is not confined to the margins of the home loan business, but infects the majority of mortgages, which means most borrowers can’t afford their loans. The bottom line is there is nothing real propping up the Australian housing market—it is a bubble of lies, and it would only take a slight shock to burst the bubble and bring down the entire banking system.
Until now, a small number of individuals and organisations, including the Citizens Electoral Council, have been warning of this danger. The Royal Commission has forced everyone to look at it. A shocked Robert Gottliebsen fretted in the 21 March Australian Business Review that the extent of the fraud means the Reserve Bank shouldn’t raise interest rates. “Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe must [be] becoming increasingly concerned at the revelations at the banking royal commission”, Gottliebsen wrote. “Lowe now knows that some if not all the banks have let their credit standards slip…. The false income statements on bank loan applications are contributing to widespread mortgage stress because incomes have not been rising. If Lowe increased interest rates it would cause a lot of people to throw in the towel and sell up and if that resulted in a setback to the housing market the loan dominoes falling would cause considerable bank losses.”
Analysts at giant investment bank UBS went further, warning that a possible consequence of the Royal Commission exposing the fraud could be a credit crunch—like the total breakdown in bank lending that happened in the 2008 global financial crisis. UBS analyst George Tharenou told ABC News reporter Stephen Letts on 24 March: “In this scenario there is a risk of a pick-up in arrears as existing borrowers become financially stressed, and could precipitate a broad-based credit event.”
Mortgage fraud worse than reported
Mortgage fraud is a crisis, even worse than revealed in the Royal Commission. The most authoritative analysis comes from Denise Brailey of the Banking and Finance Consumers Support Association (BFCSA), who estimates that 80 per cent of all mortgages are “sub-prime” interest-only loans, of which 70 per cent of borrowers don’t know they are interest-only.
Mrs Brailey is one of Australia’s leading experts on bank fraud. A trained criminologist, for decades she has advocated on behalf of thousands of bank victims to save their homes. She has also testified before numerous Parliamentary inquiries.
The BFCSA has made a submission to the Royal Commission, which reveals how the fraud is perpetrated. The information comes from the thousands of cases Denise Brailey has worked through personally, and her interviews with countless victims and mortgage brokers. She explained the key elements of the fraud in a two-part interview with The CEC Report on 22 March. (Click here to view Part 1.)
The BFCSA submission exposes:
The mortgage fraud is driven by the banks, not brokers. The banks employ Business Development Managers to give brokers 30 hours of minimal training, which includes encouraging the brokers to practice on their families—this has led to many brokers’ family members also losing their homes due to unaffordable loans.
The components of the “black box” of the fraud machine include the (usually) 11-page Loan Application Form, of which the borrowers only see three pages, while the balance is filled out according to banks’ specifications; and the “serviceability calculator”, which the banks control and brokers can only access with a password, and which ignores actual living expenses in favour of the Henderson Poverty Index that assumes all borrowers live on bread and water.
The unaffordability of loans is hidden for the first 3-5 years by various buffer loans, including credit cards with large limits and personal overdrafts, which the borrowers use to make their initial repayments. On average, the borrower’s debt increases by $150,000 in the first five years. The need for buffers proves the loans are unaffordable. When the buffers run out, banks avert defaults by refinancing the loans.
The banks securitise these dodgy loans, and on-sell them to investors as Residential Mortgage Backed Securities (RMBS). It is the payment stream that is securitised, but the investors wouldn’t know that the payments are not coming from the incomes of the borrowers, but from extra credit from the banks—a huge Ponzi scheme at the heart of Australia’s financial system.
Prepare for a crash
The shocking level of fraud in mortgage lending is a huge, immediate threat to Australia’s banks and economy. The dramatic rise in house prices since 2000 has completely distorted the Australian economy, such that financial services (dominated by mortgage lending), real estate and construction are Australia’s three largest economic sectors, and collectively account for more than a quarter of all economic activity. The government must face the reality, informed by the Royal Commission and the BFCSA, that mortgage fraud, and not real demand, has fuelled the extraordinary expansion of these sectors, which means it’s a house of cards that could come crashing down from just a small interest rate rise, or any other event that drives up the cost of living for mortgage-stressed borrowers. A rise in defaults will crash the housing market, destroy the jobs of hundreds of thousands of construction workers, bankrupt the big banks which have made mortgages more than 60 per cent of their business, and plunge Australia into economic chaos.
The CEC calls on the government to take two actions in response to the mortgage fraud and the economic threat it has created:
Expand the powers and duration of the Royal Commission, so it can investigate every aspect of the criminal fraud in the system, especially the complicity of the regulators APRA and ASIC, without hindrance, and hear testimony from real experts such as Denise Brailey;
Implement a structural, “Glass-Steagall” separation of the banking system, which will be a firewall to protect the real economy from a banking crash, and will stop banks from the gambling in mortgage backed securities and other derivatives that has been integral to their mortgage control fraud.

The Old Egg Seller

She asked him, “How much are you selling the eggs for?”

The old seller replied, “$.25 an egg, Madam.”

he said to him, “I will take 6 eggs for $1.25 or I will leave.”

The old seller replied, “Come take them at the price you want. Maybe, this is a good beginning because I have not been able to sell even a single egg today.”

She took the eggs and walked away feeling she had won. She got into her fancy car and went to a posh restaurant with her friend. There, she and her friend, ordered whatever they liked. They ate a little and left a lot of what they ordered. Then she went to pay the bill. The bill cost her $45.00 She gave $50.00 and told the owner of the restaurant to keep the change.

This incident might have seemed quite normal to the restaurant owner but, had he seen it, very painful to the poor egg seller.

The point is, why do many show they have the power when they buy from the needy? And why get generous to those who do not even need our generosity?

I once read somewhere: My father used to buy simple goods from poor people at high prices, even though he did not need them.

Sometimes he even used to pay extra for them. I got concerned by this act and asked him why does he do so? My father replied, “It is a charity wrapped with dignity, my child.”

If you feel that people need to see this, then do spread this message.

Love this concept! Charity wrapped with dignity!

If more of us did it, we’d have less government handouts which breed only dependence on an unethical, irresponsible, self-serving few who spend other people’s money all too freely.

The story may or may not be true but the principle is a valid as the sun and the grass.The Old Egg Seller

Do What Works

Do What Works
This logic won’t sway those who feel rather than think but if you can do both, it tells a strong story. You need a balance of intelligence and force to survive in this universe.


Someone left their car in the long-term parking at the airport while away, and a thief broke into the car. Using the information on the car’s registration in the glove compartment, they drove the car to the people’s home and robbed it. So I guess if we are going to leave the car in long-term parking, we should leave neither the registration/insurance cards in it nor your remote garage door opener. This gives us something to think about with all our new electronic technology.
2. GPS:
Someone had their car broken into while they were at a football game. Their car was parked on the green which was adjacent to the football stadium and specially allotted to football fans. Things stolen from the car included a garage door remote control, some money and a GPS which had been prominently mounted on the dashboard. When the victims got home, they found that their house had been ransacked and just about everything worth anything had been stolen. The thieves had used the GPS to guide them to the house. They then used the garage remote control to open the garage door and gain entry to the house. The thieves knew the owners were at the football game, they knew what time the game was scheduled to finish and so they knew how much time they had to clean out the house. It would appear that they had brought a truck to empty the house of its contents. Something to consider if you have a GPS – don’t put your home address in it. Put a nearby address (like a store or gas station) so you can still find your way home if you need to, but no one else would know where you live if your GPS were stolen.
This lady has now changed her habit of how she lists her names on her cell phone after her handbag was stolen. Her handbag, which contained her cell phone, credit card, wallet, etc., was stolen. Twenty minutes later when she called her hubby, from a pay phone telling him what had happened, hubby says, “I received your text asking about our Pin number and I’ve replied a little while ago.” When they rushed down to the bank, the bank staff told them all the money was already withdrawn. The thief had actually used the stolen cell phone to text “hubby” in the contact list and got hold of the pin number. Within 20 minutes he had withdrawn all the money from their bank account.
A lady went grocery-shopping at a local mall and left her purse sitting in the children’s seat of the cart while she reached something off a shelf/ Wait till you read the WHOLE story! Her wallet was stolen, and she reported it to the store personnel. After returning home, she received a phone call from the Mall Security to say that they had her wallet and that although there was no money in it, it did still hold her personal papers. She immediately went to pick up her wallet, only to be told by Mall Security that they had not called her. By the time she returned home again, her house had been broken into and burglarized. The thieves knew that by calling and saying they were Mall Security, they could lure her out of her house long enough for them to burglarize it.
Moral lesson:
A. Do not disclose the relationship between you and the people in your contact list. Avoid using names like Home, Honey, Hubby, Sweetheart, Dad, Mom, etc.
B. And very importantly, when sensitive info is being asked through texts, CONFIRM by calling back.
C. Also, when you’re being texted by friends or family to meet them somewhere, be sure to call back to confirm that the message came from them. If you don’t reach them, be very careful about going places to meet “family and friends” who text you.
Even if this does not pertain to you, please let your family and friends know so they don’t get caught in a scam.