24 Sep 2011

Bank staff help save properties from mortgagee sales

4:17 pm on 24 September 2011

Westpac has responded quickly to a complaint by a Far North trust working to save Maori properties from mortgagee sales.

He Korowai Trust told Te Manu Korihi on Thursday that trying to get hold of the bank's Home Mortgage Company to negotiate for clients, was almost impossible.

But manager Ricky Houghton says the bank offered to help, on Friday, by making two key contact people available for him to deal with.

Mr Houghton says that's a great relief, because the poverty line's shifted again in the north and more families are falling behind with their mortgage payments.

He says 40% of the threatened mortgagee sales in the Far North involve the Home Mortgage Company, and many are former Maori Affairs houses.

He Korowai Trust is working with 40 families who are at risk of losing their homes or farms and it has another 25 on the waiting list who need urgent help, he says.