b'Our case studiesThrough the Banking Royal Commission, we saw horrific stories of irresponsible lending having devastating effects on peoples lives. Lenders have been outrageously lax in checking documents, not doing correct assessments on people, and lending people huge amounts of money they cant afford to pay back. Lees Story: Lee, a hard working woman with two children was affected by irresponsible lending by the banks. However this case is all the more disturbing as she didnt even take out the loans she was pursued for! Despite having divorced her ex-husband over ten years earlier, due to his violent and controlling behavior, he signed her up to a succession of massive loans and guarantees. At one point she was paying just under $1,500 a month to debts that were not hers, to stop the bank taking her house. She also paid nearly $20,000 in arrears on the debts. We contacted the banks new service, the Customer Advocate, specially set up to deal with difficult cases. After long negotiations, the bank agreed that she should not have to make any more payments on the home loan or credit card. The bank also removed her from any guarantees she was forced to sign. The bank also removed its mortgage over her home and agreed to no longer chase her in court. Finally, the bank agreed to pay her compensation of around $100,000. When we met with Lee to close her file she said that she felt like she could breathe, she felt relieved, and had less stress now the bank was off her back.Predatory payday lenders continue to plague vulnerable consumers. Despite continuous campaigning by consumer advocates, and the bill proposing legislative reform being introduced in the House of Representatives 3 times since 2017, the law has still not changed to better protect consumers. We continue to assist people like Colin facing massive debt problems due to the high fees and charges associated with these predatory credit products. Colins Story: Colin was a recovering drug addict and was unemployed when he came to us with 10 outstanding payday loans. After proving irresponsible lending and demonstrating that he has no capacity to pay we were able to negotiate the waiver of the remaining debts totaling nearly $15,000. The reality is that due to his vulnerabilities he would not have overcome these debts without our expert legal assistance, we freed him of these debts so he could focus on other issues in his life. When a guarantee is given for a loan, a guarantor agrees to pay a loan if the person originally borrowing the money does not pay it. In some circumstances this leads to vulnerable people being taken advantage of if they do not understand the extent of their obligations. Paulas Story:Paulas son worked as a loans officer in a bank and he presented her with documents that she did not really understand whilst sitting in a caf. Paula signed documents, which mortgaged her home, under pressure from her son and was not given the correct facts of what she was signing up for. Our investigation discovered that as Paula was not given copies of the documents before or after she signed them, she also did not understand what she was signing. The fact that her son worked for the bank also meant that the bank was breaching the Code of Banking Practice. Paula was a vulnerable customer being financially abused. The bank did not act fairly and reasonably towards her. We made a complaint to the banks internal dispute resolution department on behalf of Paula and ultimately the bank agreed to remove the guarantee and acknowledged that it was unenforceable. Paula had depression as her marriage had broken down and was caring for her parents at the time. She was very relieved to know that her home was now safe and wouldnt be repossessed in the event that her son could not keep up with his loan and could focus on getting her life back on track.4 CCLSWA Annual Report 2019CCLSWA Annual Report 2019 5'