Withdrawal from the bank, sells single widowed mother's house


When a pregnant husband of Stephanie Steven died after a tragic ATV bike accident, she found herself in a long five-month battle with Bankwest after she was rescued and sold off her family's estate.

The grieving mother said she fought to save her family's home while her husband Ryan died without an official will – and she was not being recognized as her beneficiary.

The mortgage on her four-bedroom home was in the late husband's name and without any valid will, and Stevens was frozen by her bank.

Stevens was three months pregnant with the couple's first child, Olly, at the time of her husband's death – and claims she was homeless when the bank went on sale and sold her family home.

"Basically, they were vultures," Stevens said. A current case.

Unwillingly, the task of dealing with Ryan's assets fell to the state government.

"I wanted to keep the house we lived in, that we renewed, that we had so many memories for me and Olly, something to hold me through the darkness," Stevens said.

She had to wait until Ryan's life insurance and retirement were settled.

"We were married, but that did not matter, there was no will," Stevens said.

It took Stevens five months to be officially named Ryan's beneficiary, while the unpaid monthly repayments offset the pain of her widowed single mother.

At that time, the monthly mortgage payments had not been paid. And Stevens' life insurance cost $ 30,000 to cover the mortgage.

"They let interest accrue, they allow legal fees to be paid, administration fees, and then they will not let me buy the property," she told the program.

Stevens' parents stepped up to be mortgage guarantors and compensate for the deficit, but Bankwest rejected that – and continued to take over the house and auctioned it off.

By 2013, the couple bought the house for $ 520,000 and five years later, Bankwest sold it for $ 70,000 less – but would have been able to claim it back in insurance to avoid a $ 30,000 loss.

"If they just accepted what I was offering, we could have a home," Stevens said.

In a statement, Bankwest admitted that the level of support Stevens experienced "fell short of her expectations during the harrowing period" and extended her apology.

"We are raising our customer service standards, especially for customers with complex or sensitive needs, to ensure they receive better and more personalized support now and in the future."


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