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Mortgagee Sales Hang Over Blue Chip Victims

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Sept 29 NZPA - Victims of the Blue Chip collapse say they are being threatened with mortgagee sales from financier GE Capital, before a decision on a landmark court decision.

Christchurch Blue Chip investor Helene Philpott said she and at least a dozen other investors had received notices under the Property Law Act that GE would put their homes up for mortgagee sale unless they reach a settlement within a few weeks, The New Zealand Herald reported.

GE had offered the group reverse mortgages, she said, where the older people could live in their homes until they died, when GE would sell the properties.

However, Mrs Philpott said they were awaiting the outcome of a High Court case, which could be affect their own situations.

Retired Whangarei couple Bruce and Judy Bartle have gone to court in a bid to get their mortgages discharged. They say that as a result of forged mortgage documents they have been left with financial obligations they cannot meet.

Mrs Philpott, in her 70s, said her occupation had also been written down on loan documentation as "self-employed" so that she could qualify for a mortgage and invest in Blue Chip.

The practice, understood to have been widespread, meant a pensioner could qualify for such a loan.

GE Money managing director Greg White denied GE was trying to get in ahead of the judgment.

"I absolutely refute that in the strongest possible terms. That is not what we're about, we are a responsible lender," he told the paper.

The company had offered solutions such as reverse mortgages to struggling customers and some had taken that up, he said.

Mr White said the Bartle decision was not a precedent-setting case because the circumstances of each Blue Chip investor would be different.

However, the Bartles' lawyer Paul Dale said the matter was representative of a large number of cases and would be a springboard for a raft of other claims.

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