So here’s the thing. All three banks say they didn’t factor in the anticipated advertising fee from Blue Lakes when they assessed whether the applicants could afford the repayment. They say the applicants passed the affordability tests based on their earnings and expenses. End of story.
So something is not adding up. Consumer activist Simon Lapping told me that he’d spoken to people who claimed to have disclosed their monthly living expenses in an application on the Blue Lakes website, but when they saw the bank document later, the figure was quite a bit lower. Someone had altered it. In one case I’ve seen, a woman who earns a gross salary of R8000 a month, had her total monthly living expenses - rent, fuel, food, insurance - listed as R1270. She says that’s not what she declared, and it could be argued that the bank involved should have queried such a low amount.
Simon’s advice to those affected is to get copies of their loan applications and agreements from their banks in order to get to the bottom of the affordability issue, and establish whether there is a case to make for reckless lending.
According to the National Credit Act, if you can prove reckless lending, the lender may be forced to write off the debt.