A prospective buyer looks over real estate listings before the start of a foreclosure auction in the US. Hopefully CQ will avoid many repossessions.
A prospective buyer looks over real estate listings before the start of a foreclosure auction in the US. Hopefully CQ will avoid many repossessions. Julie Jacobson

Many in CQ could lose their homes

A WAVE of financially-crippled Central Queenslanders are set to lose their homes and prized possessions, an insider in the collection industry has warned.

The industry insider last week said people struggling with home and personal loan repayments should get in touch with their lender before it was too late.

Though banks have been extremely sympathetic to borrowers in flood-affected communities, the insider is concerned that the passing of a three-month leeway, which some institutions have implemented, will tip the scales against many strugglers.

The spokesman said the number of repossessions, evictions and lockouts had never been higher during 25 years in the industry.

A recent visit to Emerald and other parts of Central Queensland had heightened concerns that a growing number of people would soon be in the firing line.

“Banks and other lenders have been more proactive about recovering their debts in recent years,” the insider said.

“Businesses here in Central Queensland are falling over left, right and centre.

“People are not being able to pay their bills.”

The source said banks had shown leniency, “but it is very, very tough out there”.

“Around Central Queensland and up north some people whose homes were damaged by the floods are having to pay rent and still pay off their mortgages ... there is no respite for them,” the insider said.

“We are now getting close to that period (three-month grace) winding up and things are on the increase again.

“The banks have been really good, but people out there are struggling and there's only so much understanding they can show.”

The person, whom The Morning Bulletin has not identified, said it wasn't just those at the bottom end of the market hurting.

“We have to be very discreet; a lot of people in trouble are on a higher income, between $80,000 and $120,000 a year.”

Repossessions were traumatic periods for those involved.

“It's especially hard when children are involved.”

Mike Fox, the enforcement officer for the higher courts in Rockhampton, said the number of court-sanctioned possession warrants issued had been subdued for the past four months.



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