More home-losers tell of being ripped off.
2 February, 2004 - The Star
More people have come forward to complain they have been cheated by banks buying repossessed houses for R100 and making huge profits on them.
This comes after the ombudsman for banking services, advocate Neville Melville, reprimanded banks over the practice.
The Star visited home-owners who said they were victims of a scam.
Selvagoonam Hayley bought an R85 000 house in Turffontein, Johannesburg, through First National Bank in 1996.
"During September and October 1998, heavy rain fell and the ceiling started sagging and the walls got damp. FNB insurance offered me R5 000 which was too little. My insurance claim was R287 000. After realising that the bank was not ready to help me, I moved out because my family were no longer safe there," she said.
She said the bank auctioned the house and bought it for R100 in September 1999. FNB later sold it for R65000, then obtained judgement against her for R94 779, she said.
FNB HomeLoans said they had not been able to fully investigate Haley's query.
Spokesperson Heather Moyce said: "The customer stopped paying her loan, then moved out. Due to lack of interest at the sale in execution, the bank bought the property for a nominal R100."
In another case, Johannes Maphike, of Pimville Zone 5, Soweto, obtained a R32 000 loan from Permanent Bank - now People's Bank - in 1985 to extend his four-roomed house.
"I became sick in 1992 and took an early pension. We agreed with the bank that they debit my account on the first of every month.
"Now I don't even know how much I owe. There are different versions all the time. Today I'm told it is R26 000, tomorrow it is R36 000. I don't know what to believe," he said.
Maphike said he was advised last week that his house was auctioned on November 17, 2003 and sold for R78 000 on January 22 this year.
People's Bank head of government affairs and corporate citizen Mandla Zwane said Maphike's loan was R33 000 in total and he had fallen into arrears in 1999. The bank has given the Maphike family until today to leave the house.
Samuel and Adelina Mbele, of sebokeng Zone 14, Sedibeng, had a loan through Permanent Bank in 1981.
In 2000, they had defaulted after Mbele lost his job.
Their house was auctioned for R1 000, and they have since vacated it.
Nedcor Bank's client credit management and recoveries manager, Eugene Drotskie, said the bank was satisfied that it acted within its rights and that the customer whose home was repossessed received the full benefit of the sale at open market value.
"However, there are a number of allegations that are totally untrue."
According to Drotskie, the Mbeles' account was credited with R75 000.
To contact the ombudsman, call 0860 800 900.