Compass image of an older man looking contemplative

Help available for those at risk of financial abuse

The following article is content from our partner Caxton Legal Centre. It does not constitute legal advice, and if you have a specific legal problem, you should consult a professional legal advisor. Names and identifying details have been changed in the case study below.

Published: July 23, 2021
  • national
  • July 23, 2021
  • National Seniors Australia

John was sympathetic to his son, David, and daughter-in-law, Sarah, who had experienced money trouble in the past yet wanted to purchase a property to live in.

John agreed to act as a guarantor for them, signing bank documents which made him responsible should they default on their loan.

David and Sarah separated 4 years later. They sold the home for less money than the amount owing on their mortgage. Responsibility then fell to John to cover the amount remaining on the loan. He sold his home in order to raise the $81,000 needed to repay the bank.

David made a verbal commitment to repay his father in installments of $250 each week.

When David started a new romantic relationship, he stopped making the repayments and cut off contact with his father.

John became distressed and sought help from Caxton Legal Centre’s Seniors Legal and Support Service (SLASS).

The SLASS lawyer helped John write to his son, demanding his money be repaid. The letter was ignored. Caxton Legal Centre’s stakeholder network helped John apply for a pro bono (free) lawyer...