Fisher v Westpac Banking Corporation [1992] FCA 390

In Fisher v Westpac Banking Corporation [1992] FCA 390, the plaintiffs alleged a misleading and deceptive, criminal conspiracy by all the bank to strip them of their assets, purporting “book entries which did not represent the commitment of “legal tender”, referring to the Credit River decisions, and other references in a publication titledHow to screw your bank by Laurence F. Hoins. Reliance is placed upon the Magna Carta as a defence to the exercise of any remedy by the Bank as mortgagee against the Fishers’ matrimonial home. Various Biblical injunctions relating to release of debtors and the practice of usury are also invoked. The court held the plaintiffs had obtained tangible property and benefit from the mortgages, and that loan agreements that involve electronic transfers or book-entries create “… real rights and real obligations … which are enforceable at law.” The court noted:

“In this time of economic difficulty, the cost of legal services and limitations upon the availability of publicly funded legal aid or privately sponsored pro bono representation create a climate in which more people are forced to resort to the Court without representation and in which legal quackery offered by unqualified persons can flourish. That represents at least in part, a failing of our institutions. It is to be hoped that means now being addressed by Government, the Courts and the legal profession can effect an improvement.”

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