Sylvia and Gilbert De Michiel, who paid $2.4 million for the Admiral Nelson Motel at Nelson Bay, Port Stephens in 2008, have joined a class action against the bank.
The class action is being arranged by Sydney lawyer Van Moulis.
The $2.4 million was agreed to by a Bankwest’s nominated valuer but the couple allege the valuation was invalid because of irregularities in the accounts and future bookings at the time.
Gilbert De Michiel says, “The property was not what we had actually bought. There were no bookings, there were no books, no nothing.”
A second valuation ordered after the Commonwealth Bank acquired Bankwest in 2011. This was substantially under what the De Michiels had paid and the bank placed the business into receivership alleging they had breached their loan to value ratio.
Mr Moulis said, “It involves allegations relating to artificially low valuations of the security properties, primarily by Commonwealth Bank for the purpose of triggering early repayment and we say circumstances which were improper.”