Bank Error Causes Couple to Lose Their Dream Home and $75,000 in a Delayed Property Transaction


A Queensland couple has missed out on purchasing their dream home, as well as having lost their $75,000 deposit due to Westpac missing their settlement deadline, by ONE day.

The couple had almost closed the deal on their $900,065 dream home located in Brisbane and had previously handed over the $75,000 deposit for the property. Despite this, Westpac bank missed the settlement deadline for the transfer to secure the house purchase and within Queensland purchases, time is of the essence.

The next day the bank came through with the document, but the vendor had already terminated the contract in line with their rights under Queensland legislation. The vendor was able to terminate and keep the deposit, as, under Queensland law, there is no two week grace period where you are issued with a Notice to Complete and provided with further time to complete a purchase.

This meant that the vendor was entitled to keep the full deposit amount, and they even went on to re-sell the property to another buyer for $1 million in spite of the couple’s pleas for an extension for a week, or even a single day, which was refused.

The couple had sought legal assistance without success and it was only after contacting 9 News who then contacted Westpac that the couple received $100,000 as a reimbursement of the deposit they lost, as well as solicitor fees and compensation for the anxiety caused by the processing error by Westpac. The couple still feels as though they missed out on their dream home but in this case, they were fortunate enough to be able to recover the money they lost from the bank’s error with settlement being completed on time.

This case provides useful perspective around the necessity of having a lawyer who is able to act for you in your interstate property purchase to ensure that it is a seamless transaction and that there are no delays with settlement being completed on time.


rebecca drennan

Rebecca Drennan is a Senior Associate at Coutts Lawyers & Conveyancers with extensive experience in the areas of Commercial LawProperty Law and Wills & Estates. She has a wealth of knowledge in Estate Planning and completed a Masters of Applied Law majoring in Wills and Estates to further expand her expertise within this area. She offers a personable and empathetic approach to clients and works in collaboration with accountants and financial advisors to ensure that personalised advice and estate planning is provided.

For further information please don’t hesitate to contact:

Rebecca Drennan
Senior Associate
1300 060 699

Contact Coutts Lawyers & Conveyancers office today.

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