FAIRY FAIL ENDING
Couple lose Gold Coast home because they can’t repay loan to build Disney castle in their backyard
A GOLD Coast couple have been kicked out of their house for failing to repay a bank loan to build an elaborate magic kingdom in their suburban backyard.
Jonathan and Lekeeta Leah Martin last month lost a longrunning battle with the Commonwealth Bank to save their 12-yearold Pacific Pines home after taking out a $63,000 loan for a “replica Disney castle in their backyard”.
The Martins blamed the bank for “irresponsible lending”, but the Brisbane District Court last month ruled that “credit cards weren’t disclosed” and the bank had given plenty of warning that the home would be repossessed.
A GOLD Coast couple have been kicked out of their house for failing to repay a bank loan to build an elaborate magic kingdom in their backyard.
Jonathan and Lekeeta Leah Martin have lost a long-running battle with the Commonwealth Bank to save their 12year-old Pacific Pines home after taking out a $63,000 loan for a “replica Disney castle in their backyard”.
The Martins blamed the bank for “irresponsible lending”. However, the Brisbane District Court last month ruled that “credit cards weren’t disclosed” and the bank had given plenty of warning that the home would be repossessed.
The court was told the couple had originally taken out a $150,000 loan for the Hemes Close four-bedroom home in June 2013. The pair originally bought the home for $414,000 in May 2006.
Court documents stated: “That loan was paid down to $86,942 when (the Martins) applied for a top-up for that loan to $63,000 to build a replica Disney castle in their backyard.”
That money was withdrawn between December 2014 and June 2015. The bank was paid nothing after September 24, 2015, it is alleged in the court documents.
In her judgment, Judge Deborah Richards said: “This is on the basis that (Mr Martin) had credit cards that weren’t disclosed and that his income was not able to service the loan.
“The bank relied on information supplied by the defendants and on that information there was sufficient margin for the loan to be approved.”
Neighbours yesterday said police, security guards and trucks moved the couple out of the home late last year.
Neighbours said they had not seen children at the couple’s home.
The neighbours said they had seen people returning to the home since Christmas.
The Bulletin visited the home yesterday and saw a car parked out front and heard people moving inside, but no one answered the door. Multiple attempts to call the landline resulted in a busy signal.
A sign on the gate warned people to observe “farm biosecurity”. The Disney castle was not visible from the street. According to realestate.com.au, the four-bedroom home is worth between $550,000 and $600,000.
The court documents state the pair began to pay the money back at about $1000 a month but then cut the payments to about $450 a month.
The court judgment shows the Commonwealth Bank lodged a claim to have the home repossessed in November 2016. The Martins did not show up at a judgment hearing in August 2017 and it was ruled the bank could repossess the home. Two attempts to evict the Martins in 2018 were delayed while an outcome of a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service was finalised.
The Martins then went to the court seeking for the order to have their home repossessed rescinded.
Judge Richards heard the case and found “there cannot in my view be any doubt that the defendants were aware and responsible for this loan”.
She ordered the application be dismissed and that the Martins pay the bank’s legal costs.
A Commonwealth Bank spokeswoman said the bank could not comment on individual matters.