ANZ files counter-claim against 3 American Samoans who are suing
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — ANZ Guam Inc., parent company of ANZ Amerika Samoa Bank, has filed a counter-claim at the federal court in Guam, against the three American Samoans who sued the financial institution in March of last year.
Plaintiffs — Ronald Parker, Fa’afetai Parker, and Tualagi Gaoteote — allege that ANZ is liable for its systematic violations of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) of 1968, and Regulation Z, for failing to provide homeowners with accurate periodic statements regarding the mortgages it services.
And it cites specific allegations of violations committed by ANZ Guam Inc., dba in Pago Pago as ANZ Amerika Samoa Bank.
(See Samoa News editions Mar. 22 and Mar. 23, 2018 for details of plaintiffs’ lawsuit.)
Last Friday, ANZ filed an amended response to the lawsuit and includes its counter-claim against the plaintiffs in which the defendant alleges one-count each of “breach of contract” against the Parkers and Gaoteote.
ANZ claims that the Parkers obtained a loan from the bank in September 2005 and it is to mature in October 2020. The loan is secured by a parcel of land in the territory.
ANZ also explained the interest to be paid on the loan, as well as the payment amount and when payments are due. However, ANZ alleges that from October 2016 to May 2019, the Parkers failed to pay their scheduled payments when due each month.
Instead the Parkers have been “making irregular lump sum payments” to ANZ,” the counter-claim alleges.
Because the Mortgage Payments are not paid on a monthly basis when due and for the amount needed to bring the principal and interest current, the Parkers loan has been delinquent since October 2016, said ANZ.
ANZ further alleges that the Parkers also failed to make the increased Mortgage Payments after the rate adjustment — which was an increase in monthly payment — in September 2018. Therefore, the Parkers’ failure to pay the increased Mortgage Payments from September 2018 to May 2019, and each month thereafter, constitutes a breach of the loan documents.
ANZ claims that Gaoteote in 2010 obtained two loans, which mature in October 2020. Gaoteote used a parcel of land in American Samoa as well as an insurance policy to secure the loans. ANZ also explained the interest to be paid on the loans, as well as the payment amount and when payments are due.
However, ANZ alleges that from March 2016 through May 2019, Gaoteote fell behind on his mortgage payment. In September of 2017, the parties attempted to resolve and settle claims relating to Gaoteote’s default under terms of the loan documents.
The attempted resolution required Gaoteote to make certain agreed upon payments, but the parties were not able to reach an agreement, according to the counter-claim, which alleges that Gaoteote has breached his obligations under the loan documents by failing to pay ANZ the amounts due.
Regarding the plaintiffs’ lawsuit, the defendants deny all of the allegations and ask the court to dismiss the complaint “and that they take nothing.”
On the counter-claim, ANZ asks the court for a judgment against the Parkers in the amount of $4,206 plus interest; and judgment against Gaoteote in the amount of $8,345 plus interest.
The judgment amounts against the plaintiffs is what they currently owe the bank, according to court filings, which also ask the court for — among other things — prejudgment and post-judgment interest.