In her response to me, the ANZ regional manager told me that I should have obtained legal advice before giving my original guarantee.
I did. In fact, I had to as that was a legal requirement then (it possibly still is). That consultation was for me a bit of a non-event: I made an appointment with a solicitor – I didn’t have one of my own – and met with him for all of about twenty minutes.
He was quite dismissive of the whole thing “Nothing really to worry about” “I don’t know why there’s still a requirement for legal advice for one of these” referring to the draft guarantee. On the basis of that reassurance, I signed the guarantee and he witnessed it.
I approached him, describing my current situation, recounting my recollection of our meeting, and requesting his thoughts.
His response was that such a guarantee is nothing to take lightly and that he would have given me all the appropriate advice and warnings.
As all his advice was verbal and I received nothing in writing, I expected that this would be a he said/she said stand-off. What he proceeded to say was a lot more interesting:
Like a bank manager, one would reasonably expect a lawyer, having been read into the situation, would give credible advice. I mentioned several times in my initial email that this matter related to a company account and also attached a copy of the original guarantee that he had witnessed for me in which this is clear.
At time, in the face of everything else going on, I simply thought he had gotten this wrong, although he had been confident enough to put this opinion in writing. More recently, having trawled through every relevant piece of documentation and correspondence that I have, I could not find a single thing, rule, law that obstructed the disclosure to a guarantor by ANZ of changes to lending that he had guaranteed.
He may have been right, after all.