Consumer Alert

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Posted on November 2, 2016 by | 0 Comments
Australia’s big four banks have quietly destroyed all paper land titles they hold for 1.6 million Victorian mortgagees, forcing property owners to use a bank-owned electronic transaction system. Any future sales of properties whose titles are held by the bank will need to be transacted, at least in part, electronically. The mass destruction of paper titles and their replacement with electronic certificates has been questioned by property lawyers who fear it will compromise security and effectively...

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Gold Coast agents giving out money, food and coffee to attract sellers and buyers

Posted on October 17, 2016 by | 0 Comments
COMPETITION in the cut-throat real estate market is so intense one Gold Coast agent is giving out $1000 incentives for referrals. Andre Sharples, of Professionals John Henderson Real Estate, has given away $10,000 this year — and hopes to give out more. “It gets me business as I’ve got people out there promoting me to get their $1000,” Mr Sharples said. “Listings are very tight and it’s another way to promote yourself. “It doesn’t affect...

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Verification of Identity – Why It Matters

Posted on August 22, 2016 by | 0 Comments
A woman whose house and identity was stolen by overseas scammers has been forced to sue the government to retrieve her money. International fraudsters, who are still at large, pocketed $430,000 when they sold the four-bedroom Canberra house in 2014 in a sophisticated scam spanning several months and countries, including South Africa, Australia and Indonesia. Fresh details of the crime were aired in the ACT Supreme Court last week, as court documents reveal the thieves...

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Changes to Victorian residential building legislation

Posted on July 12, 2016 by | 0 Comments
The Building Legislation Amendment (Consumer Protection) Act 2016(the Act) which was passed by the Victorian Government on 19 April 2016 imposes sweeping reforms in respect to a number of significant areas affecting residential construction in Victoria. By reason of a Proclamation published in the Victoria Government Gazette No. S 194 dated 21 June 2016, certain sections of the Act are to commence and ‘become live’ on 4 July this year. While the purpose of the...

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EXPOSED: How Banks Manipulate Property Values

Posted on April 1, 2015 by | 1 Comment
by Brian White I’ve been involved in the property industry for 25 years (as a mortgage broker, real estate agent and investor). In recent times,flawed valuations have become a significant source of complaint, with manyagents advising that valuers are routinely undervaluing property and causing contracts to fall over. Buyers also accuse builders and developers of overpricing property, resulting in low valuations and contracts being terminated. While these scenarios do occur,the hidden culprit is often the type of...

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Size Matters When It Comes To Defaulting On A Home Loan

Posted on December 12, 2014 by | 1 Comment
An article by Clancy Yeates Bad housing loans will increase one day, and bankers say that many of the loans that will go bad are probably being written now, when interest rates are so low. Australian borrowers are a fortunate bunch. Unlike households overseas, they’ve managed to avoid the wave of painful mortgage defaults that have brought other economies to their knees. Indeed, local banks say the share of people falling behind on their mortgage...

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When A Successful Auction Bidder Renegs On Signing

Posted on December 7, 2014 by | 0 Comments
by Tim O’Dwyer M.A., LL.B Solicitor Consumer Advocate From time to time some consumer advocates suggest to successful auction bidders, who might have a sudden change of mind, that they should refuse to sign anything and walk away. This is dangerous advice because in most parts of Australia auctioneers may lawfully sign a sale contract on behalf of a reluctant buyer (and hesitant vendor). (See “Winning Auction Bidders Beware“). Even if no signed post-auction contract, a...

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Victorian election real estate dramas: Underquoting and “election stunts”

Posted on November 26, 2014 by | 0 Comments
An article by Jennifer Duke “In Victoria underquoting is endemic, rampant, it’s grubby, it’s misleading and deceptive and it’s a fraud on home buyers,” explained Rowe. “Consumer Affairs Victoria lacks the necessary laws and resources to police underquoting. Real estate agents enjoy the luxury of loop holes in the rules to bait home buyers into attending auctions which are outside their budget.  This frustrates buyers. Underquoting causes home buyers to waste their time, money and...

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Couple charged for alleged $1.5 million “Ponzi” property development fraud

Posted on November 11, 2014 by | 0 Comments
An article by JENNIFER DUKE Carrum Downs couple Maureen Gael Johnson, 58, and Douglas Gordon Johnston, 71, have been charged with more than 70 offences relating to an alleged $1.5 million property development fraud, following an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). ASIC investigated two companies: Investman Nominees (USA) Pty Ltd and Small Business Management Pty Ltd, of which Maureen Johnston was a former director and current director respectively. Douglas Johnston was the...

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Why ASIC Must Have A Role In Regulating the Housing Market

Posted on December 19, 2013 by | 5 Comments
Summary of points by Industry Training Consultants 17/12/2013 There is a real opportunity for both ASIC and the states to work together in drafting a bill for a Commonwealth Real Estate Advocates Act or Property Professions Act, that gives ASIC additional powers to prosecute in other areas such as a “Mortgage Broker” who performs buyer agent activities unlicensed. The benefits of national licensing are not achievable until conduct harmonisation is addressed by a Commonwealth government...

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