Over the last few weeks some of you may have noticed the Sub Prime page disappeared from the site, as with every unusual occurrence there is an interesting story explaining it.
The story begins in early 2010 when I was trying to expand my business and needed some finance. I approached a broker (who now I can not name for legal reasons) who got one of my associates a very good deal and unsecured finance many times more, than the menial sum I was trying to raise using the EFG, Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme.
So we went through all the usual protocols and credit checks and as promised I received a principle letter of offer, and I sent the broker his fees. The deal was a go.
If only business was this easy, and as I have been told many times, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. When it came down to the nitty gritty and actually receiving the funds to complete my deal, the broker disappeared. Numerous ways of contact failed, emails, calls to an office line, mobile, text messages and I even got my solicitor to write.
A few weeks of this and the vendor of the business I was trying to buy from understandably got frustrated, kept my deposit and sold to another prospective buyer.
Now I was in a real situation, No Deal, No Finance, No Broker.
I instructed my solicitor to proceed with legal action against the broker, after a few letters were sent and the broker emailed, with apologies and saying he will send my fees back once he’s back from holiday. That day never came, and soon I was advised by my solicitor not to proceed further as my legal costs were building up to similar levels of the fees.
Devastated and angry I felt that the business world had failed me, I even thought of reporting him to the FSA, but then found out they would be of no help as they do not regulate commercial brokers.
That’s when I was in the developing stages of this site, I thought wouldn’t it be great to advise all of you PropVestors, fellow Landlords and Investors about the best and worst people in the market from our experiences. This led me to set up “The Prime” and “The Sub Prime” section on the site.
Naturally I listed this broker in the Sub-Prime section. We do not want people like this in the industry.
Over time the Google spiders came crawling and found this broker’s details on the site and ranked PropVestment.com accordingly in their search rankings.
I received an email from this Broker about a month ago threatening the owner of the Site with legal action, at this point he did not know the owner was me. I spoke to my solicitor once more and he advised me to remove the content before this matter escalates and I’m forced to shut down the whole site.
Being the stubborn PropVestor I am, I decided instead to fight my cause and emailed the Broker saying that I would remove all specified contact as soon as I received my fees owed to me. After some deliberation and claims that PropVestment had caused him to lose deals in excess of ten times the initial fees and a Google search of number 4 when you searched his company. All searchers were being exposed to my claims of his dishonesty. If I delisted the page he agreed to send the fees back.
Even at this stage it took his bank two weeks to send me the fees, I mean what bank in the UK when you are in the financial industry takes two weeks to send a small online transfer. This may be why his business is slow. So the unprofessionalism continued, but in the end I did get my fees back.
Pointers to take away:
- PropVestors are not well safe guarded by the UK legal system against rogue brokers,
- the power of the Internet is such that any individual can have a big impact.
- So beware of who you upset and for those fellow PropVestors use the tools we have to make a stand.
PropVestment recommends Ash Shah of Crystal Financial Solutions, here’s what he advises:
“It is always beneficial to use an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) and Independent Mortgage Broker. Not only will they obtain the best deal from you on the market based on your circumstances, they can also take away a lot of the hassle and headaches involved in transactions. Being professionals they know niches and can save you money.
Personal recommendations for advisers and brokers from friends and families go a long way….And if you do use one who has helped you, spread the word…We need more decent IFA’s and Mortgage Brokers in the market.
Sites like www.ubiased.co.uk can help find the right professional.”
The Sub Prime section will be back soon, just awaiting legal advice to protect PropVestment, any help on this is welcome, email info@PropVestment.com and also send us your Prime and Sub Prime candidates.