Mission Home Loans broker Tony Ottavio has been forced to go to court in pursuit of a deposit paid to controversial trail book brokerage Buy A Trail, directed by Mark Whittingham.
Speaking with Australian Broker, Ottavio said he this week filed a statement of claim in Kogarah Local Court in Sydney in an attempt to recover a $27,800 deposit paid to Buy A Trail in February this year.
The deposit was paid on the assumption that a trail book would be supplied by Buy A Trail. A refund deed was also signed that promised the deposit would be refunded if the sale did not proceed.
Ottavio said that months and "thousands" of phone calls, promises and emails later, the deposit still remained with Whittingham, after being originally paid into his personal bank account.
Ottavio said Buy A Trail originally arranged a meeting for Ottavio to buy a trail book from a broker who had previously had his accreditation cancelled by Choice Home Loans.
Subsequent meetings promised by director Mark Whittingham with other vendors failed to eventuate, he said.
"The day after we transferred that money, we happened to google him up out of curiosity, and we saw the articles that Australian Broker had written," Ottavio said.
Australian Broker previously published a series of articles documenting complaints against Home Loan Selection Services operating as Buy a Trail, and its director Mark Whittingham.
Australian Broker's previous coverage can be viewed here:
Trail book broker attempts media gag
Deposit difficulties with Buy A Trail
NVESTIGATION: United we stand
Industry associations and aggregators have also issued repeated warnings for mortgage brokers to proceed with caution when engaging trail book brokerage services.
If you have had similar experiences with Buy A Trail and would like your story told, contact the editor of Australian Broker, Ben Abbott, at firstname.lastname@example.org