Refund Home Loans administrator SV Partners is under increasing pressure to finalise a promised sale of the business, as claims mount that it is "dragging its heels" and is facing more franchisee departures.
SV Partners sent a letter to franchisees on 23 February saying final contract terms had been put in place for a sale of the business to State Home Loans. The administrator claimed a contract would be signed "in the next few days".
However, Australian Broker has discovered that to date, no contract has been sent to franchisees, and that some of Refund's top performing franchisees are accusing SV Partners of delaying the process.
"We've been told that the buyer is wanting to make this happen. If the buyer really wants it, I don't understand what's taking so long," one franchisee said, speaking under the condition of anonymity.
Communications from SV Partners obtained exclusively by Australian Broker indicated that final touches were being put on the sale contract as of 28 February, with the administrator saying a contract could be signed within one to two days.
However, one Refund franchisee claims that weeks later, franchisees remain in limbo.
"The problem is the communication from the administrators has been an absolute joke. We've been treated like cattle when they don't realise we're the nuts and bolts of this business," he said.
The franchisee speculated that buyer State Home Loans wanted the company's best brokers, but was in danger of these brokers exiting the business if the administrator did not "hurry up".
ASIC records show the mooted buyer is headquartered in Burwood, NSW. The company received its ACL on 5 January 2011, under director Tina Lomonaco. Lomonaco is also associated with Royal Guardian Mortgage Corporation. Royal Guardian's website says the company "is a wholly Australian owned and operated lender and broker" specialising in residential and commercial propery loans to occupiers and investors.
"This thing could go into liquidation, and we as franchisees are trying to sort it out, but [SV Partners] won't listen. They've made it very clear they're in no rush. We're the ones writing the business but they don't even speak to us," the franchisee said.
If you have more information regarding the impending sale, please contact Adam Smith at email@example.com
Franchisee commissions to return as Refund sold