"Daljit Dhillon set out specifically to mislead members of the public who were in a vulnerable financial position for her own considerable personal gain. "
The boss of three Birmingham-based mortgage support companies has been banned by the courts for taking advantage of vulnerable customers seeking assistance with their mortgage arears.
Daljit Dhillon has been disqualified from being a company director for nine-and-a-half years and was also ordered her to pay costs of £12,000.
Dhillon was the director of three companies: Repossession Management Bureau, RMB Assets and OM Payments.
The companies offered financial assistance to people with mortgage arears but clients complained that they were unaware of the exorbitant fees they charged and the companies were wound-up in September 2015.
Investigators found the companies were formed after a previous business, Red2Black, ceased trading following an investigation by another government agency. This investigation led to the director of Red2Black, Gurpreet Singh Chadda (the former husband of Daljit Dhillon), being given a Final Notice and record fine of nearly £1m.
The companies targeted people facing the threat of having their homes repossessed and, under the guise of ‘protecting’ the equity, would take out a charge on the properties. However, the companies failed to adequately inform clients of the amount of fees being charged or that the charge secured the indebtedness of the client.
When the property was sold, the companies would use the charge to extract excessive fees for which no record was maintained to support the amount of work that had purportedly been undertaken.
Investigators found that Repossession Management Bureau and RMB Assets held charges worth just under £4 million over properties belonging to 97 clients. Together, the two companies had a trade income of more than £1.2 million of which just over £1.1 million was paid out for the benefit of Daljit Dhillon.
The companies were also found to have charged VAT on invoices despite submitting nil VAT returns to the authorities.
Daljit Dhillon was declared bankrupt in June 2016 after she failed to repay £353,550 worth of void transactions back to the companies. As a result of further claims made in his capacity as liquidator, the Official Receiver has lodged debts of over £1.5 million in Dhillon’s bankruptcy and has recouped a further £40,000 from a former sales agent.
Helen Morten, deputy official receiver for the Insolvency Service, said: "Daljit Dhillon set out specifically to mislead members of the public who were in a vulnerable financial position for her own considerable personal gain. The court’s decision to disqualify her shows the seriousness with which this type of cynical financial service activity is viewed."