Ludlow banned from finance industry

WILLIAM MACE
Last updated 11:51 06/12/2011

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Convicted fraudster Trevor Allan Ludlow has become the first person to be banned from working in the consumer finance industry under the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act.

The former National Finance director was sentenced in October to 5 years and 7 months in prison for his part in the in the 2006 collapse of the company, which owed more than 2000 investors $24 million, but that hasn't kept the authorities off his back.

The term of the ban is indefinite and Ludlow will also be required to pay a personal fine of $1000 and, along with his company Mortgage Rescue, another $24,000 in reparations to his customers.

Mortgage Rescue is also liable for another $29,000 in fines. Ludlow is one of two directors and the ''sole decision maker'' for the business according to the Commerce Commission.

The commission brought the case against Ludlow and his company in relation to consumer credit contracts entered into with two families. 

The commission said Mortgage Rescue offered homeowners in financial strife temporary finance to stave off mortgagee sales.

The company encouraged homeowners to borrow more than was required to pay their arrears, so they could carry out renovations to their homes.

Mortgage Rescue's intention was that in addition to acting as a financier, they would also be paid to carry out the renovations.

In passing judgment, Judge Lawrence Hinton said that in his view Ludlow ''lacked the skills to be in the industry'' and did not ''display the integrity and fair dealing that is appropriate in this type of dealing''.

He said that Ludlow's response to borrowers cancelling their contracts or disagreeing with him was ''clearly unlawful and in the circumstances, outrageous''.

In one of the cases, the borrowers cancelled the contract the day after they entered into it, as they were legally entitled to do.

Mortgage Rescue charged a $5000 cancellation fee and a $1500 legal fee, when it had only paid $675 for legal services.

While fighting for Legal Aid to defend charges earlier this year, Ludlow told BusinessDay he didn't have any assets and only earned $4600 last year.

Ludlow said he had been earning a living doing ''concrete repair work and debt-collecting''.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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