Bankruptcy brings closure

JONO GALUSZKA
Last updated 12:00 01/11/2012

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The two-year saga of a real estate agent who could not or would not return money he owed a couple has ended with the agent being declared bankrupt.

In the High Court at Palmerston North yesterday, Taranaki couple Vince and Roslynn Goodall successfully made Mark Ferguson bankrupt over a $12,600 debt.

Mr Ferguson was ordered by the Real Estate Agents Authority to pay the couple $12,600 after he was found guilty of requesting the early release of deposits in relation to property deals in October 2010.

He worked for Ray White Real Estate in Taranaki at the time, but later moved to Palmerston North to work for JVL Prestige.

After publicity around the unpaid debt, Mr Ferguson's employment at JVL ended.

Mr Ferguson was not at the court hearing and did not have a lawyer represent him.

The Goodalls represented themselves.

Associate Judge David Gendall said the couple would not be awarded costs because they had not hired a lawyer.

Afterwards, Mr Goodall said they were glad their battle for the money was over, even though they were yet to see a cent.

"It's good to be all over with, at long last."

Mr Goodall said bankrupting Mr Ferguson was about closure.

"We have seen this thing through, instead of lying down and being screwed over.

"Some people would have given up, but not us - thanks to my persistent wife."

Mrs Goodall said all she felt was relief. "Justice has been done, so it's all good."

While the couple got some legal advice along the way, they had done most things themselves, she said.

The couple said they were going to head back to Taranaki and put the incident behind them.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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