The boss of three Birmingham based mortgage support companies has been banned for taking advantage of vulnerable customers seeking assistance with their mortgage arears.
Daljit Kaur Dhillon, from Sutton Coldfield, appeared at the High Court in Birmingham on 13 September 2018 where an order was made to disqualify her from being a company director for nine-and-a-half years. She was also ordered her to pay costs of £12,000.
Known by a variety of names, including Kareena Kapoor, Lisa Dhillon and Daljit Kaur, Ms Dhillon was the director of three companies: Repossession Management Bureau Ltd, RMB Assets Ltd and OM Payments Ltd.
The companies offered financial assistance to people with mortgage arears but clients complained that they were unaware of the exorbitant fees they charged and following an investigation by the Insolvency Service, the companies were wound-up in the High Court in September 2015.
Investigators found the companies were formed after a previous business, Red2Black Ltd, 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, they 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. And when the property was sold, the companies would use the charge to extract grossly excessive fees for which no record was maintained to support the amount of work that had purportedly been undertaken. In addition, there was a lack of transparency in that representatives of the companies used false names, which prevented clients from determining who they were dealing with.
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 on the petition of the Official Receiver as liquidator of the three companies, 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 Ms 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.”