In the past month creditors have combined in utter disgust with the help of SubbiesUnited, to change builder appointed liquidators not once, but twice. First Bulkbuild and now Total LIfestyle Builders. Both changes were carried by large margins which demonstrates the anger creditors feel.
Times are tough enough without builders blaming the virus China unleashed on the world but thats what both of these builders did.
The Bulkbuild director appointed administrator Leo Lee but by the time creditors were finished, Mr Lee had been unceremoniously dumped and replaced by Ginette Muller and Marcus Watters of Hall Chadwick.
In both cases large sums of money have disappeared. In the case of Bulkbuild, an $800,000 progress claim has gone up in a puff of smoke a week or so before the builder appointed an administrator. Our information is that the money was not paid to company creditors.
In the case of Total Lifestyle Builders, 3 weeks before the liquidator Jarvis Archer was appointed by the builder, a house was sold for over 1 million dollars, the proceeds or part of them were not paid to the subbies who worked on that house. At least the ones I know were not paid and they are not happy.
Again, creditors replace Mr Archer with Hall Chadwicks Ginette Muller and Marcus Watters.
Time Government Acted
We call on the Government and ASIC to make changes so that at the very least, creditors email addresses must be supplied as part of the first creditors report to give them the opportunity to band together and be in control of their own destiny. After all, it's their money that has been pissed up against the wall by these builders.
We also ask that Government change the archaic Preference laws and put a stop to suing subbies who have already lost a fortune in the liquidation. By all means, sue if it is a blatant case of builders looking after mates but leave hard working subbies alone.
Former Building Company Director Contacts Subbies United
I had the former director of RJ Builders (in liquidation 2017) contact me wanting access to subcontractors saying he could help them with some new scheme he had cooked up only a few days after yet another of his family businesses had been liquidated.
He said at the time of owning RJ Builders, he didn't know enough about how to administer contracts in his favour yet he knew enough to engage numerous subcontractors and suppliers for 9 years and make 3.5 million dollars of their money disappear. How did he get a QBCC licence? How did he keep a QBCC licence?
Following is what he said to me.
I’m "Joe Blow", I’m a ex-builder (Director of RJ Builders), I’d like to have a chat to you about how I think I can help the industry.
My company was liquidated 3 years ago because I was hammered by 3 developers at one time. I was bitter and twisted about not being paid by those developers, blaming them for my companies collapse, however as time had passed and I’ve had time to reflect I’ve realised that it wasn’t their fault, it was in fact mine. The reason that I take responsibility for this is that I didn’t know how to use the contract to my (as the builder) advantage, also as a lot of subbies do not either.
Just like any subbie/principal contractor, none of us go into business to lose. But I worked out (once it was too late) how to invoice correctly and have the cash flow to pay the contractors, and potentially run a successful business.
I’d love to have a chat to you and help our industry. If you are keen to chat my number is 04.........
Cheers Joe Blow
This contact was made 6 days after this story appeared in the Gold Coast Bulletin and was posted on SubbiesUnited website.
"Joe" I have news for you, this is not your industry, you forfeited your involvement when you liquidated 3.5 million of creditors money who trusted you, down the shitshute.
The best way you can help "our" industry is by staying the hell out of it. Keep away!
Can you imagine letting him loose on subcontractors and suppliers after what he did to them 3 years ago? 3.5 million ripped out of their life's work.
These liquidations are becoming an art form and they need to be stopped and one way is by getting rid of the builder appointed liquidator and appointing your own.
He said he "looked forward to hearing from me, we need to clean up this industry".
He is correct, we need clean up this industry and the first step is to ban people like him permanently.
But He Raises A Good Point
Contract administration is very important, its something that some subbies do not do well and it costs them big time. Help is at hand and those who don't know it backwards should seek help here.
Following is my answer which is quite tame by my standards.
"No thanks, people like you are part of the problem, not the solution, take the latest liquidation for example. I have nothing against anyone who wants to reinvent themselves but not when it happens twice albeit, this time on a much smaller scale. There are still a lot of people I know who are very pissed off at you. I don't want to talk to you."
Even yesterday, 3 years later I had a subcontractor creditor of RJ Builders contact me. He lost 150k in the liquidation, he had information about the impending sale of a property related to these people. He is still very angry 3 years later, so is his wife and so am I and it wasn't my money that went missing. Every day for over 1,000 days this subbie and his wife have thought about the money that was theirs, that should have been in reserve for their kids education, their retirement but it was taken from them and with it a part of their future.
It's the gall of these people that sickens me.
I know they would have liked the opportunity to change the builder appointed liquidator in this case. Builders have no right appointing a liquidator, that right belongs to those who have had millions fleeced from them.
That is the only way they can hope to get a thorough investigation and to find the money trail.
Builders and Liquidators Read This
If you plan on liquidating your company and blaming the current so called pandemic Covid 19, we will make every effort to have your liquidator - administrator of choice turfed out on their arse and replaced by one who will investigate.
Liquidators, if you take on a job, no more of this rubbish that I got recently "nothing much to see here, there is no money, this will be a fast windup".
We all know, there is always money, you just have to get off your arse and find it. If you can't do the job properly, don't take it on in the first place.