Tradie to keep 12k payout
LIQUIDATORS have backed down and retracted their demand for a Bundaberg tradesman to return thousands of dollars he was paid by the collapsed builder Coral Coast Homes earlier this year.
Bricklayer Kevin Bragg was shocked to receive a bill for more than $12,000 in September this year, when liquidators SV Partners determined he should return the money.
Citing legislation from the Corporations Act, SV Partners wrote that Mr Bragg “was aware or should have been aware that the company was insolvent” when his payments were made from January to March this year — despite the fact it was still trading when the payments were made, and did not go into liquidation until June.
The liquidators supplied a history of transactions between the failed builder and Mr Bragg’s bricklaying business Brickfred, which suggested that Coral Coast Homes may have been struggling financially as early as September last year.
They demanded that the money be returned, as it gave Brickfred a preference over other creditors, who may still see nothing of the money they have lost.
But luckily for Mr Bragg, SV Partners has eased its stance, and scrapped the repayment after media attention to the issue.
“They called me and asked me to write a letter detailing everything that happened with Coral Coast Homes, and they might be able to arrange something,” Mr Bragg said.
Last week, he had another telephone call saying the matter had been dropped.
Mr Bragg said he was delighted to hear the news, but said he should never have been asked to repay the money, which he was awarded by the Commercial and Consumer Tribunal in March, after Coral Coast Homes failed to pay him for work done before September last year.
SV Partners director David Stimpson said his investigations concluded the company was insolvent in January.
“Our investigations as to whether it was trading insolvently prior to that date are continuing,” Mr Stimpson said.
He said he had passed on a report to Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), stating that the company was trading insolvent, and was working on another report with further information.
He said Mr Bragg’s defence against the liquidator’s claim of an “unfair preference payment” was valid, and he would not be pursued for the money.
“At this stage we have not identified any other unfair preferences,” Mr Stimpson said.
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