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09 March 2006

Stung By Reiv Spruikers

Harvard Securities – now Banc Real Estate.

UPDATE: December 14, 2006. A story on Banc Real Estate is scheduled to air on Channel Seven’s Today Tonight this evening (6.30pm) – repeated on Sky News at 9.30pm.

UPDATE: August 3, 2006. Having failed to scare us off with legal threats, Banc Real Estate threatened the victim in this story (below) with defamation. That didn’t work either.

And so, now, Banc Real Estate has threatened the company that hosts this web site. That is not going to work either.

Following extensive research, we will soon release a feature article about Banc Real Estate. It will be called THE BANC ROBBERS.

UPDATE: July 18, 2006. Yesterday, the person who wrote this story received a threatening phone call from a director of Banc (Harvard). “Let me tell you one thing – there’s a law out there called defamation.”

Yes and there are also laws that protect consumers – which, unfortunately, are seldom enforced.

Thank goodness, then, for those victims of Harvard with the courage to speak out and warn others.

Which reminds us – not long after this story first appeared, a lawyer wrote and told us it was fiction and we’d be better remove it. Click here to see the letter and our reply.

The only fiction seems to be what Harvard (now known as Banc) tells investors.

I am a motor mechanic. My wife and I have a two year old child and another baby due this month. We have a loan on our own home.

Around three years ago, I picked up a CD at our local fish-n-chip shop. It explained how to invest in real estate and provide a secure investment for the future. I decided to ring up.

An investment advisor from a company called Harvard Securities (now known as Banc Real Estate) came to our house.

The advisor told us that an investment property will help pay off our home loan much sooner. He said an investment property will be worth more with each passing year which could contribute to our children’s future and our retirement.

He said that I will only have to pay $25 a week out of my pocket to support the investment property. He showed me that Harvard Securities were members of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria.

I felt confident. They recommended a solicitor who gave me the go ahead. Next thing, an investment loan of $218,000, which included legal expenses, was approved.

To my surprise my out of pocket expense were more like $100 a week and my home loan wasn’t lowering any quicker.

I phoned Banc Real Estate and told them that what they had said would happen (i.e. pay my home loan off quicker etc.) wasn’t happening. They didn’t help me so I gave up talking to them.

I have looked over the financials and have come to realise that I have spent over the last 2.5 years $13,000.

I know I have been misled by Harvard/Banc Real Estate. I am in over my head. I can’t keep up with the repayments. My wife has stopped working because of the baby being due shortly.

I now have to support not only my own home loan repayments but extra payments to this investment property.

Recently I spoke to an agent and explained I wanted to sell the property and get back some of the money I have lost in the last 2.5 years.

Unfortunately, the agent explained that the property was only worth around $175,000 when I bought it and now it was worth about $195,000. I nearly had a panic attack.

The agent said that a lot of customers who have investments through Banc Real Estate have come to them for assistance and realised they are out of pocket big time!

I was fairly shaken up and felt like I was going to faint.

I would really appreciate it if you are able to help.

First of all, thank you for giving us permission to tell your story and alert other families to the perils of dealing with this mob. We’ve had them on our radar for a while.

Every time, Enzo Raimondo, the CEO of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) makes noises about stamping out spruikers, we think of the likes of his member agent Harvard Securities who are now known as Banc Real Estate (dodgy characters often use ‘safe’ sounding names to mislead consumers).

The REIV will almost certainly do nothing (other than perhaps abuse me); but, still, you should let them know you have been stung by an REIV spruiker. You can contact Mr Enzo Raimondo on the following email address –

The public need to know that, contrary to the claims of Raimondo and his ilk, spruikers are often members of real estate institutes.

We will arrange for you to receive true independent legal advice the cost of which will be covered by our protection fund
Also, the characters behind Banc Real Estate may launch legal action against us for displaying these comments. If so, we could get the chance to present all your details plus the details of many other consumers who feel ripped off by Banc, Harvard or whatever they call themselves.

Let’s see what happens.


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