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Home of Choice assures ARs over payments

Home of Choice has sought to dampen down fears over ARs’ unpaid commissions and says its acquisition talks are ongoing and all is being done to make sure ARs are paid.

In an email to ARs, Gerry O’Brien, chief executive of Home of Choice, says he and the rest of the board believed these negotiations would be concluded last week and are working around the clock to finalise these discussions to ensure that staff and brokers are paid.

He says: “We understand your frustrations and share them. I cannot give you a definite day for payment into your account at this moment – all I can do, honestly, is say that we have been working hard for you to be paid with the minimum delay.

“I would like to thank those advisers and staff who have expressed support and loyalty to me and the board.  I can assure you that we are doing everything we can to take this business forward.”

Mortgage Strategy revealed yesterday that Home of Choice is in final negotiations with an investor to acquire the business.

Rumours are rife that Keith Carby, former chief executive of Openwork, is looking to buy the mortgage network and incorporate it into his IFA business Foster Denovo.

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  • LR 30th April 2010 at 4:01 pm

    If the Directors were in control of the situation and the business saleable this sale/investment would have all been done seamlessly as numerous deals in the past, many handled by this management team.

    The reality is that 3 out of four brokers will not survive anywhere in the current market and a company purchasing a 800 member network with bank debts into the millions wont last long.

  • john 30th April 2010 at 12:56 pm

    HOC knew they were in trouble way before they’d like us to know… why else did they hold back on commision and more annoyingly continue to take money from one AR for an employer who no longer even worked at that office??? greedy, decitful and another work i cant type her, but im sure you get the gist- Good luck to everyone who’s been left on their arse from this!

  • AR HOC 29th April 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Dear Mr Jewitt & anonymous 6.07pm yesterday.
    I am the phantom poster…and be assured i was, despite of the obvious fact that HOC were in serious serious trouble, supporting HOC, and hoping the board had the influence to somehow get hold of some money and fix matters.

    PLEASE BE ASSURED I ONLY POSTED FACTS, FACTS I HAD OBTAINED FROM VARIOUS SOURCES, IN AN ATTEMPT TO TAKE YOUR BLINKERS OFF.

    I was busy thank you yesterday, attempting to help other AR’s.
    I am glad you also were busy this week, however proclaiming that you are busy doesn’t necessarily indicate you are intelegent, indeed you have displayed nothing other than foolish stupidity.
    I hope you are both still busily submitting business to Home of Choice.

    Regardless i wish you well for the future, it is not nice for this to happen to anyone.

  • Stroker 29th April 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Re A-N-Other. Really sorry to hear about your situation. How networks are allowed to trade in this manor is beyond me.

    Clutching at straws, I suppose there is still a small chance that commission held will be paid. If not, how on earth can HOC get away with issuing a statement like they did yesterday?

    Instead of shafting the brokers, I would love to see the FSA actually grow a pair and protect the AR’s who are relying on the networks paying their commission on time every time. After all they are the innocent parties in all of this.

  • paul waters 29th April 2010 at 3:57 pm

    It is real shame when anything like this happens and from what little I know of Home of Choice they had built up a good name as good honest people and wish all their AR’s successes in getting though this unfortunate situation.

    LIFELINE: For individual advisors rather than larger firms the company I work for have in the last 24 hours taken on 5 advisors on an RI basis allowing them to continue with their current business by way of transfer in under a week with the longer term planning converting them to AR’s so please feel free to get in contact and we will try and accommodate you. paulwaters@mapltd.co.uk

  • Anonymous 29th April 2010 at 3:57 pm

    What I don’t understand are the raft of comments on here about Gool ol’Richard and Gerry and how you all trust them implicitly?

    ARE YOU REALLY THAT NAIIVE???

    DID NONE OF THOSE COMMENTORS READ LAST YEARS ACCOUNTS??

    Plumetting turnover, no cash, Net liabilities of £6m (!!!), debts falling due of £8m etc etc etc

    Oh and then there was the debentures taken out in favour of Paymentshield and Bank of Scotland in September who effectively now have a secured charge over everything that Home of Choice, have, are due to have or are owed – they will be the ONLY people who will receive a penny from the administrators from today onwards.

    This business has never made a penny since it was set up – it was started with massive debt and loans from Bank of Scotland and this has grown every year since inception.

    It only managed to scrape survival last year due to its sell out contract to Paymentshield but there was no way the bank was ever going to pump another penny into a continuing failing business with such falling turnover and no ability to reduce its costs further.

    I am sorry but Good Ol’ Richard and Gerry have led you all a merry dance based on promises with foundations of sand while drawing massive salaries along the way.

    All this information is available on Companies House website for £1.

    I feel dreadfully sorry for all the AR’s and staff as you are going to get nothing other than heartache and stress now and it must be truely dreadful.

    Please do your homework before jumping to any other Network though, or any other company at all for that matter – most mortgage based businesses are pretty much screwed.

    Don’t jump from the frying pan into the fire again and DON@T BELIEVE ANYTHING YOU ARE ‘TOLD’!

    Good luck.

  • Anon 29th April 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Richard & Gerry, more like Tom & Gerry, but its not funny guys!

  • Anonymous 29th April 2010 at 2:23 pm

    The real victims in this are the HOC AR’s whose busineses are in ruins now, through no fault of their own. What didnt help them were the facetious remarks about how they would be looked after by the powers that were at HOC

  • anonymous 29th April 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Kieran I hear TMG are recruiting if you need a good secure netowrk to turn to

  • Steve 29th April 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Thanks very much Gerry & Richard. We had faith. You let us down!!!!

  • AR HOC 29th April 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Dear anonymous of yesterday 6.07pm.
    I posted the note re FSA comments.
    We all hoped matters would be resolved & supported the board in all it’s efforts.
    I note you comments re the lack of business and activity. The fact that you have been busy writing business and submitting it to Home of Choice this week, does nothing other than show you a fool.

  • Paul Hennessey 29th April 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Sadly some of us don’t have a few months worth of bill money in the bank or available credit lines to tide us over, they were used up surviving 2008/09.

    It’s a real shame as things were turning right round and the future looked so bright ‘I was going to need shades.’
    Sadly, I will now have to file for bankruptcy, so not only are my finances down the toilet, I have also lost my career, my business, pension of 20 years in the making!!!

  • A-N-Other 29th April 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Sadly some of us don’t have a few months worth of bill money in the bank or available credit lines to tide us over, they were used up surviving 2008/09.

    It’s a real shame as things were turning right round and the future looked so bright ‘I was going to need shades.’
    Sadly, I will now have to file for bankruptcy, so not only are my finances down the toilet, I have also lost my career, my business, pension of 20 years in the making!!!

  • Pissed off HOC AR 29th April 2010 at 11:27 am

    HOC have gone into administration. Thanks a lot HOC, all pipeline business will be lost and now facing a tough few months to get re-regulated and salvage my business! ! !

  • Oliver Whitehead 29th April 2010 at 11:01 am

    I am a Home of Choice AR. I have read these comments in M.S repeatedly in the last few days, as I had very little to cling on to and no one from the Network was letting us know anything of any substance.
    I have read the loyal commentary about expecting announcements and good ‘ol Gerry & Richard will do it for us and we can rely on them.
    Guys, girls this is NOT the case. The next announcement will be that HOC are in administration and no money is there to pay anyone. No deal is done.
    It’s another example of no safeguards and safety in place for brokers, their employees and their families.
    Run, run the house is burning down…

  • Robert Fee 29th April 2010 at 10:02 am

    I wonder how many ex NDL and Mortage Times AR’s had faith in the directors of the networks to sort things out……I am amazed that people still believe the excuses from these clowns in their ivory towers with 6 Figure salaries and fully expensed BMW’s.

    Going on about difficulties in trading yadda yadda yadda is all well and good but at the end of the day HOC will have recieved YOUR money from the Insurers and Lenders. If they aren’t paying it through to you its because THEY HAVE SPENT IT – not because of problems with BACS payments or any of the other countless excuses failing networks have used over the last 2 Years.

    Wake up and smell the coffee for gods sake and if you’re a HOC AR with business to do either don’t do it until you’ve recieved your money ( you might have a long wait ) or put it through another broker who is DA or whose network isn’t having “problems”

    Or you could always bury your head in the sand and hope it will be ok……

  • Drak 29th April 2010 at 9:56 am

    Let’s face it. They have serious cashflow problems.

    If they don’t sell out at a serious discount, they have no other option than to go into administration. Which is bad news for all concerned.

  • HOC AR 29th April 2010 at 9:52 am

    I think even the most loyal AR’s have got to be a little nervous now?!
    This really needs to be brought to an end and fast. This is so damaging to the business as everyone is considering there options and contracts.
    Does this mean as they have broken there contract with us (not paying us) that the contract no longer exists and we can just walk?
    A worried but hopeful AR

  • Phil Jewitt 29th April 2010 at 9:21 am

    quote by anonymous ‘I suspect the person that contact the FSA have nothing better to do. I trust the directors at Home of Choice to make it happen – they are passionate about their people, and I am passionate about working with a fantastic network. This has been blown all out of proportion, and wouldnt have been such an issue if we were paid monthly like most networks. I suspect that those that complain most are advisers that write very little business and have nothing better to do. One thinks you will be eating your words. As previously mentioned Home of Choice have brought us all through a difficult time and the staff and directors have never waivered in giving 100% support. I think a little bit of reciprocal loyalty is needed. I have continued submitting business because I have so much to submit I cant afford the downtime – thats how confident I am in Richard and his band of merry men!!! Keep up the good work in building a brilliant network’

    WHAT A LOAD OF DRIVEL. You think this blown out of proportion. Try telling that to our staff and advisers. Get real

  • HOC AR 29th April 2010 at 8:51 am

    It Thursday morning and no announcement yesterday as promised. I have every confidence in Richard & Gerry and Hope I am not proved wrong. If they dont pull through the laugh will be on all the AR who took there word as gospel as the slagged of other mortgage networks who feel to the wayside. Come on guys, give us some news..good or bad.

  • Robert Old 29th April 2010 at 8:48 am

    I would have to say that after spending 5 years with Sesame that Home of Choice have been a breath of fresh air in the way they operate and head office staff are always very halpful but the one thing you dont do is not pay people on time . So ok lets be positive about the future but we need answers we all have bills to pay .

  • Phil Jewitt 28th April 2010 at 10:04 pm

    Anonymous said
    ‘I suspect the person that contact the FSA have nothing better to do. I trust the directors at Home of Choice to make it happen – they are passionate about their people, and I am passionate about working with a fantastic network. This has been blown all out of proportion, and wouldnt have been such an issue if we were paid monthly like most networks. I suspect that those that complain most are advisers that write very little business and have nothing better to do. One thinks you will be eating your words. As previously mentioned Home of Choice have brought us all through a difficult time and the staff and directors have never waivered in giving 100% support. I think a little bit of reciprocal loyalty is needed. I have continued submitting business because I have so much to submit I cant afford the downtime – thats how confident I am in Richard and his band of merry men!!! Keep up the good work in building a brilliant network’.

    Well big boy, or girl, come out of the closet and tell us who you are or are you too shy or too busy writing all this business which will prevent you from posting again.
    As for recipricol loyalty I think it should be the other way around.
    I will of course have to wait until Friday as there is no other easy and quick fix before then.
    Happy Bank Holiday guys

  • Mark Thorpe 28th April 2010 at 10:01 pm

    I called the FSA yesterday and all that they could confirm to me was that new controllers had been authorised. They were not at liberty to tell me their names but said that it would be public knowledge at the Home of Choice and suggested that i call them for this information. They were unable to confirm any commercial negotiations – it is of no concern to them!!

  • Nick Brown 28th April 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Following on from Richard Longhorn and Heywood Ublomi’s comments about ‘reheated pizza/fast food items’ I can confirm that having checked with Mike Hunt at the FSA (Food Standards Agency) that their official guidance is to approach a branch of ‘Pret A Manger’ with a risk asessment and liquidity check and request a reheated Bacon & Cheese Toastie. I pointed out to the FSA that a liquidity check was no use for a solid food item and that, in fact, Pret give away any left over food to homeless Mortgage Brokers. The FSA thanked me for bringing this to their attention and fined me £450 for indequate record keeping (I’d just bought Paul Weller’s new album and hadn’t put it back in the CD case properly). Thanks to Richard and Heywood for drawing this important matter to our attention and I’ll see you in The Bay Horse at half eight.

  • AR of Home of Choice 28th April 2010 at 8:41 pm

    You people are insane. You are full of love and admiration for Gerry and Richard. It’s total nonsense. If there are any takeover talks going on they are in there negotiating the best deal for themselves and meanwhile we sit in the dark and wait for the outcome. Do you think they started this business for the good of their health so they could make loads of new friends or do you think they started it so they could make loads of money?

    Negotiations may require a degree of secrecy but Gerry and Richard know exactly the fears that every broker has in relation to getting their commission and they haven’t made one single announcement to alleviate those fears. All they have to do is put out a communication which states there is no financial difficulties. That won’t hamper any negotiations they may be involved in.

    You people talk like Gerry and Richard are your friends. They are business men with big houses and big cars that have to be paid for and when all is said and done they are negotiating for themselves. If this whole thing goes down, and it looks increasingly likely judging by the lack of communication, then they will be looking out for themselves the same way every broker will be looking out for himself.

  • HOCAR1 28th April 2010 at 8:12 pm

    The above comment is a bit of a wind up purely because it’s smug.

    From someone who has had a difficult year, has turned a bit of a corner this year, has a pipeline and a few deals on his desk I’m worried. Whilst I have enjoyed a drink with Richard & Gerry and also been through the roadshow “experience” the way this has been handled is poor at best.
    My BDD hasn’t even emailed, never mind phoned, it’s been left to my compliance guy who “shares” my concerns.
    Me not getting paid on the deals already submitted will not be at all good and could quite possibly result in me being unempoyable in the industry and not being able to raise the capital to do something else.
    I’m genuinely pleased for Anon @ 6.07 if that really is your situation but please, don’t ask me if I need a wee should you be on fire old friend.
    I post anon because there are people posting on here who know me personally.

  • dnlksd 28th April 2010 at 7:51 pm

    I would like to say that my BQM in the midlands has been having a hard time from all of her brokers but has never once shown me any concern regarding the position even though I know she is also in the position I have always had excellent help and guidance from her and I do hope that will continue and her role with HOC will be safe.

  • Neill Turner 28th April 2010 at 7:48 pm

    I’m an Ar of HOC and believe it or not, I have faith. Gerry and the board have made a SERIOUS MISTAKE in the communication to AR’s but no doubt the reasons will come out.
    If David Gracy tells me it’s ok, then that’s good enough for me.
    Bloody hell, I hope I don’t have to eat my words!

  • steve davis 28th April 2010 at 7:04 pm

    I can’t believe all you guys think it is a brilliant network – if it was our glorious leaders wouldn’t need to sell it and we would all of been paid. It is been sold because they have no alternative and more importantly to me because there is no money. I smell red herring after red herring.

  • BB 28th April 2010 at 6:48 pm

    It is difficult not knowing but I suspect that legals prevent us from knowing any more than we do. HOC have provided me with great support to get me started as a new broker over the last year and I know the Directors will work their hardest to get this sorted to the broker’s advantage as well. Let’s hope we know soon.

  • A very Loyal HOC AR 28th April 2010 at 6:07 pm

    I suspect the person that contact the FSA have nothing better to do. I trust the directors at Home of Choice to make it happen – they are passionate about their people, and I am passionate about working with a fantastic network. This has been blown all out of proportion, and wouldnt have been such an issue if we were paid monthly like most networks. I suspect that those that complain most are advisers that write very little business and have nothing better to do. One thinks you will be eating your words. As previously mentioned Home of Choice have brought us all through a difficult time and the staff and directors have never waivered in giving 100% support. I think a little bit of reciprocal loyalty is needed. I have continued submitting business because I have so much to submit I cant afford the downtime – thats how confident I am in Richard and his band of merry men!!! Keep up the good work in building a brilliant network.

  • A very Loyal HOC AR 28th April 2010 at 6:07 pm

    I suspect the person that contact the FSA have nothing better to do. I trust the directors at Home of Choice to make it happen – they are passionate about their people, and I am passionate about working with a fantastic network. This has been blown all out of proportion, and wouldnt have been such an issue if we were paid monthly like most networks. I suspect that those that complain most are advisers that write very little business and have nothing better to do. One thinks you will be eating your words. As previously mentioned Home of Choice have brought us all through a difficult time and the staff and directors have never waivered in giving 100% support. I think a little bit of reciprocal loyalty is needed. I have continued submitting business because I have so much to submit I cant afford the downtime – thats how confident I am in Richard and his band of merry men!!! Keep up the good work in building a brilliant network.

  • Chris Downham 28th April 2010 at 5:57 pm

    I have not heard anyhting but my thoughts are…

    As negotiations continue the buyer is trying to put Richard and Gerry over a barrel and force them to accept a low offer for HOC. Many of us know Richard and Gerry and hence understand that they will not go over a barrel and drop their trousers for anyone. They are both good negotiators and will not be easily played. Clearly things have stuffed up to get to this situation which is poor form.

    I expect that soon a price will be agreed and we will get news. Providing updates during negotiations may not be legally possible. I expect they are wanting to be more open and honest than they are appearing but are being hampered by non disclosure agreements etc.

    Why the FSA does not have a task froce to assit networks in these situations. It does appear that everyone is to be treated fairly apart from the brokers. However, I certainly do not blame Richard of Gerry for this.

    Together we are stronger.

  • AR HOC 28th April 2010 at 5:46 pm

    RE:AR HOC | 28 Apr 2010 3:30 pm

    I am very cautious of some of the comments o here and would advised that you all wait, a reasonable length of time.
    Some of these annoymous comments have got to be from other networks trying to scare us. Keep an open mind and try and be patient, I know its hard.
    I was told by my BDM that there would be an announcement today or tomorrow too along with a double BACS payment.
    I give them to Friday and then I will be seriously considering my exit strategy which I recommend you all do to.
    Weather you act on that is up to yourself.

  • Anonymous 28th April 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Re AR HOC
    I have also tried to contact the FSA with no luck!
    Please could you expand on your conversation with them earlier today?

  • AR of HOC 28th April 2010 at 5:04 pm

    I phoned the FSA and they could only repeat “no comment” when I asked anything about Home of Choice and what the likely outcome for AR’s of the firm. We have to adhere to TCF, which is constantly drummed into us, but what of our rights, our network should have the decency to treat us fairly by at least letting us know exactly what is going on, we need to know are we getting paid this week, if not we all have to make alternative financial arrangements which can’t be left until late Friday afternoon.

  • Derek 28th April 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Has anyone heard anything more today? My hope is Richard and Gerry pull this round and provide the industry with a really good news story!

  • Derek 28th April 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Has anyone heard anything more today? My hope is Richard and Gerry pull this round and provide the industry with a really good news story!

  • sarah smith 28th April 2010 at 3:40 pm

    I’ve heard its game over, the annoucement will be they are entering administration, therefore no payments will be made on Friday if ever.

  • Anonymous 28th April 2010 at 3:35 pm

    R.E. FSA@ 12.49- How are you so sure that the news is good- cos I spoke to one of the 2 main men in question yesterday and they said we’d be alright and know by this am- no news- I am starting to get a bit twitchy!! Why are you so sure or are you just taking the preverbial!

  • AR HOC 28th April 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Dear all,
    May i suggest you speak to the FSA directly as i have just done.
    They have informed me that their suggestion would be making a visit to Home of Choice directors immediately, and do so with legal representation present.
    There is no announcment coming.

  • AR of Home of Choice 28th April 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Come on Home of Choice – Make the announcement! Everyone is fed up waiting.

  • grahame keatley 28th April 2010 at 2:58 pm

    As a AR of HOC lets hope its good news as I feel we have been let down by Gerry and Richard for not telling the truth.

  • Philip Jewitt 28th April 2010 at 2:51 pm

    …and what time will the press release arrive?
    At present the silence is deafening

  • Sniffing Coffee is disgusting 28th April 2010 at 2:11 pm

    New rumour is that HOC is in pre-pack, I really do hope that means that bank debts and overdraft are written off and not our commissions and salaries. Nice to see the coffee sniffers have re-appeared today keep on sniffing sad acts!!!Come on HOC directors tell us what is happening.

  • Nick Brown 28th April 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Following on from Richard Longhorn and Heywood Ublomi’s comments about ‘reheated pizza/fast food items’ I can confirm that having checked with Mike Hunt at the FSA (Food Standards Agency) that their official guidance is to approach a branch of ‘Pret A Manger’ with a risk asessment and liquidity check and request a reheated Bacon & Cheese Toastie. I pointed out to the FSA that a liquidity check was no use for a solid food item and that, in fact, Pret give away any left over food to homeless Mortgage Brokers. The FSA thanked me for bringing this to their attention and fined me £450 for indequate record keeping (I’d just bought Paul Weller’s new album and hadn’t put it back in the CD case properly). Thanks to Richard and Heywood for drawing this important matter to our attention and I’ll see you in The Bay Horse at half eight. Come on Leeds!

  • Matt 28th April 2010 at 1:01 pm

    As an ex Ndl ar I am of course very concerned. I had to raise a small smile though from the email recieved from the first affinity cowboys! Alex the thief cotton who took all my money is now offering me shealter under her network. Whatever anybody does don’t jump there!!! This business is full of crooks, perhaps the fsa might consider treating the broker fairly! I could find six strong worded outcomes!!!

  • FSA 28th April 2010 at 12:49 pm

    You can keep moaning all you want guys & girls, lets just hang fire for the press release this afternoon

    which I have been assured is good news! !

  • HOC Appointed Representative 28th April 2010 at 12:34 pm

    To Mark Dudley- You say the Directors will be open and honest. That’s exactly what they haven’t been so far. We haven’t heard anything of any substance from any of them and this has been going on for nearly a week now. First it was a problem with the bacs system, and then take over talks. It started off with a lie and now we hear nothing from them.

    The unofficial message from the BDMs is that they have been told it’s all been sorted and we will be getting paid Friday. However there is no official communication to this affect. If it has been sorted and I was a Director I’d be shouting this good news from the roof tops immediately to alleviate peoples fears and I would definately put out an official communication immediately.

    There is nothing open and honest about this situation at all!

  • Mark Dudley 28th April 2010 at 11:59 am

    Having moved to HOC from The Mortgage Times these developments are obviously concerning to myself. All I can say is that during the short period of time i’ve been with HOC I’ve been impressed with professionalism of all the staff from the directors, office staff and my BQM and BDM. The Mortgage Times directors were never up front with the AR’s in terms of what was happening. I fully believe that the HOC directors, having seen their passion for the business on the roadshows, will not act in a similar vein and will try their upmost to guide the company through and be as open and honest as they can be with the AR firms.

  • HOC AR 28th April 2010 at 11:52 am

    Agree with anon 11:42:
    The directors were great when things were good. Anyone can be a ‘fairweather’ friend! There is no escape from the fact we are being lied to. All this rubbish from Gerry is a ploy to buy more time while he finds someone to bail him out. Remember all the roadshows we have been to where we have been told he is a salesman?? He’s just selling to us now. This is going down

  • Sarah Smith 28th April 2010 at 11:42 am

    Sorry guys, whilst I appreciate you all standing by HOC because of the trust you have in the directors, I think you need to get real. If there is no money there is no money and the directors will not be paying you out of their own pockets. You may not want to wake up and smell the coffee, but I really think you should.

  • Glyn Snelgrove 28th April 2010 at 11:05 am

    I firmly believe Gerry and Richard are telling the truth albeit in a cumbersome way, yes we need news and very soon, like today! I look forward to the future with Home of Choice, as they have been the best network by far over and above the others I have been associated with.

  • Maybe just Maybe 28th April 2010 at 11:00 am

    as a HOC AR I have today received an email from my BQM that we will be receiving a communication this afternoon regarding the current position & developments.

    Lets just hope they have got it all sorted. Otherwise many brokers & firms will be facing bankruptcy! !

  • mj 28th April 2010 at 10:34 am

    mortgage times
    network data

    need i go on

    i think its called KARMA

    you reap what you sow

  • paul robinson 28th April 2010 at 8:37 am

    i was warned a year ago about HOC not being sustainable but as per usual was talked into joining them , im gutted time to move on and get out of this , when the going gets tough they are all the same look after themselves first

  • Jay Rooney 27th April 2010 at 10:48 pm

    I’m a HOC AR and I always look for the silver lining….. looks like that compliance visit might be off then!! You see- the silver lining is always there;-)

  • a concerned person 27th April 2010 at 10:46 pm

    I have an indepth knowledge of this industry and having gone through and witnessed several scenarios as this ,the evidence speaks for itself! With all the AR,s personal involvments aside, this is a network that obviously has outstanding qualities,however unless there is a “rescue”attempt soon !this ship is sunk!

  • Geoff Laird 27th April 2010 at 9:03 pm

    Network Data / Mortgage Times all come to mind.The moment a Network delays paying commission to its AR’s it is the beginning of the end.
    Its no good Jonathan Burridge praising this firm to the hilt , just look at his own previous organisation and what happened to that !!and everyone said what a fine fellow he was and indeed he probably is but it didnt stop the eventual demise of his firm Quantum.

  • Jeff 27th April 2010 at 9:01 pm

    I hopr this issue is being broadcast as it should and that the doubters are provem wrong but my concerns are what if they fail to pay this Friday, then it’s 2 weeks in arrears which I believe will be very hard to make up.

    Richard, do not let us down

  • Jeff 27th April 2010 at 9:00 pm

    I hopr this issue is being broadcast as it should and that the doubters are provem wrong but my concerns are what if they fail to pay this Friday, then it’s 2 weeks in arrears which I believe will be very hard to make up.

    Richard, do not let us down

  • Chris Hulme - HoC AR 27th April 2010 at 5:41 pm

    It seems very strange for negotiations on buying a business to have an effect on the business’ contractual obligations to pay its staff and contractually agreed payments….. i.e. to its AR’s who have had to wait for the business to spend at least two weeks processing the payments in the first place!!
    In what other business or industry does this happen? The communications tell us nothing!
    I would add though that Gerry and Richard have already steered HoC through the worst crisis to affect our industry.
    As a mortgage and protection network, you really wouldnt want to have been any where else but at HoC over these last few years!!
    Have faith my friends, have faith.

  • Heywood Ublomi 27th April 2010 at 5:12 pm

    I’m am in agreement with Richard Longhorn and I think he has put his finger on the REAL issue that yesterday’s pizza can be even more tasty than fresh if correctly re-heated. However, I feel I must point out that nothing surpasses re-heated chicken satay and in today’s market a broker is looking for more than a Stella and a sandwich when he gets home at night.
    I am of the view that , the only reason the BACS wasn’t processed was because R.Coulson was so pleased when Newcastle go promoted that he went on a 4 day bender and forgot to push the button. Keep The Faith (as the Tadcaster Mods say) – we’ve been through worse.

  • Pearny 27th April 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Oh the rumour mill! Got to admit I thought that HOC might have been snapped up by Towergate. Home of Choice is a great network – my BQM Brian Dobson is an absolute star. There may be a delay as further interested parties could now be showing their hand!? I like the approach of this network and that the Directors are often seen on the shop floor. Hopefully the situation will become clear asap – afterall we dont want to be poached by networks selling loaded premiums or clawback policies that mean you payback the networks cut as well as our own.

    Dear Richard,
    Prove the doubters wrong! Quickly please! so we can carry on submitting our business through HOC – an honest network!

  • Mr Future 27th April 2010 at 4:30 pm

    The FSA issue warning against Carmody and May.

    What could this read in the future?

    Any parallels here?

  • Rob Latimer 27th April 2010 at 4:04 pm

    I have worked for Gerry O’Brien – at Zurich and HoC. Although we haven’t always seen eye to eye, I have always found him honest and decent and believe that he and Richard will bring this crisis to a satisfactory conclusion. One look at HoC’s accounts last year would have told you all you needed to know and that it was only survivng due to Bank of Scotland & Friends Provident hand-outs, so this should really not have come as a surprise to any of the ARs. I do hope Carby delivers and HoC continues. Good luck everyone.

  • AR HOC 27th April 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Without AR’s no networks will exist. There is no point panicking until we have a full story. Joining another network is not a solution as it may happen again.

  • Emmanuel 27th April 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Guys, whatever you hear, you should be watching out carefully. Your judgement of the sitaution and acting promptly will always save your life. I am a victim of a network that failed me after months of email assurances.I lost big monies, I used to be patient and i failed in my judgement. Over to you…

  • HOC AR 27th April 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Hello anonymous, my BDM is also a top person, keep with it as I am sure the lack of info coming from the top is to ensure no 3rd party last minuet iterference to sour the deal.

  • HOC AR 27th April 2010 at 3:26 pm

    HOC AR:
    Bear a thought for the bdms who dispite not being paid and having any guidance themselves are doing a fantastic job. My chap in the midlands is a decent & honest guy who is helping me through this and to be honest is putting the HoC board to shame. No other network has field based support as good as HoC so I for one will not be leaving. The guys on the front line have been great but senior management has been very poor indeed. They have let us down and lost a lot of trust. Surely thier position in the ‘new’ HoC is untenable??

  • Rob 27th April 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Chris Downham | 27 Apr 2010 2:06 pm – I know what you mean I have taken calls from vulture networks offering the world! I have received emails from networks I have never heard of.
    Still I am taking it as a compliment and positive all will be well!

  • Kathy Owen 27th April 2010 at 3:16 pm

    After having a chat with one of the BDM’s I have been sufficently reassured. All will become clear soon.
    I think it could’ve been handled better.
    A ‘keeping the faith’ broker.

  • HOC AR 27th April 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Chris Downham, well done for your comments much apreciated mate, just shows other people like myself still believe. I know what you mean as the phone keeps ringing with addicted coffee drinkers on the other end. Last year aparently gave idiots like me and you all the clues we needed!!! I bet, Chris like me your life and Gi sales are singnificantly higher this last 12 months, not to mention helping people write their wills and offering people 3rd party assistance for pension advice. anyway just going to put the kettle on so I can have my daily coffe fix that I will be drinking and not sniffing. Come on HOC we are not dead and burried just yet!!!!

  • Roland Millward 27th April 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Having gone through the trauma of Network Data’s collapse there is a certain deja vu here! I hope not for all those concerned but I would suggest if you are not getting paid it is because there is no money to pay out and a buyer is being sought who will take on the debt. mmmm!

  • Steve 27th April 2010 at 2:17 pm

    To: Annonymous | 27 Apr 2010 1:43 pm

    Who mentioned nationals? I was merely pointing out the obvious. Last year presented the clues. I hold no grudge against HoC and take no pleasure in my postings. Another potential failure is bad news for everyone in our industry.I only hope it ends with a positive outcome but unfortunately I fear the worst.

  • Metal Mickey 27th April 2010 at 2:11 pm

    The explanation from Gerry O’Brien about non-payment makes no sense. The only explanation is there is that there is no money.

    As for “the one consolation is that if the FSA … wouldnt approve a new owner if their finances were not in order” I’m sorry but if you had actually dealt with the FSA you would know that this is not the case.

    Ever feel like you’ve been cheated?

  • Chris Downham 27th April 2010 at 2:06 pm

    HOC AR, hard to get business done as keep getting phoned by other networks. My belief in several of the directors of HOC is absolute. After working with them for many years I know that they deeply care about the sales force and I exepect that what has happened is more to do with the much maligned banking industry than an end of HOC. I hope that HOC get this sorted asap and it is business as usual. HOC are a brilliant and refreshing network (although not perfect), they are aware of need to extend permissions and maybe the outcome of this slight delay in payments is that we will get more opportunities in the future.
    Good luck to HOC and my thoughts are with all tghe staff in Chippenham.

  • HOC AR 27th April 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Smell the coffee, well done steve@1.30, I do hope the guys who run HOC pull off the deal, just so smug insensative fools like you will eat your words

  • Lifeboats to HOC 27th April 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Had exactly the same rubbish from millfield partnership when they went down the pan, all i can advise is secure your monies where possible, and factor in alternate credit lines, cause the first thing that happens is pipeline freeze from lenders on coms.

  • richard longhorn 27th April 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Mr Darcy, I actually like yesterdays pizza and you have clearly not lived life to the full if you have never tried it. If you want a tip from an expert then try Pizza Hut Super Supreme the next day, heat each slice for 30 to 40 seconds, it’s gooooorgeous. On that note HOC might seem like yesterdays pizza to you young man but waite till Mr Carby warms us up we wil be eating up all those smaller pizzas all over the country and may be even having a slice of yours, if ya lucky. Scrumy howdie

  • Steve is an arse! 27th April 2010 at 1:43 pm

    FAO Steve @ 1:03pm – If I as a mortgage & protection advisor of HOC have managed my cashflow through thse past 2 years, then I expect a national network to have done the same. So smelling coffee is not appropriate, poor management springs to mind.

  • Martin McGuickin 27th April 2010 at 1:41 pm

    I am an AR with the home of choice group in Northern Ireland.

    I have had many great face to face meetings with Richard Coulson and Brian Shannon and have to say that I trust these guys implicitly.

    I like many others am concerned about the recent goings on at the HOC head quarters but without burying my head in the sand I trust that the situation will get sorted and that we will be paid and continue to be paid in the future.

    I think HOC is an outstanding network that has done nothing but good for my business personally and it would take a massive sway for me change that opinion.

    I know others will not share my view but I feel that Richard is an honest good guy who will want to protect a great set of advisers who are the life line of the company.

    my gut feeling is don’t be too hasty in jumping ship- but I will have to agree with one point made continuously in that the communication skills of the heads that be has been somewhat lacking over the last few days which has led to numerous amounts of time wasted talking about a potentially serious situation instead of doing what we do best and do business and make money.

    I hope my instinct is proven correct.

  • Stephen McCarry 27th April 2010 at 1:41 pm

    I have 100% faith that the guys will get this deal done and clearly from some of the posts here today some of you have little or no knowledge of HoC and of the many successful firms within. They have always been upfront with the brokers and although communication has been poor I am sure full detail will follow shortly…. To HOC brokers have faith and do not get involved some of the doom merchants with their pearls of wisdom…
    All will become clear….

  • x mortgage times staff member 27th April 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Looks like Mortgage Times all over again – I just hope the brokers are paid any outstanding commission

    People should be looking at a new network

  • Steve 27th April 2010 at 1:03 pm

    What did HOC advisers expect? After what happened to a number of “Mortgage Only” networks last year.The clue’s were there!!!!! Wake up and smell the coffee! I agree with mic2002 | 27 Apr 2010 11:49 am

  • bill mcewan 27th April 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Having been with the mortgage times up until they went bust the Home of Choice scenario sounds familiar. If I had to go through the MT experience again with another network, at the first signs of financial trouble ie I didn’t get paid I would bite the bullet and go to another network.

  • singh 27th April 2010 at 12:51 pm

    INMHO ,HOC have no money, the directors would have known about the cashflow problems months ago,but have decided to keep taking their salaries and make excuses about why they have not paid ARs & staff. Us brokers have very short memories remember ND & MTimes and the excuses they came up with for not paying ARs

  • Mrs Collins 27th April 2010 at 12:34 pm

    HOC AR… we looked at joining a network in 2004 [small 2 man company] and we even considered HOC it is actually a lot cheaper for us to be directly authorised. FSA Fees and PII. We had to take PII anyway with HOC but FSA fees were lower than HOC fees. If we had been in a Network we probably wouldnt have survived the past couple of years.

  • Ex HoC AR 27th April 2010 at 12:28 pm

    many current AR’s are well aware of the massive commissions still outstanding to those of us who left over 12 months ago and the legal battles due to HoC changing contracts once brokers gave them notice of leaving! They have almost taken several brokers down with them – guys and ladies jump now whilst you are still able to make a choice. HoC were a brilliant idea set up by great people who unfortunatly became victims of the market place but they are survivors and you can be sure that they will take your last pound to ensure they they are alright!In these times you need huge financial security and whilst Openwork can offer this thru Zurich – many other networks including HoC are running on borrowed money and borrowed time.

  • Anonymous 27th April 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Why delay commissions? – Pay the advisers and use your ‘managment skill’ to get this done.

    If HOC directors now announce problems, the advisers lose out again – the directors are still getting paid 6 figure salaries and perks.

  • Jon B 27th April 2010 at 12:23 pm

    in trying to recruit me and my company, Home Of Choice promised me that they were very strong financially, but i decided to go to a bigger network, which appeared to be sound, despite being slagged off by HoC. Am i glad now?

  • David Clark 27th April 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Home of Choice / Network Data. Same scenario, same excuses, inevitably same outcome. Hope not for sake of all affected ARs, but advice from one bitten hard a year ago is get transferrred to a solid network as soon as you can. Talk to Paul Day for a good unbiased opinion

  • Frank Jurga 27th April 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Oh no – not again. We had these assurances that all was well with Mortgage Times – they even told us towards the end that they were in negotiations with Investors. HOC are not paying because they have used AR commissions to keep themselves afloat. Their reason for not paying is rubbish – similar to MT telling us for 9 months that they had system integration problems. I did this throughout last year – I warned very early that MT would not survive and I urged people not to process any more work through them. Time to look for another Network I’m afraid ladies and gentlemen. Would you believe MT went bust just before Christmas and i haven’t even been contacted by Administrators or Liquidators. I remind you that MT started to suspend ARs on a whim so that they could freeze commissions to create a clawback fund. They chose not to collect monthly fees in preference to stealing the pipeline commissions. I wrote to the FSA about their trickery and that is why they got them on Capital adequacy rules. If HOC ARs want early assurances, they should demand that the FSA gets in early to do an immediate Capital adequacy test to prevent further losses. Good luck and best wishes

  • Jonathan Burridge 27th April 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Home of Choice and it’s leaders presented a fresh, well controled and highly motivated Principle all the time that my business traded and benefited greatly from their support.

    I know from personal experience the difficulties faced in trading through the last couple of years and I am sure that Home of Choice is sufficiently fast-footed to get through this and it to only be a hiccup in an otherwise successful track record.

    Keith Carby and the Home of Choice Board have long standing history. Keith is a highly connected individual, Foster Denovo is well run IFA from what I have seen.

    It would seem a solution that holds up the network and hopfully will lead to future prosperity.

    AR’s will be understandably concerned, but I am sure that they will all be paid.

  • HOC AR 27th April 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Looks like if the deal does not come off we are sunk. This would be a great shame as they are a teriffic network. Where would you go from here DA perhaps, I dont think that that would be an option for most due to the expense and fees

  • HOC Broker 27th April 2010 at 12:10 pm

    It was a nice touch that we got this information from Mortgage Strategy before we got the email from Gerry!!! Thats it I’m off.

  • John Reid 27th April 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Oh dear…. I am a bit concerned at some of these comments. I know Gerry O’Brien from a past life. Pinch (Mountain) of Salt comes to mind. The lack of communication is because there is NOTHING good to tell you. If there was something good to tell you Mr O’Brien would be ontop of the highest tower shouting it from the roof tops….. N.B. This statement is my own personal opinion and from my own personal experience.

  • Mark 27th April 2010 at 12:02 pm

    This reminds me of Network Data Ltd with all the promises of being paid. It never happened! When this happens to a Network ie they dont pay the bread and butter jump ship fast.

    When are the FSA going to have ARs Income protected through a Trust fund which a network can touch?

  • Charles Sissons 27th April 2010 at 12:01 pm

    …..If anyone can, Richard and Gerry can….why don’t you all wake up. They are in real trouble because of their greed and avariciousness.

  • Nicola Bowles 27th April 2010 at 11:57 am

    I am an ex MBSL/Network data AR, it was nearly 12 months to the day we were going through the same thing. Missing/delayed commissions, very little communication.

    It turned out that Network Data were trying to get as much money per head for selling us onto another network. This all fell through and we were left to fend for ourselves.

    Do not do what I did and wait for a positive outcome, start contacting other networks to see if they can fast track you so that you can start selling again.

  • john higgins 27th April 2010 at 11:53 am

    i think everyone agrees that HOC are a great company and no one wants them to fail. The issue is about telling the truth. No company doesn’t pay their staff or AR’s because the BACS doesn’t work as you would simply pay via another method. HOC have no money and are negotiating for survival and if anyone can pull it off it will be Richard & Gerry but please don’t think the industry is full of fools!!

  • Darren Pescod 27th April 2010 at 11:53 am

    The one consolation is that if the FSA have approved change of control we can be happy that the new investor has some deep pockets to invest in the network, they wouldnt approve a new owner if their finances were not in order. Once again the communication skills of the network have let them down – Please sort this out in the future guys as you do all the hard work for 5 years building the network up to let two badly worded e mails, and no telephone calls, ruin everything.

  • John Reid 27th April 2010 at 11:52 am

    Thats a very confusing message – Yesterday Mr G O’brien states they couldnt pay AR’s because of the application for change of controllers which has now been approved by the FSA however today he is saying they are still in talks..? What is it – new owners already approved or are they still talking about being taken over? Good Luck Home of Choice Brokers, I really hope its not another Network Data fiasco.

  • D Magill 27th April 2010 at 11:52 am

    HOC were trumpeting about winning a Cherry award 3 years in a row…sounds like “Cherry O” Home of Choice.

  • buzz 27th April 2010 at 11:51 am

    Agree with the comment with regards to the directors salaries, and I suppose Gerry is still more concerned getting his photo taken with B-List celebrities.

  • Charles Sissons 27th April 2010 at 11:51 am

    They’re in real trouble – it’s not surprising being run by such greedy avaricious ex dunbar reptiles!

  • Kieran Byrne 27th April 2010 at 11:50 am

    TELL me… Have you ever had a mortgage deal go pear shaped at the last minute?

    OK.. we know something is going on. GIVE THE MEN SOME BREATHING SPACE. I am sure we all have had thigs happen which are outside our control. I suspect the reason that nothing is being said is that the smallest word will be analysed to death by other networks keen to approach us and the financial press. Just keep writing business and all will hopefully work out well. These are good guys and remember that this is their lively hood that they have built up. Personally i wish them well and will stand by them as they stood by me. I am NOT considering moving..

  • mic2002 27th April 2010 at 11:49 am

    mmm.Not that I’m that well up on corporate takeovers but I don’t see the link between a takeover and ability to pay your debts.They obviously have nothing in the kitty and are no doubt still receiving money from various companies in leiu of comms.They need to sell the business.

    Don’t want to be a harbinger of doom but I cant remember any similar firm ever coming back from this sort of situation..

  • Mike Torrance 27th April 2010 at 11:48 am

    This has a familiar ring to it. I heard the same “don’t panic” responses from Network Data and Mortgage Times and as someone who got burned by one of these firms, I just hope Mr O’Brien is true to his word.

  • Another Angry and Not Suprised Home of Choice AR 27th April 2010 at 11:43 am

    I bet the Directors are still drawing their six figure salaries.

    No news this morning.

    I am getting very concerned.

    What should we do now I have not heard from anyione at HOC?

  • anon 27th April 2010 at 11:43 am

    This looks like the Mortgage Times all over again. This is the warning sign….

  • Steve Brockman 27th April 2010 at 11:41 am

    Yet another round of excuses to cover the non payment of AR commissions etc. Every network has used exactly these tactics to calm AR’s down but the end result is always the same, the networks go bust leaving their AR’s out of pocket!
    Why are the F.S.A. not involved with this as the solvency of the networks are directly under their remit etc.?

  • John Tidswell 27th April 2010 at 11:38 am

    Looks like another Network Data in the making!

  • tony oneill 27th April 2010 at 11:38 am

    Of course we believe the old dunbar faithfull, why would anyone not belive what is happening within the home of liars… like most of the post M day networks, high charges, no support, why do brokers continue to you pay them, and where is Mr Coulson on this matter, he has been very quiet of late, perhaps the sale option may not be the cash cow that it will be as good as it originally seemed..

  • Roger Morris 27th April 2010 at 11:37 am

    If anyone can do this it’s Gerry and Richard. I am sure this will work out to be a great move to help Home of Choice move forward . As Gerry has said before ” Do right and fear no man”

  • Andy 27th April 2010 at 11:35 am

    Is this another Mortgage Times tale of woe?

  • Mark Finnegan 27th April 2010 at 11:30 am

    “We are being taken over…”

    Heard it all before, it’s not going to happen.

    FSA I hope you are watching and proud of yourselves. Yet another failure on your part.

  • Jerry McGuire 27th April 2010 at 11:28 am

    It is all well and good assuring us. Confidence is low, no business is being applied and AR’s are worried bearing in mind previous network failures! Communications are being treated with a pinch of salt because the lack of content and substance. How can they be believed when HOC advised last week that the BACS issue delayed payment! As the film say’s…”Show me the money Gerry, show me the money!”…

  • HOC Broker 27th April 2010 at 11:21 am

    I dont know were you have heard that we have reicieved this email but I haven’t recieved it.
    Now getting even more worried.