How I lost six houses
IT wasn't so long ago that Rockhampton's Greg Weeding was a successful businessman, with six investment properties and a thriving motorcycle workshop.
That was until he met the finance broker who he claims destroyed his life.
A Brisbane District Court judge this week issued an enforcement warrant for possession of Mr Weeding's remaining three properties and issued a default order against him for the amount of the mortgage debt.
"If I worked 25 hours a day at $100 an hour for the rest of my life I'd still owe money," Mr Weeding said yesterday outside one of the homes he has lost.
He said that he fell victim to the financial and investment strategies the broker urged him to adopt.
He first met the broker when the man took a Harley-Davidson into Mr Weeding's Musgrave St business, Rocky Custom Cycles.
As they talked the man told him he was a money broker.
"I asked him if he could get me $120,000 for a Dyna tune for the shop. He asked me what my assets were and I told him I had six properties. As I was rattling off what I had, he said "I'll get you a million dollars'," Mr Weeding recalled.
He said five days later the broker came back offering him $963,000 on a 30-year interest only loan.
Within days the paperwork had arrived which was blank except for crosses to mark the places to be signed.
"I feel stupid, just plain stupid, but he had a golden tongue," said Mr Weeding.
He admits he didn't do any of his own checking and rather trusted what he was being told.
"Just like people trust me when they bring their bike in to be fixed."
After paying out his current mortgages and with $335,000 left over, Mr Weeding invested in house and land developments in Gracemere and Mackay.
"They convince you they've made a fortune and it's easy to do. He was blowing his horn as loud as he could.
"But he'd blatantly overvalued everything and got heaps of money on commissions knowing I'd go down because I couldn't service the loan.
"I kept up the payments for about 15 months then one night I started running over the figures in my head. I rang him up and said you've put me in a hole I can't get out of," Mr Weeding said.
And contrary to his claims to being a wealthy investor, when the broker died in late 2009 Mr Weeding claimed his assets were frozen to pay debts and after his last property was sold he still owed money.
Greg Weeding is now living in the back of his shop and hanging on to his business by a thread.
He said bankruptcy was inevitable.
"I've lost everything … my business, my house, my wife. I'd love to bring him back to life so I can choke him myself," he said.