Saturday, March 22, 2008

Absolute must-read – great bear food!

BTL investors who fear they may be homeless

For many investors, it's game over and personal ruin.They have already lost the properties they believed would provide them with riches. Now they also risk their own homes Chris Miller, 52, bought 31 new-build 2-bed flats, which he was told were worth £7.5m. Through the use of gifted deposits from the developers, he did not have to put any of his own money down. Optimistic valuers told him to expect £850 rental income (exactly the amount of an interest-only mortgage) for a flat that only ever made £4-500."My monthly interest was £29,252 but all I ever cleared a month was £15,000." Now 2 of the flats have been sold and the remaining 29 have been repossessed.He still owes £3.5m. Geoff Morris, 62, now has a repossession order on his own home and is living on £157 a week benefits.

Posted by little professor @ 11:15 AM (8002 views)
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54 thoughts on “Absolute must-read – great bear food!

  • little professor says:

    Geoff Morris, 61, who lives in St Neots, Cambridgeshire, had had enough of stockmarket speculation by 2003.

    “I decided to try property. I went to a free workshop, was very impressed, and signed up for the full course. I aimed to get as many properties as I could, as quickly as possible.

    “I admit I threw all caution to the wind. I assumed others would do the due diligence for me – after all I was paying,” he says. “I put deposits down on properties still to be built in places like Manchester, Middlesbrough and Leeds, even though I had never been to any of them. And I bought into Florida – again, totally sight unseen.”

    Then he started to purchase the flats.

    “All this was to be my pension. Everyone selling property told me I could not rely on the government or insurance companies. But this was the most expensive mistake of my life. I had to put money down on these properties as they were not on a gifted deposit basis.

    “I managed to get the cash using a mix of zero-interest credit cards, personal loans, and when that ran out, remortgaging my house. Now I realise I substantially overpaid.”

    Morris is today living on £157 a week in benefits, owes £100,000 on credit cards and personal loans, is in £200,000 negative equity, and Northern Rock has a suspended repossession order on his home for the £200,000 he owes it.

    “I never made the money I was promised. The rents never matched the interest payments. Buy-to-let was a fantasy for me because I never checked anything.

    “I was so enthusiastic I just went ahead. Some of my properties were never built even though I had put down deposits. Others have been repossessed. I now have nothing.”

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  • housing carbuncle says:

    “Chris Miller, 52, bought 31 new-build 2-bed flats, which he was told were worth £7.5m”

    Now the key bit here is “he was told”. Where is the regulation for this market? Or is regulation just a bit too inconevenient at the present time?

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  • Hey I’m sorry to hear all that stuff. If you’re reading this Geoff my car needs a wash.. £5 okay ?

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  • little professor says:

    In case any of you are feeling sorry for poor ‘ol Geoff, facing losing his home, £200,000 negative equity and £100,000 credit card debt, take a look at this article he penned while at the top of his game:

    http://www.zeromillion.com/financial-services/how-to-achieve-financial-freedom-with-your-home-by-geoff-morris.html

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  • captain sensible says:

    “Miller, 52, a qualified solicitor who specialised in property work…”

    Says it all really, those ‘independent’ professionals who are supposed to protect the less informed public were as blind as the rest to the reality of this situation. Can’t really see how his legal action will work, unless he was openly lied to.

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  • Class actions against developers, valuers and lenders. The skint suing the skint.

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  • I can see many,many Legal Actions for compensation on the horizon.

    As naive as I may be, I would have asked myself the question of : How can people in these areas afford such Rents when I know they earn between 5 and 10 pounds an hour? If they were earning a lot more and thus had the means,well they just wouldn’t be renting one of my places, would they, so am I being realistic ?

    The arithmatic is not difficult.

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  • Crashwatcher says:

    I feel sorry for these guys – How were they to know that the flats they were buying were overvalued – and how were they to know local rents weren’t £800 per month for a small flat, and how were they to know that the housing market was likely to crash – was 2 hours on the internet too much planning for their new investment business then?

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  • Thanks for adding that LP. Made me feel even better.

    Captain, are you touring with The Damned again soon?

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  • little professor says:

    The arithmatic is not difficult.

    Apparently the spelling is rather more so :p

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  • As my old man used to say to me after finishing dinner and trying to put more ice cream on my plate that i could handle
    ” YOU DONT NEED IT,,,ITS PURE GREED!” the memory of him saying that to me comes into play with this self made property tycoon.
    all i can say is, I did not eat the ice cream i m not an obese person, and i m very healthy, can t say that the case for chris miller! 🙂

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  • “In case any of you are feeling sorry for poor ‘ol Geoff, facing losing his home, £200,000 negative equity and £100,000 credit card debt, take a look at this article he penned while at the top of his game:

    http://www.zeromillion.com/financial-services/how-to-achieve-financial-freedom-with-your-home-by-geoff-morris.html

    Priceless !!!!

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  • nopensionnohouse says:

    “take a look at this article he penned while at the top of his game”

    That’s too hilarious LP! Good find.

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  • These investors now blame their demise on others that told them the market will always go up. If the promised rents were needed to keep their investment going, they should have sought for cast iron guarantees that could be challenged legally. It is only now btls are considering rents, a year or two ago, it was purely down to capital appreciation.

    They give the impression of being innocent victims, but they actively commited mortgage fraud with the gifted deposits to compound the leaverage on their investments. Any other type of fraud involving these amounts of money would result in a lengthy prison term, they have got off extremely lightly.

    Paul.

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  • What can I say?
    AHHA HAHAHHAHAHAHHAAHHA HAHAHHAHAHAHHA
    AHHA HAHAHHAHAHAHHAAHHA HAHAHHAHAHAHHA
    AHHA HAHAHHAHAHAHHAAHHA HAHAHHAHAHAHHA
    AHHA HAHAHHAHAHAHHAAHHA HAHAHHAHAHAHHA

    Good find LP!

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  • “Solicitor Hammad Ahmed at Hull-based law firm Max Gold Partnership is co-ordinating class actions against developers, valuers, and lenders. For further details phone 01482 224900.”

    Another shark!! Good luck!
    but I am glad we will see a lot of ambulance chasing against the developers, and the surveyors!!!! they will make sure they undercut prices at the next valuation!!

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  • http://www.zeromillion.com/financial-services/how-to-achieve-financial-freedom-with-your-home-by-geoff-morris.html

    How and earth did you find this – Brilliant tho, well done. I read an article in yesterdays Telegraph about a “property developer” who borrowed money of his mum and dad to buy a place. When asked about the choice of renting or buying he said it was a “no brainer” I will leave you all to make up your minds about that one. Also how come everybody is a property developer these days?

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  • From LP’s link… rules of the “new economy”:

    “What is the point in just scrimping and scraping throughout your working life only to have to sell your house and move down market, or worse still, sell up and rent, while you just try and make ends meet on a pitifully small handout from the State?
    As soon as you have bought your first house, you should be thinking about buying your second and your third, and your fourth…..

    …. Let’s look at a totally different scenario, where the couple looking to buy their first house took specialist advice from one of the more reputable property clubs that are around. These clubs are admittedly usually aimed at property investors, but isn’t that what we all should be?
    Now, let’s take our example of the £200,000 dream house for our hopeful house buyers. They see a development of dream houses by one of the nationally recognised house builders. Do you think they could persuade the developers to pay the 15% deposit for them? On their own – not a chance, but if our hopefuls go via one of these property clubs, the chances are that the developer would now be willing to pay the 15% as a ‘gift’.
    I can see your expression now. “Not a chance” you say. But it does happen, and we can arrange introductions to make this possible.
    So, you now have bought your house, and instead of having to find £30,000 deposit, all you have to do is get your self a mortgage.
    Now, when you move into a house, especially in your early years, the chance of you staying there for the term of the mortgage is very unlikely. You may change jobs; you may want to move to a different area, or there may be many other reason why you will want to move within a few years. So, the house you have bought is only a temporary residence, and you could almost treat it as a rental property – but with one big big difference.
    Whether you paid the deposit, or whether you got this ‘gifted’ deposit from the developers, this money, this equity in the property is YOURS. And not only that, it is a historical fact that house prices, given time, will always increase.
    So as this is a ‘temporary’ abode, why go for a mortgage that includes a repayment element in it? Why not go for what is known as an interest only mortgage? What this is then is a loan where you never pay back any of the principle of the loan, but only the interest on it. You will have to pay back the capital at the end of the term, but we will be showing you how easy that can be achieved a little bit later.

    But now look at another effect, which is called ‘Leverage’. With a no-money down deal, the leverage is enormous, but consider the case where you bought a £200,000 house and put a 10% (£20,000) deposit down on it. If the house goes up in value by 10% the equity in your house will have increased by some £20,000. Now, your initial investment was £20,000, so you will have DOUBLED your investment in 12 months. Not bad huh! Try doing that at your local Bank, or even if you dare, the Stock Market!
    So, let’s say house prices went up by just 5% per annum over the next 2 years. This would mean an increase in your equity (equity being the difference between the value of your house and the amount of the mortgage on it). This would mean you now owned an extra £10,000 after the first year (5% of £200,000) and £21,000 after the second year (5% of £210,000 + £10,000 from the previous year). This would mean that your house was now worth £221,000, of which you now owned (£221.000 – £170,000) which comes to some £55,100.
    Wow! £55 Grand that belongs to you!
    Now, let’s do something with this money!
    With a good clean credit record after the last 2 years (assuming you had no defaults on your mortgage payments) you could now refinance your house. You could go to your existing lender (if you have a penalty period in your mortgage), or you could go to any other lender and negotiate up to 90% (subject to your financial status) of THE NEW VALUE OF YOUR HOUSE.
    90% of £221,000 is £198,900. So you can release nearly £30,000 out of the equity in your house. And the best thing about this money is it is totally tax free! No capital gains to pay and no income tax! If you don’t believe me, speak to an accountant.
    But how about if you went and bought another house, this time as an investment property?
    You never know, your friendly developer may be persuaded to give you another gifted deposit, in which case you could buy several more houses (your only expense being legal fees, broker’s fees, and stamp duty, which on a £200,000 property would come to around £5,000). In this case, with your £30,000 you could buy another 6 houses!

    ahh ahahhah
    Tulips and Ponzi schemes!!! This is what the US house market is based on

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  • little professor

    Apologies — one day I hope to attain perfection.

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  • Chris Miller,Geoff Morris & others like them = THICK C##T’S

    Still owes 3.5 million now that is catching a cold,utter fool

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  • WTF does Geoff Morris get £157 a week on benefits? If he is able to work, he should he flipping Big Macs or stacking shelves at Tescos. There are plenty of people doing low-income jobs like that who have never been able to buy even one property. This BTL scum deserves no sympathy.

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  • I’m just amazed at how some of you could take so much pleasure out of other people’s misfortune and mistakes. Everyone wants to better their lives one way or another and just because one guy made a bad mistake on his investment decision, it doesn’t warrent comments like “Chris Miller,Geoff Morris & others like them = THICK C##T’S”. This is totally pathetic.

    He who’s never made a mistake shall cast the first stone!

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  • little professor says:

    @confused76
    It’s a BTL cliche-fest. Tick em off:
    It’s your pension
    Property investment clubs
    Gifted deposits
    100% LTV
    House prices always go up
    Interest-only with no repayment vehicle
    Releasing “equity” to invest in yet more houses

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  • But But This MUST be wrong wrong wrong, Greenbay told me he never sells he just remortgages, I dont understand. Greenbay (in case you havent heard of him) he’s a property qunizillionaire so he cant be wrong, tut tut Geoff, its no problem just sit back and wait for the next bull run….. oh your mortgage providers wont give you that time? Speak to Anne and the Bank of Mum and Dad, if not then its not your fault is it – no its those nasty Americans and their obscure lenders – Bear Stearns springs to mind – an obscure bank [i fink] in i dunno the mid-west of Ark-hen-saw? [As of November 31, 2006, the company had total capital of approximately $66.7 billion and total assets of $350.4 billion. According to the April 2005 issue of Institutional Investor magazine, Bear Stearns was the seventh largest securities firm in terms of total capital].

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    LP, that is gold dust. Laugh, I nearly cried.

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  • Did you see his link to his marketing site? http://horizonportfolios.com/propertyprofits4you/ from LPs link – phones4u – no – propertyprofits4u? LP I actually was starting to feel sorry for him until i saw your link, and the fact he was passing this onto others just sums up peoples attitudes in this country. If he had been right wouldnt that have been enough? Contemptable

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  • I wonder how much more money he owes the state via Northern Rock; “Northern Rock has a suspended repossession order on his home”; as the Rock was probably the cheapest place to get money for property this is probably typical of their bad eggs.

    Makes one wonder about how the B&B and A&L with fare in the coming months!

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  • Fabio
    Just read LP’s link… and have a laugh… AH HAHAHHAHAH HAHAHHA

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  • geoff morris what an idiot,i wonder how many more fools there are in a similar position.One comment i picked up on his comical article was “And not only that, it is a historical fact that house prices, given time, will always increase.” This comment is absolute [email protected]*x. The gragh on the homepage shows the true historical path of houseprices and that does not show that they only ever increase.What a daft comment,Still that is what these ponzi schemes reliedon and the only way they could continue to be sustained and grow.The collapse of these schemes (and the housing market) is gathering pace now.Looks like the party is well and truly over.

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  • there is no way Geoff wrote that article himself it looks as though Inside Trash or whatever company organised the seminar who wrote it for him and asked him to post on a website.

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  • nopensionnohouse says:

    @Fabio “I’m just amazed at how some of you could take so much pleasure out of other people’s misfortune and mistakes”.

    It is actually quite easy…. Especially when mocking people like greenbay who come on our HPC web site spraying buzz phrases all over the place calling us losers (if you don’t know who he is go search for his postings in the archives) and calling himself a self made millionaire entrepreneur.

    Only a few weeks ago I almost started doubting a HPC would happen. Now it is probably 95% certain… It’s like shooting fish in a barrel!

    Watch ‘em fall.

    My comments to Greenbay (and the like): AH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

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  • Crashinhand says:

    This is just one in a series of informative news articles issued by Geoff Morris.

    Others include:

    • “How to generate an income in excess of £30,000 per annum without leaving your Day Job” • “How to benefit from Off-Plan property purchases and what pitfalls to watch out for” • “How to use a SIPP (Self Investing Pension fund) to grow your portfolio and protect it from the Tax-Man!’’

    Other articles can be viewed by just signing up to his property investment page at…

    Maybe he can do an article ‘How to maximise your benefits’ ? ‘

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  • Yeah, I used to get so cheesed off with the pressure applied to approve these BTLs at silly purchase prices and anticipated rentals. More annoying were the scams the buyers (or their brokers) came up with when challenging downvaluations. A favourite one was the bogus assured shorthold tenancy agreement. Basically, a signed tenancy document is sent in to the lender which ‘proves’ that a much higher rental has been agreed hence the stupid valuers opinion must be wrong. We are then asked to review our figures so that the lender can throw money at the buyer/sucker. On one occasion I spotted that the ‘tenant’ was a relative of (and worked for) the applicant. On another occasion the flat was still vacant 2 months after the purported commencement date of the tenancy. On another occasion the copy agreement had been crudely altered and the rental figure changed.

    As far as the purchase price is concerned, these are frequently overstated (ignoring discount incentives) to try to fool the valuer – and by the looks of it this has worked with the more inexperienced/unwary valuers.

    It makes my blood boil when these poor people get their fingers burned and look around for somebody to blame -when many were implicit in the scam anyway, thinking they are being sooo clever.

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  • Gold plated spotter’s badge to LP for that link. Absolute classic – the best and clearest example we’ve seen yet of a smug, preachy BTL showoff getting hoisted by his own petard. Fantastic.

    Fabio: it’s not just about schadenfreude. This isn’t like someone who’s poured their life savings into (say) opening a restaurant, which has then failed. These people have ramped up property prices across the country through their reckless actions, robbing an entire generation of their ability to own their own property, and have spent the last five years smugly rubbing our noses in it and calling us idiots for not joining in their lemming rush towards the cliffs. They deserve no sympathy whatsoever, only pity at the very most.

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  • Letthemfall says:

    There’s a very strong theme running through all these sorry tales of people making big losses chasing phantom riches from housing: all were trying to make money from nothing – no thoughts of producing a valuable good or service, or putting capital to good use somewhere; they just wanted to buy something they thought would increase in price indefinitely. Not quite tulips, but not so far removed. Money for nothing.

    Except of course that only works, if at all, for a short period, and generally at someone else’s expense. Even chain letters work to being with.

    So although I don’t wish to heap abuse on these people, it would seem most of them should have known better and, at best, have been pretty foolish. Some people clearly have got rich through this unpleasant 10 year episode, mainly the bankers, financiers and the like who fuelled so much of this frenzy; the very same who are bleating to be bailed out now their greed and incompetence has been sharply exposed. For these characters all the **** and ### we can muster will not be enough.

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  • They’re not thick, just naive and easily led. People are wakign up, but it takes “The Matrix” style awakenings with all the pain involved. I remember the 1989-91 crash well. I was told I was a prophet of doom as I am sure were others. I know many developers who were wound up back then. Miller and Morris wil be just another statistic. No use whining and pointing fingers at others if you are willing to freeload on the way up.

    Fabio: It’s not Schadenfreude. It’s reality finally sinking in and people having to swallow their bullishness – which noone wants to do. People are standing well in it – and now everyone else can see it.

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  • From # 22 Fabio.
    “He who’s never made a mistake shall cast the first stone!” I think you mean sin ? I’m not without sin, far from it, but I do try to lead an ethical life… Anyone who makes money from others without giving a genuine service destabilises our communities and the very fabric of society. I have sympathy for anyone who has made mistakes. However,when they can’t admit they’ve even made a mistake how can we forgive them ? This man who is now banging on the dole because he’s above working for a living had high hopes of never lifting a finger for his fellow man. How can we feel sorrow for his situation ? Society is made from a combined contribution from all. When people feel that they are above any contribution and have a divine right to live off others hard work they have no right to be part of a civilised society. The greatest thing we can do is provide a service to others. You can even get rich doing so without fear of retribution. If you seek money for moneys sake you are surely on a path to self destruction.

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  • Landedgentry says:

    Response to post 22 “Everyone wants to better their lives one way or another and just because one guy made a bad mistake on his investment decision,”

    Trust me this was not an “investment”, a rather more appropriate word is gambling.

    Do you really respect someone that risks everything in this manner?

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  • Landedgentry says:

    The rock and other “institutions” have behaved in exactly the same manner as these dipsticks (seeing dollar signs) , yet no one questions whether they are worthy of our scorn.

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  • What did Greenbay say his ‘portfolio’ was ‘worth?

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  • “…Just months ago, Miller and Morris believed they had buy-to-let portfolios valued in millions – Miller’s came with a £7.5m tag. Morris had contracted to buy flats developers valued at £3m….”

    What did Greenbay say his ‘portfolio’ was ‘worth’?

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  • “…A valuation survey for a one bedroom flat in Cardiff in August 2006 showed a £209,800 price tag. Yet the valuer said that similar flats in the same block were selling at £177,000…”

    That’s about 18.25% overvalued…

    Wonder if Greenbay is a bit worried?

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  • Courtesy of whois.sc, here’s the contact email for the propertyprofits4you.com domain: [email protected]

    Feel free to remind him about the good old days

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  • P.S. I think BTL may have difficulty in succeeding in an overvaluation claim as I seem to recall case law dictates they do not have the same rights as Joe thicko public since as property investors they are deemed to have specialist knowledge.

    This might come as a surprise to some.

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  • @Fabio

    A bad mistake in investment ??????? strapping yourself up with 7.5 million pounds of DEBT is not a bad mistake it’s utter stupidity like i said thick c##t’s . Many people on here could of done the same but as we had more than half a brain cell we choose not to hock ourselves up to the tune of 7.5 million.Bad mistake your not kidding!!!! LOL

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  • Island Of Sanity says:

    p.doff – good observations – keep them coming !

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  • voiceofreason says:

    1) By definition, not everyone can use BTL for their pension. Some poor sod has to do the renting. This solicitor chappie was obviously clever enough to know that his pension plan relied on screwing 31 other households out of theirs ….. So no sympathy vote from me.

    2) As we have been saying on HPC for a loooong time, people were ignoring yields on BTL and “buying because they are going up”. Classic classic bubble behaviour.

    3) p.Doff @34 . Fantastic point. Born out by anecdotals of BTL mortgages being repo’d after only 3 missed payments.

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  • I hope everyone’s contacted Geoff at his website to ask how to be so successful (before he gets that repossessed too)

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  • Think About It says:

    Geoff is full of it. How can he be claiming benifits and have all those websites set up stating he is worth millions!!!! which one is it geoff? you skint or cashed up? Is it that your cashed up in a different country and dont want the DSS fraud boys finding out? Is it because your trying to make your self look skint so that the people and police you have minipulated feel sorry for you.

    HAve you ever thought to your self with this new Lawyer of your Max Gold, there is no case you live in never never land. Did you know people like you have ruined property you cant manage your own portfolio because your useless so you blame everybody else. does everybody know that when you finish doing business with them you run to the DTI and the Police and your mum? because you think you have been shafted. You need to see a doctor mate you have issues. Everywhere i go i see strings of bloggs with you all over them activg all inocent. Does everybody know you commited fraud does everybody know you tried to do a deal behind you team with 2 developers to benifit and keep everybody else quiet.

    Does everybody know you and Mr Lee get commission from Max Gold everytime somebody signs up with their £750 fee. does everybody know you will never get isurance to support your case? does everybody know Max gold conveyancing is not bust at the moment? Does everybody know they are being conned into paying fees to keep max gold afloat? Do the Police know he is abtaining money by deception?

    Didnt think so Geoff get real.

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  • Stay well away from Geoff, sadly he is in this for a quick win and he is more connected to those involved than you would know…

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  • Think About It says:

    Peolpe like Geoff Morris have ruined the BTL market for the rest of us, Their inexperience and total lack of dealing with property has fuc*** the market for evrybody else. These fools have screamed so loud against lenders they have all tightened up on lending. What a complete looser, stick to staking shelves geoff stay out of property, here and in the Stataes look what happened there when you got involved “the Geoff
    Morris Crunch” did you go to the FBI or the CIA and make complaints about how crap you are at business and you are looking for a way to get your money back?? I bet ths why they had a credit crunch from your complaints. I bet you spoke to bush? well you obviously smoke a lot of it!! Please please please anybody dealing with this fool cut your ties he will get you in trouble without you doing anything wrong. This excuse for a man is a raving lunatic.

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  • This guy Geoff is a raving lunatic, but can talk people round when he needs to. He is a failure in business and a failure in life. My mother was involved with him, she lost her life savings and it was not through this other Morris properties people it was an American investment. When are we going to start aftre the american developers /sellers Geoff????????? Oh i forgot thats you. Maybe My mum should call Interpolice and start from there????? Do they all know about you. Geoff the Con-man Morris. Is it true that the weakest fall first? where does that put you?? Whats you whats up your computer been re-poed?

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  • Hmmm, poor Geoff

    I have actually bought one of the properties which was repossessed from Geoff, fortunately i bought it at auction for a pretty good price, far more realistic than the ridiculous over-inflated price he was conned for – or was he? the freeholders of the apartment block used to be Morris Properties, of the infamous Morris Properties Scandal, the director of this company was actually Simon Morris – I’m still trying to figure out whether there is in fact a family link there.

    Anyway, I know Geoff Morris’s repossessions happened in the later quarter of 2007, and the article at the top of this page, written in March 2008, says Geoff is on £157/week benefits.

    But i have come across his new business, Property Horizons, in which he is continuing to trade on his *successful* property trading career, and advising people how they too can learn from his experience.

    http://www.propertyhorizons.com/about-us-p1.html

    You can even sign up for his “bi-monthly newsletter full of hints and tips, and contributions from these switched on developers (especially those that believe in attracting investors with god deals and goods after sales service, knowing full well that a satisfied client will come back for more ,and more , and more.. “. The same kind of good deals that attracted Geoff by any chance???

    The Copyright notice on his website is dated 2008. What an incredible turnaround! He’s obviously not bitter, he couldn’t beat ’em (the unscrupulous developers), so he’s joining ’em.

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  • Hargreavesmup says:

    Geoff Morris is a fool, all these type of properties work you just need to manage them correctly, If your lazy and are looking for an excuse out joing Max gold that what Geoff Tells everybody. Geoff Morris and The Serious Fraud Office and Steve Taylor of west Yorkshire police have been sharing information which each other along with Nicola From BBC inside out. This is illegal and these people who have jobs in authority like these need to be looked into can somebody contact West Yorkshire police interal affairs.. What a waist of public money, this is old news the only peolpe need investigating here are the investors for committing mortgage fraud and the police for abuse of process.

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