The Commerce Commission has filed four charges under the Fair Trading Act 1986 against Home Funding Group Limited (HFG) and its sole director Luke Atkins.
HFG faces two representative charges that it misrepresented to customers that it was offering a savings scheme that enabled customers to save a deposit for a house, when they were actually paying for financial coaching and brokering services.
The Commission has also filed one charge each against HFG and Mr Atkins for failing to provide information and documents requested by the Commission under a statutory notice.
HFG is an Auckland-based company which offered services to prospective home buyers in Auckland and Wellington who found it difficult to save for a deposit or qualify for bank finance.
The Commission alleges that, during face-to-face presentations, customers were told that they would get back payments made to HFG at the end of the contract or when the customer was ready to purchase a house (whichever came first).
The Commission also alleges that under the terms of the contract customers were not paying into a savings scheme but instead were paying for services (including financial coaching) and the potential provision of additional home finance upon completion of the contract.
The Commission will seek orders that HFG must refund the fees paid in connection with some agreements entered into by HFG.