FINANCING THE DODGY COURSE

The spruiking company collapsed leaving the students stuck with mammoth loans

One of Australia's most notorious property spruikers was selling his "education courses" for between $15,000 and $55,000 per person.

Thousands of people signed up, most of them paying the basic $15,000 fee.

Many of these people did not have $15,000 and so the spruiker arranged for a finance company to lend them the money. "You'll make so much money out of property," said the spruiker and his sales people, "you'll easily be able to handle the payments on the loan for the course."

Well, like the promises made by many spruikers, it never happened. Not only was the course totally unsuitable for most of the so-called students, it also contained information that was either too complicated or just plain meaningless.

The spruiking company collapsed leaving the students stuck with mammoth loans that most of them could not afford.

One of the students was a police officer with the Fraud Squad. This officer became the lead plaintiff in a class action against the finance company.

For almost two years, despite some heavy threats, Neil Jenman had been speaking out publicly against this spruiker and his methods. With the assurance of financial help from his supporters, Neil agreed to guarantee the class action.

In 2008, the Supreme Court of Victoria ruled that the loans should be made void. The class action, which was handled by law firm Slater & Gordon, had succeeded. Several hundred students of the former spruiker were collectively spared from having to pay several million dollars.