This blog was established to help get to the bottom of how the Collins & Bone Partnership reached the very sad situation it is now in, with its partner Liam James Collins having a bankruptcy hearing on 25th January (postponed)15th March 2012 (ditto), and finally bankrupted on 9th May 2012 (case # NEWC 1517 of 2011 BKT 3472187, Newcastle County Court, The Law Courts, The Quayside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 3LA), and David Bone Jnr declared bankrupt on 31st May (case no 100 of 2012 Wigan County Court). The partnership used the following addresses:

25 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2 H9HW, UK

Eastern Villa, Station Rd. North, Forest Hall, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE12 9AE (owned by Liam Collin's parents, and now up for sale)

There are 3 specific goals of this blog:

• To find out what happened to the 1m+ GBP monies that C&B raised via PNs in late 2009, 2010 & 2011. I am excluding PNs issued to ex-CBS investors, but that said, this blog will be of interest to ex-CBS investors, and there is information that needs to be obtained from this set of investors wrt when PNs were issued to them, and their duration.

• To determine what, if any, criminal charges should be brought against the partners.

• To warn other investors off doing any business with the partners, their equally inept/unscrupulous extended family members, and supportive cohorts.

When you look at the PNs, there are no specific statements on the documents that specify how the monies were to be used - how you believed they were to be used is based on whatever e-mail/phone call foreplay you had beforehand with Liam Collins. That is why it is so important that the following information is collated for this category of C&B investors on an individual basis:

1) What did you believe you were investing in, and what was your basis for believing this?
2) What investment risks were you informed of?
3) What was your understanding of the purpose to which PN monies could be put?
4) What brochures and documents were you furnished with as prt of your due diligence?
5) What due diligence did you do?
This blog is being operated completely separate to Sally & Jasmine's blog (, although we share the common goal of getting to the bottom of this mess in a professional manner. If you don't want to post anything on the blog in person, you can send an e-mail to me at - information conveyed in any such e-mails will only be posted on the blog on your behalf after any editting/your specific consent.

Ewart (The Editor)

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Liam's plea to wait for an IVA proposal

Liam Collins likes to quote the article, so let's just look at the last two paragraphs of this article:
"Weakening house prices generally mean landlords are taking a greater part of their total returns – or the only part – from rental income. On average, nationally, a landlord’s total return per property was £4,298 over the past 12 months (to January 2012). This comprises rental income of £7,587 coupled with a decline in property value averaging £3,289.
Newnes says: ‘Investors are enjoying rising rents and cheap mortgage finance. With property prices unlikely to shoot up, rental income will be the key driving force behind total returns."
Liam Collins is asking you to hold out for an IVA proposal when not even the most basic of information has been provided to investors. Let's start with the C&B asset spreadsheet used in the article "C&B assets - negative equity". Liam Collins never supplied a date when the portion of the C&B data in this spreadsheet was valid for. So Liam Collins, on 14th March 2012 issue an updated C&B property spreadsheet that itemises the following information for each and every property that the partners actually own:

  • Full address.
  • Outstanding mortgage value.
  • Current estimated value.
  • Current mortgage interest rate, if fixed when until, and the details of the mortgage lender.
  • Full list of charging orders against the property, and the amount owed to the creditor in each case.
  • The rental income that the property generated during the past year.

And if you cannot do this, then you have absolutely nothing to offer!

Now let's look at some other golden nuggets of basic information that the partners have also not supplied:
  • Novocastria Lettings has refused to answer any questions at all, not even its' relationship to Novocastria Developments Ltd., let alone much more important questions like how come C&B are receiving any rent payments from Novocastria Lettings for the C&B assets that it manages (all C&B assets except those in Loughborough), let alone a detailed breakdown of the rental monies that each C&B asset that they manage has been generating.
  • The Loughborough properties we know are fully let, but no monies have been making their way back to investors. How much rental money has C&B received from these properties, and where is this rental money going/what is it being used for?
It is this rental income that will determine the value of any monthly payments under an IVA proposal (but checkout the updated "vote no to any IVA proposal" blog that indicates in January 2012 that Liam could not envisage more than 0-500 GBP/month being available for distribution to creditors from rental monies). And any lump-sum at the end of the IVA term would be based on any rise in the value of the C&B assets over the 5/7 term , and which will likely be negligible given the number of investors involved, the poor quality of the housing stock, the current negative equity situation of the assets, the outstanding charging orders, and the fact that some of the assets are not even in the partners names!

Perhaps if Liam Collins supplied the above information, rather than posting an irrelevant blog from Michael Bloom, investors may actually have something to work with!

The Editor

PS. As an update, this correspondence with Liam Collins 14/3/2012:

    [ewart]: My position is set out in my recent blog entries. If you want anyone who is opposed to an IVA to even remotely listen to what you have to say, you have to publicise the information requested in the blog entry I posted last night ... that is a bare minimum.

    [Liam]: the information you are asking is exactly what will be in the IVA proposal.

    [ewart]:  This will not be good enough. You should readily have this information at hand ... if you haven't, it means you don't have a clue on the current state of the business.

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