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)

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Patrick Collins - part I

If readers of this article find anything contradictory in what Patrick Collins has stated given their own experiences working with this individual/Patrick Properties Management Limited, please get in touch with the Editor.

Now that both partners have been made bankrupt, the emphasis has moved to:
  • The filing of alleged charges against the partners with Martin Faulkner, the Official Receiver.
  • The continued mining and supplying of information to assist the authorities in bringing this fiasco to a conclusion as fast as possible..
  • Closely monitoring of the ongoing Official Receiver's investigation.
If you have any information on the partners that may be useful to the Official Receiver's investigation, please send this to Martin Faulkner, or contact myself/the IFS blog if you prefer. And if you feel that you have been wronged in any way by the partners, then you really should be thinking carefully about filing alleged charges with Martin Faulkner if you have not already done so.

In terms of finding out where the monies have gone, an obvious place to start are rental monies. It should also be one of the easier sources of revenue flow to track as the C&B property assets are known. What follows below is information supplied by Patrick Collins of Patrick Properties Management Ltd. - his was one of a number of companies that let C&B owned properties.

Patrick Properties Management Ltd
Company # 7365820
Date of incorporation: 3/9/2010
Petition to wind up: 14/05/2012
Order to wind up: 10/07/2012
Official Receiver:
Gary Owen,
The Official Receiver,
1st Floor,
Melbourne House,
Pandon Babnk,
Newcastle Upon Tyne,

Tel. 0191-260-4600

Patrick Collins confirmed the following with Editor in a sequence of recent e-mail exchanges:

  • Patrick Properties supposedly acted as a letting agency for the Collins Bone partnership for a period of a year, from approximately December 2009 to December 2010, although this does not gel with signed assured shorthold tenancy agreements found on the Internet (see later). Rent was always paid to landlords monthly minus the management fees charged. He could not give the details of the properties due to data protection act, but I pointed out to him that the list of properties that the Collins & Bone Partnership own has been made publicly available by the partners, and an earlier copy of these assets posted @ "C&B assets - negative equity" article. So the addresses of these properties are not an issue for the Data Protection Act - they are well known to all C&B investors. He offered to identify the C&B properties that he managed, but on being presented the list although he confirmed that all the properties had been managed by him at some stage, he could not remember the dates when the various properties were handed over as it was constantly changing.
  • The properties were in the hands of LPA Receivers when he took them on. However, there were a number of mortgage lenders involved, and therefore different LPA Receivers, and without delving into his records he could not tell me which properties were in the hands of LPA Receivers when. And given that this would take effort on his part to mine, he would require payment for providing this data. ... the Editor declined the offer. When the properties came out of receivership, this was due to getting arrears paid off and proving to the LPA Receivers that the properties could be properly managed and that mortgages could be paid.
  • Asked whether when the C&B owned properties came out of LPA Receivership in April 2010 the properties were profitable, or whether the partners had to inject additional monies to make this happen, Patrick Collins stated:

"When the properties came out of receivership, yes this was due to getting arrears paid off and proving to the receivers that the properties could be properly managed and that mortgages could be paid. As a number of properties were with different mortgage companies, and so different receivers, I am not 100% sure how the whole portfolio was managed in terms of payments. I would deal with each house individually and was never involved with paying the mortgages. This is always the responsibility of the landlord, not the agent. There may have been money injected to contribute, but if so I was not aware of this. I would not agree that the properties were profitable in April 2010. Throughout the whole portfolio, the properties were at the stage where they could just make enough money to cover mortgages. However many of the properties were old in terms of decor and furnishings and boilers etc and so every month there were a lot of maintenance charges. Also there was money spent on the houses in order to make them more habitable to be rented out and so there was never a stage where I would class the houses as profitable. Some houses had low mortgages and high rents, some where empty, and others had high mortgages and low rents and so throughout the portfolio, there was never a stage where I would say that over all there was a profit, but more a case of just getting by each month."
This raises a huge question mark over the solvency of C&B at the end of 2009:

  • Liam Collins & David Bone Jnr already had a number of CCJs against them (the appropriate searches have been done).
  • Their property assets were in negative equity, and they were behind in their mortgage payments as well.
  • Even when the properties came out of LPA Receivership in April 2010, rent collected barely covered the mortgages.
So a question must be raised over the commercial valuation the partners placed on their properties, and how this valuation was derived at, because it was this highly inflated valuation that effectively allowed the partners to continue trading and to solicit additional monies through PNs.

  • With regards to deposits, all deposits received from C&B owned property tenants were paid through Patrick Properties and registered with . Once a tenant moved in, the money was stored in a separate client account held by Patrick Properties, the deposit registered, and the tenant provided a certificate and number. Once Patrick Properties handed over management to Diggs, all deposits were transferred over, or paid back to tenants if they were moving out. According to Patrick Collins, there are no deposits owed to any C&B tenants who rented through Patrick Properties.
  • He estimated that during this 1 year period, occupancy rates were at best around 65%, but at times a lot lower.
  • During this 1 year period, C&B were struggling to pay the mortgages on their properties.
  • After the 1 year period, the properties were passed over to Diggs Lettings, with Loughborough based properties being managed by Rami Hariri. He is not aware if any of C&B's properties were subsequently taken over by Novocastria ... again, this does not gel with signed assured shorthold tenancy agreements found on the Internet (see later).
  • The company charged management fees for managing the properties at 8% a month for each property:

"For charges, all agencies charge between 8% to 15% management fees. Anything lower than that is generally too cheap for the amount of work that needs to be done, any anything higher than that, the landlord will not pay. I am not sure what Novocastria charged but it would have been between 8% and 12% and the same for Diggs, but I imagine they would have charged 8%."

The fees cover the costs to collect rent, advertise and rent properties, and to deal with any maintenance on a monthly basis. All remaining monies were payed to the landlords who were responsible for making any mortgage payments. If a property was not let in a given month, the company got nothing.
  • He has never had any dealings with Novocastria.
Patrick Collins would not provide the following data:

  • Details of debts owed by the company.
  • Supply working e-mail addresses for Mark Black, David Bone Snr & Rachael Bone, as these individuals need to be questioned over C&B properties that they managed and rented out yet never paid any rent monies to C&B for. In an e-mail from Liam Collins on February 22nd 2012 he states:
" I get nothing at all from them (Novocastria Lettings) ever as they are running at a loss most months.".

The Editor tried contacting these 3 individuals through their respective Novocastria Lettings & Novocastria Developments Ltd web-portals but never got a response, and even phoned Rachael Bone who refused to even specify her role in Novocastria Lettings, and its relationship to Novocastria Developments Ltd.
  • When these payments were made, what payment label(s) were tagged against these payments as they would appear on the landlords' bank statements? E.g. "Rent: <property post code>?
  • Were payments made on a per property basis, or in one monthly lump-sum payment to any given landlord (given that a landlord could have multiple properties with you)?
  • In the case of Collins & Bone, into what bank account(s) were the monies you paid to the partners deposited?
  • The Company has, according to Patrick Collins, been closed down since September 2011. Four assured shorthold tenancy agreements have been found, and there are almost certainly others, associated with C&B owned properties and issued by Patrick Properties Management Ltd. as follows:
10th June 2011 -> 30th June 2012, 2 Dronfield Rd.
25th August 2011 -> 30th June 2012, 11 Queen Street
1st July 2011 -> 30th June 2012, 41 Albert Rd.
1st July 2011 -> 30th June 2012, 60 Dundonald Street

All these tenancy agreements showed up under (e.g. the tenancy agreement for 41 Albert Rd. can be found at Hmmm, Novocastria .... I thought Patrick Collins never had any dealings with Novocastria? And then there is the IFS article "MORE ABOUT THE DIGGS DEBACLE" on 25th April 2012 written by Dom Smith whose daughter co-rented 2 Dronfield Rd during the above period, and who has confirmed that management of 2 Dronfield Rd was taken over by Novocastria Lettings at the end of November 2011. So Patrick Collins LIED when he said he never had any dealings with Novocastria.

The tenancy agreement for 41 Albert Road was particularly interesting because the landlords are shown as "Franklynn Management c/o Patrick Properties" as opposed to C&B. When I brought this to Patrick Collin's attention, he said this was an honest mistake and that nothing should be read into it. Moreover, within 24 hours of me bringing this to his attention, Internet searches for the above four mentioned rental agreements no longer showed up, which is clearly not a coincidence and perhaps an indicator that Patrick Collins has something to hide. The Editor has soft copies of all four of these rental agreements, and will make available on request.
When Patrick Collins was asked if his company had closed down in September 2011 who was collecting the rental monies from these properties if not him, he simply stated:
" I can not advise who has been managing the property since then."

That, quite frankly, just will not do! Here is Patrick Collins running a company with debts, and he cannot remember what happened to properties that were providing a steady income stream all the through to end June 2012?

It strikes me as rather suspicious that after managing C&B properties for nearly 9 months, Patrick Collins formed a limited company only to stop business one year later with debts - one could be forgiven for thinking that the sole motive for forming Patrick Properties Management Ltd was to bury debt. And as part of what business entity was Patrick Collins managing C&B properties in the period December 2009 through to 3rd September 2010 when Patrick Properties Management Ltd was incorporated, and have all rental monies owed to C&B for this period been paid?

The Editor

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