Settlement agent fined for mishandling trust money (Tabone)
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An Embleton settlement agent has been fined $3,000 by the State Administrative Tribunal after she was found to have mishandled funds received from a client.
Consumer Protection took disciplinary action against Deanne Jean Tabone, operating as DT Property Settlements, when she failed to immediately deposit funds from the settlement of a Girrawheen property into a proper trust account in February 2010.
Ms Tabone opened a trust account three months after the settlement and deposited funds into the account without properly identifying where the funds had originated. She also failed to inform Consumer Protection of the details of the account as required under the Settlement Agents Act.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll said it is essential that funds received from a client in relation to the settlement of property in WA are placed in a trust account as soon as practicable.
“The laws surrounding the handling of funds from a property transaction during the settlement process are very strict so they offer the greatest protection possible for buyers and sellers,” she said.
“Agents who do not follow these strict rules, as in this case, risk a possible fine, damage to their reputation and put their operating licence in jeopardy.”
Consumers who have any complaints or concerns about settlement agents can contact Consumer Protection on 1300 30 40 54 or email@example.com .
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(Consumer Protection is a division of the Department of Commerce)
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Alan Hynd 9282 0961 or 0429-078791 firstname.lastname@example.org
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