Real estate agent suspended and fined $10k
A PROMINENT Cleveland real estate agent has been fined $10,000 and had her certificate of registration suspended for four months after she failed to declare a bankruptcy in 2016.
Pamela Dawn Neilson, who is a sales director at McGrath Bayside Cleveland according to the real estate agency's website, said she was glad the matter was "finally finalised … after a long and convoluted process".
Ms Neilson faced disciplinary action after she failed to notify the Office of Fair Trading that she had become bankrupt, gave false information to the OFT when applying to renew her real estate agent licence, and had continued to sell properties while unlicensed.
The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal heard Ms Neilson had held a real estate agent licence since 2005, but failed to inform the OFT when she became bankrupt in October 2015 - as is required under the Property Occupations Act 2014.
Ms Neilson's bankruptcy made her immediately unsuitable to hold a real estate licence but between October 2015 and January 2017 she continued to work in a real estate salesperson capacity, selling 21 properties.
The Tribunal also heard that on September 29, 2016, Ms Neilson lodged a licence renewal application, which included a signed declaration that she was not currently bankrupt.
Ms Neilson eventually advised the OFT of her bankruptcy on December 16, 2016.
The Tribunal found Ms Neilson had conducted herself in a way that was unprofessional, but in determining the penalty noted she had subsequently self-reported her conduct, had co-operated with the OFT's investigation and had accepted the disciplinary grounds.
Fair Trading executive director Brian Bauer said real estate agents needed to remember the importance of acting in accordance with their licensing requirements.
"Agents must be honest about their circumstances and aware of their obligations," Mr Bauer said.