12-237MR Former mortgage broker pleads guilty to first charges laid under the National Credit Act
Tuesday 25 September 2012
A former NSW-based mortgage broker today pleaded guilty to 10 charges including providing false information to banks to secure approvals for home loans of more than $3 million over a five month period.
The charges laid against Daniel Nguyen, 45, of Panania, are the first criminal charges brought by ASIC under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (National Credit Act).
Mr Nguyen appeared before Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court and pleaded guilty to 10 charges. He has admitted to:
nine offences against section 33(2) of the National Credit Act for providing false documents to banks for nine home loans totalling more than $3 million between 29 July 2010 and 7 January 2011, and
one offence against section 11.2(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code and section 123(6) of the National Credit Act for assisting three clients to apply for credit contracts that were unsuitable for them between 28 September 2010 and 7 January 2011.
At the time of the offences Mr Nguyen was the sole director and sole employee of M.A.I Pacific Pty Ltd (trading as MAI Home Loans) in Bankstown.
Mr Nguyen faces a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $11,000 or both, for each charge.
Mr Nguyen was committed to the District Court for sentence on 5 October 2012.* Mr Nguyen was granted unconditional bail.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting this matter.
MAI Home Loans was authorised to provide credit services between 9 April 2010 and 14 October 2011 when its Australian credit licence was cancelled as a result of ASIC’s investigation.
The National Credit Act requires credit licensees to meet responsible lending conduct obligations.
The key responsible lending obligation is that credit licensees must not suggest, assist with or provide a credit product that is unsuitable for a consumer. Before a credit licensee suggests, assists with, or provides a new credit contract or lease to a consumer, the credit licensee must:
make reasonable inquiries of the consumer about their requirements and objectives in relation to the credit contract
take reasonable steps to verify the consumer’s financial situation
based upon these inquiries, assess whether the credit product is unsuitable for the consumer and only proceed if the credit product is not unsuitable, and
give the consumer a copy of the assessment if requested.
A contract will be unsuitable if the consumer would be unable to repay it without substantial hardship or it will not meet the consumer’s requirements or objectives. The requirements also apply where the credit limit on an existing contract is being increased.
Mr Nguyen's sentence is now due to be handed down on 24 January 2013.