A WARRNAMBOOL plumber is about $65,000 out of pocket after the collapse of two regional franchises of Cavalier Homes.
Jacobus Van Haaren of Van Haaren Plumbing said the collapse of the Cavalier Homes Ballarat franchise on March 6 left him with about $5000 of unpaid invoices for his work on a Warrnambool home being built by the franchise.
That $5000 comes on top of the $60,000 owed to him following the collapse last year of Cavalier Homes’ Warrnambool franchise. Mr Van Haaren said the collapse of the Cavalier Homes Warrnambool operation last year nearly bankrupted his business.
“We had to take out a substantial loan to pay our bills and lay off two of our workers to try and survive,” he said.
He said this month’s collapse of Cavalier’s Ballarat franchise affected not only tradesmen owed money by the company but also the owners of the homes that the franchise was building.
Those owners faced the prospect of having to pay twice for work to get their homes completed, Mr Van Haaren said. The collapse last year of the Cavalier’s Warrnambool franchise, which had been owned by the Traralgon-based Kirway Constructions, left about 17 houses unfinished in the Port Fairy and Warrnambool areas.
Worrells Solvency and Forensic Accountants, which was appointed this month as the liquidators for Cavalier’s Ballarat franchise, said its collapse left eight homes uncompleted.
The circumstances involving Cavalier Homes, a national company, also changed recently when it was bought by New Cavalier Homes on February 13. A spokeswoman for New Cavalier Homes said it had different owners to that of Cavalier Homes.
“It (New Cavalier Homes) has taken on the previous business’ franchises and incorporated them into our network,” she said.
New Cavalier Homes declined The Standard’s request to comment on whether contractors owed money by Cavalier Homes Ballarat would be paid.
Worrells accountant Cheryl Low said she understood Cavalier Homes Ballarat had “a handful” of Warrnambool creditors.