Disgruntled home owners still have chance to reclaim deposit

SOME home owners who have lost money with the defunct Warwick Awnings and Blinds may have some hope of getting their deposit back, according to the Department of Fair Trading.

The business went into liquidation, and 52 creditors await payment and work promised by owner Mark Lawler.

However, while hopes of ever getting a cent back remain slim, for some there could be a way around it.

Senior Fair Trade officer Sue Harten said if clients paid their deposit with a credit card, their bank might have power to dispute the transaction.

"They should initially contact their bank and see if their bank can do it; they can usually back track to about three months," Mrs Harten said.

* (This does not apply to those who paid with EFTPOS, cash or a bank cheque)

The Department of Fair Trading has not yet taken on Mr Lawler's case, but if a complaint is made directly to them, Mrs Harten said, they would investigate.

Alternatively, if there was proof of Mr Lawler's taking deposits after knowledge of liquidation, the Department of Fair Trading would get involved.

The Daily News spoke with Mr Lawler yesterday morning, but he was unable to shed light on the current situation.

He did, however, mention "liquidation was voluntary".

It comes as another Warwick couple stepped up to admit they too were out of pocket to Mr Lawler's business.

"On the 15th February 2013 my husband and I paid Mark Lawler the sum of $1000 deposit to have a new patio roof," the Warwick resident, who asked not to be named, said.

They never got their roof.

"My husband is 88 and I am going on 78 so you can see we are pensioners and $1000 is a lot of money to us."

If you are owed money by Mr Lawler, email georja.ryan@warwickdailynews.com.au.

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