Contractors Debt Recovery ‘A Current Affair’
The debt hunter helping to save Aussie tradies from financial ruin
Anthony Igra is Australia’s most dedicated debt collector.
In just over a decade, he’s single-handedly recovered nearly $50 million in unpaid construction.
“Non-payment is absolutely rife in the industry, it’s like a cancer, it’s absolutely everywhere,” he told A Current Affair.
“Last year in Australia there was $3 billion of unpaid construction work.”
Mr Igra says many tradesmen are too proud to ask for the money they’re owed or don’t try to get it back because they think the process will be too costly.
But he uses the Security of Payment Act. to recover their money.
“Instead of running a very expensive court case to get a judgment, you can run this process over five or six weeks for a fraction of the cost and also get the enforceable judgement,” he said.
“We recover about half-a-million dollars a month just through this process.”
John Sultana is a Sydney-based plumber who was left more than $1 million out of pocket at the end of a job last year.
The father-of-four was about to lose his family home when he heard about the Security of Payment Act.
“I couldn’t afford to pay for lawyers; I was absolutely exhausted and out of money,” he told A Current Affair.
“It’s not a small amount, we’re talking you know about 55 percent of what the job cost.”
After going through all his paperwork and lodging a formal claim, Mr Igra was able to recover the full amount owed to the father-of-four.
He says the construction industry needs to be cleaned up to better protect tradesmen.
“They’re rather vulnerable to the shenanigans that go on. It’s only at the end they realise they’ve been had,” he said.
“There’s nothing more rewarding to me than actually getting someone paid for something they’ve sweated and laboured for, for weeks.”
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