An advice firm which encouraged thousands of would-be property tycoons to take advantage of the buy-to-let boom has gone into administration.
Inside Track Seminars, which boasts of creating hundreds of property millionaires through its training courses, said it had fallen victim to the credit crunch.
Joint-administrator Glyn Mummery said the firm suffered a ‘significant drop off’ in demand during recent months as the credit squeeze took its toll on the housing market. It has seen mortgage lending plunge to historic lows as banks and building societies tightened up their criteria.
Inside Track trading ceased
Mr Mummery said all trading had now ceased at Inside Track while its financial position was examined.
‘Over recent months, there has been a significant drop off in demand for courses,’ he said.
Started in 2002 by property developer Jim Moore, the company staged free two-hour workshops around the country which aimed to entice in people for weekend-long seminars costing up to £2,495.
Some customers have questioned the value of the seminars, claiming they learned little and that they were primarily pushing other Inside Track services.
In 2003, Which? researchers attended one of Inside Track’s two-day courses as part of the research for an article on get-rich-quick schemes.
We believed the claims made in adverts for the course were misleading. The courses seemed to be structured so that many people were left feeling they couldn’t succeed without more training, for which they must pay a ludicrous amount.
We concluded that, at best, the course was overpriced for the information it provided, and at worst, encouraged people to get into debt, and underplayed the real risks involved in this type of investment.
Joint-administrator Mr Mummery, from business advisory group Vantis, said around 40 to 50 Inside Track advisers had been made redundant during the past few months as demand slowed.
The firm’s last seminar was run this weekend and is thought to have attracted fewer than a dozen people. A total of 3,834 people are reported to have attended seminars in the year to March 2007, down from 5,917 the year before.
Mr Mummery said some customers may be owed money for courses already booked but which they have not attended, but he was unable to say how many.
‘We are looking at that information,’ the administrator said. ‘I am not in a position to comment at the moment.’
Inside Track Seminars turned over over £24 million during the year to March 31, 2007, making profits of £427,000, he added.
In an answering machine message, Inside Track cited ‘continued, sustained’ difficulties arising from the credit crunch.
It said: ‘Due to the continued, sustained difficulties arising from the credit crunch, Inside Track Seminars has been placed under administration.
‘Due to the position of the company we are not able to make any further comment.’
Inside Track’s website says it has educated more than 100,000 people through its seminars, helping them invest in more than £2.5 billion of UK and international property.
Other property firms
One of the firm’s main products currently listed is the two-day ‘UK and International Property Investment’ seminar which taught would-be investors ‘everything you need to know about making money out of property’ in a weekend. It was priced at £695 on the website.
Inside Track has offices in Kingston-Upon-Thames in Surrey, as well as Spain and Florida.
Mr Moore’s business empire also includes property investment firm Instant Access Properties, mortgage broker Fuel, and property services company Aftercare Solutions.