‘Ordered Pizza Hut for dinner because they have a $5 special’: Heartbreaking confession by struggling trader owed $15,000 after construction company collapses
- Offices of Collapsed Pivotal Homes Sold for $1.05 Million, Businesses Still Owe $6.17 Million
- Tradie owed $15,000, stands at $1,000 in bank account, with baby on the way
- He ordered a Kids Pizza Hut pizza for $5 because that was all he could afford?
The former headquarters of the collapsed construction company Pivotal Homes was sold for $1.05 million, while a trader who owed $15,000, with a baby on the way, struggles to make ends meet.
“I ordered Pizza Hut for dinner because they have a $5 special. It’s a kid’s meal and I’m hungry, but it’s okay,” the tradie said, wishing to remain anonymous.
His pregnant wife’s doctor said she needed nutrition, so he went to the supermarket to get some vegetables, but the price of everything is going up.
He owed $15,000 after Surfers Paradise firm Pivotal Homes collapsed in May and six months later he still owes it, with his bank balance at his last $1,000.
The subcontractor is not alone. Pivotal owed $6.17 million to 169 unsecured creditors when it collapsed.
A Queensland trader has his last $1,000 left after Pivotal Homes collapsed, leaving him $15,000 in debt. Pictured is a stock photo of a sad man sitting on a bed
The company has been trading at “consistent losses” since November 2020, the liquidator found.
Unsecured creditors get between 11c and 20c for every dollar they owe.
The tradie probably won’t lose a cent of the $1.05 million from office sales because it not owned by Pivotal.
They were owned by a company called V24, whose shares were until recently owned by Pivotal director Michael Irwin.
On August 5, the shares were transferred to another company, owned by his daughter Courtney Irwin.
V24, of which Mr. Irwin is still a director and company secretary, also owns his luxury home on the island of Capri on the Gold Coast.
Tradie has a hard time telling the Gold Coast Bulletin he had tears in his eyes and wasn’t sure how we were going to pay the rent this week, next week, or the week after.
He speaks out because he doesn’t want his story, and the stories of 168 other creditors – mostly small businesses – to be forgotten.
Thousands of Australian traditions have recently gone bankrupt as construction companies collapsed. Pictured is a house under construction
It was a shock when they got the announcement in May that Pivotal paid on time every time, until the liquidation day when no one was notified.
The trader has the last $1,000 in his bank account and is struggling to get more work.
His mind was sometimes drawn to desperate thoughts of holding up a bank or a grocery store. He knows he won’t, but the thoughts are there.
He has had a little drink to cope with the stress and has just started taking medication for depression and anxiety.
Despite his desperate circumstances, he recognizes it when he meets other crafts who also possessed money and are going through an even more difficult time.
A trader who owed $15,000 to a collapsed construction company has his last $1,000 left. He ordered Pizza Hut for dinner because they have a $5 special. Pictured is a stock photo of a takeaway at Pizza Hut
“I’ve seen men in tears. I’ll take $20 or $50 out of my wallet and give it to a few of these guys where I can so they can feed their families,” he said.
“This has destroyed us, torn us apart.”
Daily Mail Australia has attempted to contact Mr Irwin but the Pivotal Homes website has been closed and the phone number has been disconnected.
Thousands of Australian traditions have gone bankrupt in recent times as construction companies collapsed – with the entire industry on the brink of a massive crisis.
Pivotal Homes collapse explained
The collapse of Pivotal Homes on May 26, 2022 left 280 homes with an uncertain future.
The Surfers Paradise company was one of Queensland’s largest home builders before it went bankrupt.
The company, a category three builder, licensed for low-rise jobs up to $30 million, had 16 full-time employees.
It completed 211 jobs totaling $56.7 million in 2020-21, and 105 jobs worth $30.5 million in fiscal 2021-22, according to data from the Queensland Building and Construction Commission.
Pivotal Homes collapsed on May 26, 2022, leaving an uncertain future for 280 homes. Pictured is a female tradition
In a statement at the time, Pivotal Homes said it had 103 homes under construction, at various stages from slab pour to turnkey, and 177 homes awaiting construction approval from the council.
The company, which is a former sponsor of the Gold Coast Titans, said increased labor and construction costs meant the company was no longer viable.
“In my 30 years of experience I have never seen a range of circumstances like this and of course we are not alone in these unfortunate circumstances that the industry is facing,” said General Manager Michael Irwin.
“We are heartbroken for our 16 Pivotal Homes employees and assuring that all creditors, contractors and subcontractors have been paid in full.”
Pivotal Homes, a former sponsor of the Gold Coast Titans, said increased labor and construction costs meant the company was no longer viable. A young female service technician is pictured testing voltage with a digital multimeter
Mr Irwin said those who buy homes from Pivotal are “in a net profit position.”
“The work they paid for has been completed. In fact, they had more work completed on their homes than they paid for,” he said.
Earlier this year Matthew Mackey, executive director of engineering company Arcadis, told Daily Mail Australia: ‘I don’t think many companies are taking the cost increases seriously. It’s a perfect storm.
‘Smaller companies don’t have the cash flow, they don’t have the same safety net.’