Already facing legal action from New Mardi Gras, gay and lesbian financial company GAL Home Loans and its CEO Col Hahne have been expelled from a peak mortgage industry group for misconduct.

The Mortgage Industry Association of Australia (MIAA) announced the expulsion last Friday, after an independent tribunal found GAL Home Loans had breached the MIAA’s code of practice.

The MIAA received a complaint about the company earlier in the year. It referred the complaint to the tribunal, which made its decision in early July.

That tribunal investigated a complaint and made a decision that he should be expelled. We don’t give any further reasons other than it was for misconduct, MIAA CEO Phil Naylor told Sydney Star Observer.

The expulsion says that he can no longer say he’s a member of the MIAA.

That doesn’t prevent him from still operating, though the purpose of publicising it from our point of view is to make people know that he has been expelled from the MIAA.

Under our constitution we [also] have to advise the Australian Securities and Investments Commission that we’ve expelled a member.

The expulsion comes about a year after GAL Home Loans won the MIAA 2005 operator of the year award. The company has won several other MIAA accolades in recent years.

Hahne told The Australian Financial Review he was aware of the MIAA decision but would not comment further.

The GAL Group did not return several phone calls from the Star this week.

Hahne set up the Melbourne-based group in 2000 to provide services tailored to the gay and lesbian community.

GAL Home Loans has promoted itself as Australia’s first official gay and lesbian home loan service.

Hahne is currently being sued by New Mardi Gras over an alleged breach of a three-year sponsorship deal.

In court papers filed in May, New Mardi Gras alleged GAL’s Home Loan and Credit Card Services was over three months behind in sponsorship payments and owed $38,500.

According to the documents, New Mardi Gras began a $210,000 sponsorship deal with GAL in December 2004.

New Mardi Gras chair Marcus Bourget declined to comment this week.

Last year Melbourne gay and lesbian festival Midsumma ended a three-year sponsorship agreement with GAL one year early.

It stopped legal proceedings against the company when a sponsorship payment was made.

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