A Surrey couple may be out thousands of dollars after the deal for their dream townhouse collapsed when they unknowingly relied on a mortgage broker who was no longer registered to do business.

Michael Alexander Campagna was supposed to arrange financing for Jasmine Corbet and her husband David Zeiger when they made a offer to buy a new townhome.

Campagna was working as a mortgage broker out of a Dominion Lending Centres A Better Way in Surrey. But his mandatory mortgage broker registration expired at the end of May and the province says he chose not to renew it.

Yet email and text messages with the couple show he continued try to do business until they went to close in mid-August and it all fell apart.

"This has been a roller coaster for months of emotion, let down, disappointment and disgust. I can't imagine seeing another family going through this. I can't imagine it," said Corbet.

Nearly four months after giving up his registration Campagna’s Facebook page says he's an accredited mortgage specialist. His LinkedIn page says the same thing, and when Ross McLaughlin called his number, his voicemail greeting said he is a mortgage broker.

"That's a problem. That is a problem. Public protection is our true north," said Chris Carter, B.C. registrar of mortgage brokers.

The Financial Institutions Commission has a list of registered mortgage brokers, and the agency says 25 per cent of the complaints investigated involve unregistered activity.

"Unregistered activity takes a number of shapes and forms and we take it very, very seriously at Ficom," explained Carter.

Corbet says days before their deal on their townhouse was to close in July, the closing lawyer and others could not reach Campagna.

McLaughlin visited his last known address, which was a mobile home in Surrey.

Ann McGuire answered the door and said Campagna had been there looking for a room to rent.

“He was always on the phone with mortgages and stuff like this and that,” she said.

But McGuire hasn’t seen him since mid-September.

McLaughlin left messages for Campagna who did leave two voicemail messages back. The content on both was similar. Here’s what Campagna said:

“You interviewed Jasmine Corbet about mortgage financing,” the message said, “It’s complete and utter lies what she’s telling you, so you know. If you want the real story you can call me and I’ll give it to you anytime.”

Yet in spite of multiple calls to him, leaving voicemail messages and at times having conversations with his family members, we never received another call back from Campagna.

Dominion Lending, the company Campagna worked for, says Campagna was terminated in mid-July, but only after the province notified them he hadn’t renewed his registration. The company says Campagna had told them he was renewing his licence in May and that they assumed all was well until they got the notice from the province.

"That is something that we'd expect that within brokerages there would be internal controls to ensure its brokers aren't engaged in unregistered activity," said Carter.

"Someone needs to be accountable,” said Corbet, “That word keeps coming up because it's the truth. Accountability."

She has now filed a complaint with the Financial Institutions Commission.

If you want to check and verify your mortgage broker yourself click here for a full list of register mortgage brokers.

To file a complaint click here.