Consultation by the Office of Fair Trading into the Debt Management Industry

For some time, there has been concern over how some debt management companies have not always been looking after the best interests of their clients.  The Office of Fair Trading’s guidance on debt management was first published  back in 2001 and further updated in 2008.  However, in 2009 the Office of Fair Trading launched an in depth investigation into behaviour across the debt management sector and found widespread evidence of non-compliance with their guidance, including numerous incidents of lack of competence among debt advisers and examples of licensed businesses lacking integrity such as passing themselves off as “free advice” providers when they were not. The Office of Fair Trading has just entered a new consultation period which will end in September of this year with a view to the Office of Fair Trading’s proposal to publish a revised version of their guidance as to how organisations offering debt counselling and debt management services should operate in the future.

Gary Sans, debt advice expert at Shropshire and Herefordshire law firm Lanyon Bowdler says “Most people who turn to these organisations for help already have serious debt problems, and many of them will already be feeling very isolated, and even frightened, of seeking help for a solution to their debts, so any improvement in how these organisations are required to operate and look after their clients is to be welcomed.”

If you require any advice with regards to your debts, then please contact Gary Sans in our Dispute Resolution Department.