Consuming Issues: Who can you trust for sound debt advice?
Saturday, 12 February 2011
...But vulnerable people in the middle of a debt crisis are easy prey for rogue debt managers. While the OFT is working on shutting down as many dodgy firms as it can, there are still plenty out there. But they are under attack from the pioneering work of Zero-credit, a co-op of debtors.
Its members have just completed a second mystery shopping exercise among commercial debt counsellors to highlight those that abuse the system by failing to be compliant, or at least failing to demonstrate that they are operating with a licence. Its research showed that of 10 debt managements websites, only four appeared to hold an appropriate consumer credit licence while four appeared to have no licence whatsoever. The remaining two appeared to have lapsed licences.
Debt management firms are not to allowed to operate without a consumer credit licence, so Zero-credit has passed its evidence on to the OFT for it to deal with the firms. The co-operative plans to repeat its mystery shopping exercise every two months; it also publishes how-to guides to help debtors.
Like all co-ops it's only as strong as its members, who pay £30 a year to join. "We believe that when consumers own the information used to develop products and services, there is a far greater likelihood that supply will reflect need," Emma Bryn-Jones, founder of Zero-credit, explains. "Subscription benefits include access to a minimum of one original resource per month, opportunities to shape the work programme, and further economies of scale through collective commissioning."
Anyone interest in supporting this important work can find out more at zero-credit.co.uk...
excerpt via independent.co.uk
A bit of confusion about our rates, but incredibly chuffed to receive such recognition for our work!
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