View more on these topics

Four IVA probe firms named

The Advertising Standards Authority has named four individual voluntary arrangement firms it is investigating over their advertising claims.

Debt Free Direct, W3 Debt Solutions, The Debt People and Money Debt & Credit are all under ASA investigation.

DFD admits that despite being under scrutiny itself, it has shopped a total of 28 IVA providers to the ASA for making unfounded boasts about the amount of debt they are able to clear.

Derek Oakley, a director of DFD, says: “We believe in being honest and ethical in our dealings with consumers who need help with debt, including in our advertising. We have blown the whistle on several firms that claim their IVAs can remove more debt than is possible.

“Less scrupulous providers claim they can clear up to 90% of debt. This is not true.”

Chris Daw, director of The Debt People, says: “There has been a complaint made against us by DFD and we vigorously deny it. It claims we can’t say IVAs can remove up to 75% of debt but they can and DFD knows that.”

Andrew Bowers, managing director of Re10, an insolvency practitioner that is not under investigation, says: “If firms only offer IVAs, promises of 75% would be misleading but if they offer lump sum settlements or credited trust deeds, 75% is technically possible.”

Dev Malle, director of mortgage distribution at Personal Touch Financial Services, says the news that complaints have been made is a concern because brokers need to trust IVA providers.

He says: “There is a demand for good IVA firms and a concern for brokers is the quality of firms they do business with.”

An ASA spokeswoman confirms the four firms are under investigation.

She adds: “There have been complaints about aspects of these companies’ adverts but we can’t confirm the number of complaints.”

W3 Debt Solutions and Money Debt & Credit declined to comment.

Recommended

Whingeing about HIPs won’t help now

I’m starting to suspect that Home Information Packs have generated more column inches in the trade press than the regulation of the mortgage market did. The debate over whether HIPs should be introduced or not continues to rage unabated.

Prestbury added to takeover panel after rivals swoop to buy

Prestbury has admitted in its annual results today that its received a number of offers from interested parties looking to buy it.The official approaches will mean that the firm now has to go onto the takeover panel.Profits at the network for the year ending on October 31 2006 have increased by 30% from 1.7m in […]

Knight to join Mortgage Next

Dale Knight, who was made redundant from Prestbury Financial last month, is to join Mortgage Next Network to spearhead its appointed representative recruitment drive. Knight was sales director at Prestbury for a year and also headed the Professional Mortgage Network.

Win free valuations

Deep Blue has launched an online Dolphin Olympics game offering intermediaries the chance to win free valuations.

Stop letting targets get in the way of delivery

The positivity at RESI was pleasing to see, with lots of encouraging discussion about the private rented sector (PRS), the possibility (or hope) of stamp duty cuts on the way in the Autumn Statement and the general prospects of residential property in this post-Brexit vote world. However, that positivity was often tinged with some negativity […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up