• credit report UK from ExperianAre you a client or customer of Smooth Financial debt solutions?
  • Did you enter a debt management plan with Smooth Finance or The Debt Advice Centre?
  • Have you been advised that the company Smooth Financial is now in administration?
  • Concerned about what this means to you as an existing client or customer?

On 2nd August 2013, Smooth Financial (also trading as The Debt Advice Centre) instructed A B Coleman and R M Withinshaw of Royce Peeling Green Limited as Joint Administrators. This is due to a petition by one of Smooth Financials creditors to wind the company up and the winding up hearing is due to be heard on 19th August 2013.

What this means for existing Smooth Financial Debt Management Plan clients

If you are using a Smooth Financial debt management plan your plan will now be managed by Money Expert,  who has arranged to take over the running of the existing client base or book.

  • You do not have to stay with the new owners!
  • You are free to seek advice and help wherever you choose!
  • There should be NO CHARGE to move debt management service if you are using or selecting a compliant trader!
  • If you are charged to move debt services be very careful about your selection!
  • Other debt solution companies will and are offering free debt help and free debt management plans to existing clients of Smooth Financial who find themselves in limbo with the recent news!
  • How can you offer free debt services when you are paid to do the job normally?
  • Are these predatory debt companies looking to see if they can switch you from your current debt management plan into an IVA or Individual Voluntary Arrangement which could mean that your newly selected debt company could earn more money for dealing with your case!
  • Beware that the advice you get is correct!

Debt Solution Finder

Try our impartial debt solution finder available at www.help-debt.co.uk and find out in under 2 minutes which debt solution or debt solutions you actually qualify for. Then you can decide which is best suited to you! Find out if you are currently utilising the correct or best solution for you!

What this means for existing Smooth Financial IVA or Individual Voluntary Arrangement clients

If you were advised by Smooth Financial to enter an IVA and did so, the administrators will make sure that the cases are now managed. You should find that the conditions of your IVA are not affected and the new supervisor or existing that may remain will not change the plan you agreed to.

What can Lewis Alexander Financial Management do to help you?

Lewis Alexander is proud to be connected with Royce Peeling Green Accountants who are responsible for the administration of Smooth Financial, we have used the accounting services of Royce Peeling Green Accountants since our incorporation back in 2003. We are celebrating our 11th year of service to vulnerable UK consumers requiring debt consolidation help and support.

If you were paying Smooth Financial on a monthly basis to manage your debts, we can help you by re starting your debt management plan and re negotiating with your creditors, we will not charge for this initial work.

  • Call our debt helpline today, free and in absolute confidence using 0800 018 6868
  • Calls from land lines are usually free
  • From mobiles it may be less expensive to call 0161 872 3383
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Whilst many debt consolidation services or debt management companies may struggle with the new debt management protocol, Lewis Alexander Financial Management openly embraces this new and long overdue initiative.

The recently released Government protocol relating to personal debt management plans in the UK is not only designed to ensure that debt consolidation companies involved in the industry are compliant with OFT (Office of fair Trading) debt management guidance but most importantly to ensure that the vulnerable UK consumer receives the best possible advice and service at the most competitive cost or price.

The new debt management protocol asks that clients initial payments for a debt management plan are not retained by the debt consolidation service or debt management company they have selected but are in fact dispersed to creditors immediately, it is also expected that any initial set up fee charged would be taken out of no less than the first 6 monthly contributions from the client.  This is meant to reduce the clients debts more rapidly but is based equally upon the clients respective creditors also adhering to the protocol with regard to interest and charges currently being applied to the consumers accounts, if any. The practice of retaining initial payments has usually been used by the debt consolidation industry to cover the internal administrative costs involved in setting up a consumer debt management plan.

Debt Solution Finder

Lewis Alexander Financial Management is currently developing a “turn key” personal debt consolidation platform which will be available online for UK consumers.  This pioneering, Internet based, consumer self managed, debt solution environment will offer a highly efficient and cost effective option which will dramatically reduce if not eliminate the initial administrative set up costs that apply to current fee charged debt management plans in the UK.

It is envisaged that usage of the personal debt consolidation and management software will be charged at approximately one third of the current monthly fees on offer, this is when compared to the average fee charged debt management plan currently available when using conventional debt consolidation services or debt management companies.

The Lewis Alexander Internet based, self managed debt solution is being designed to be as user friendly as possible.

The online resource will provide compliant best advice for the consumer relating to the different debt management and debt consolidation solutions available.

When a user registers, they will be asked to complete a simple questionnaire outlining their personal and financial circumstances. This information will be dynamically translated by the system in order to identify the debt management or debt consolidation routes available to that specific user.

  • Faced with potentially more than one debt consolidation solution to choose from, the user will be able to gain online financial debt advice via the systems knowledge base.
  • However, personal and conclusive advice will be available if required via email and telephone to assist a prospective client to make their final decision.

Having chosen the desired debt management or debt consolidation solution, the user will be able to set up their own online file which will already contain their financial statement and particulars based on the information they have provided in the initial questionnaire.

  • Their file will also contain all the relevant creditor correspondence and templates thus enabling them to activate their own debt management or debt consolidation solution.

Based upon bespoke, tried and tested internal debt management software developed by Lewis Alexander, it is envisaged that the online system will provide all of the facilities to the user that is currently available to an internally based adviser at Lewis Alexander Financial Management.

Should you be struggling with personal financial problems and require the help and advice of a trained personal debt consultant, then please call our personal debt helpline in absolute confidence using;

  • 0800 018 6868
  • calls are usually FREE from a UK land line.
  • From mobile it may be less expensive to call 0161 872 3383
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If you have heard adverts on the radio and TV for debt management comparison sites or debt companies asking you if you are confused by debt, the way to actually clarify your questions or confusion is to speak to each company you have selected directly.

Prepare a list of questions that will help you identify if they are trust worthy and reputable, how can you be sure you can trust the actual comparison web site itself.

  • Who is doing the homework on the debt management companies being compared and how often is the information updated?

Lewis Alexander was approached by a service claiming to be a debt management company comparison website for people confused by debt, they offered us the opportunity to pay them to be listed on their site, we asked them why we should pay to be compared for the consumers best deal, they could not answer our question so we did not advertise with them.

The lesson we can learn from the likes of Direct Line Insurance is that they cannot be found on comparison websites. This is a very large company owned by The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, why would they not be on comparison websites if they were so beneficial to them or their customers?

The only way we could see a debt management comparison website working was if it listed every debt management plan available in the country to a consumer at the time of the consumer search, without a total comparison of all debt plans available, how would the consumer know which company offered the best deal?

  • They would only be aware of the best deal amongst the companies advertising on the debt comparison site. This is NOT a total comparison!

You should be very careful when taking information and advice on something as important as your personal finances.  A company that specialises in comparing companies is doing just that, you should take financial advice off of a company who specialises in giving financial advice and clearing consumer debt, not just one that tries to compare companies that actually do just that.

If you are confused by debt problems and solutions available to clear debts, you can call our free from a landline debt helpline 24 hours a day in absolute confidence using 0800  018 6868.

  • Our trained advisors are waiting for your call!
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If you find yourself with a financial problem and have bad credit or are unable to cope with mounting debt problems, then you may want to search the marketplace for information that can help you discover the best solution for reducing or eliminating personal debt.

There are a number of very authoritative internet debt consultants and resources online that offer information for getting out of debt and they could help you with your personal situation.

Be very careful that you do not jump in with the first company that comes along without doing some research about the company, how long has the debt company been in business? Make sure you ring them to see how professional their approach is. After all you want your affairs to be handled on an individual basis and your interests should be of the utmost importance.

Finding the best and highest quality of companies within the Debt Consolidation field will help and ensure your overall plan to reduce your indebtedness over the longterm is fruitful.

Unfortunately, there are a number of debt consolidation agencies, debt negotiators, and debt settlement consultants who will take you for a ride. If you find they are advertising their services saying that they can get your debts eliminated in 10 minutes or less, they are the kind of companies that you want avoid at all costs.

These claims are not justifiable and simply not possible. You need to work with a debt consolidation company that offers you viable and workable individual solutions to eliminate your debt in the medium to long term.

You must realise the real facts that no one can eliminate your debts without a personal Bankruptcy petition. Most debt management resources reduce debts through renegotiations with your creditors.

You will find that some personal debt consultants even claim to be able to “eliminate your interest rates” completely, this is not entirely truthful.

When a debt management company consolidates all of your unsecured debts, they will gather all of your unsecured debt repayments and roll them into one new single repayment, which then reduces your monthly outgoings.

If you aren’t dealing with an honest debt consolidation company or one that has a high reputation in the industry who can negotiate the best solution, there’s a very good possibility that they will also roll those high interest rates into your total debt, which may still reduce your monthly outgoing but unbeknown to you, will cause you to have a larger overall debt level.  Be very careful with this type of tactic.

Therefore, it is important that you ask the company or debt consultant about what it is they can do for you, after you have provided them with sufficient information for them to work out an overall plan.

Educate yourself a little with regard to what interest rates you have been paying on your current debts, so that you are empowered to have the knowledge to make an informed decision.

Above all, be prepared to pay a reasonable fee for the services of a reputable company. There is no such thing as a “free lunch”.  Someone has to pay the people who organise and negotiate on your behalf. Companies that claim that you don’t need to pay them anything are in fact being paid by the creditors and getting fees somewhere in the process. We find that many people would rather agree to pay a set fee and get on with the task of getting back on the right path.

You are advised to have all the proper paperwork regarding your debts organised and if possible obtain a copy of your credit report.

If you are in doubt, do some research of your own, telephone the companies that you have listed and contact them by phone.

Lewis Alexander Financial Management offer a first class personal Debt Management Service, nationwide throughout the UK. We have in house specialists who concentrate on debt management and loan consolidation and we have been looking after a great number of our clients for many years now.

Call the Lewis Alexander personal debt helpline using 0800 018 6868, our lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and your call is free.

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How can a Debt Management Plan help me?

On December 16, 2009, in News, by Lewis Alexander

How can a Debt Management Plan help me?

  • Need Debt Management Help?
  • Find Debt Management Questions and Answers!

During the course of our business day, we receive a lot of questions from prospective clients about debt management, how we can help them, how much it costs and the best debt soltuin for them to follow.

As you can imagine, all situations are slightly different and we specialise in helping people from all walks of life, you could be a single parent with a low paying job or even a footballer.  Yes, even they get into these kinds of financial situations and need help with their debt problems. They are fully aware of the quality help a debt management plan can give them should it be needed.

  • We have listed a few of the questions below,

One of those often asked questions is – How can a Debt Management Plan help me?

Debt Management Plans can help you if you are struggling and unable to repay consumer debts such as personal loans, credit cards, store cards, bank overdrafts and catalogues etc.  If your income is lower than your outgoings, this will cause you to get further into debt each month.

A Debt Management Company will gather all the information from you regarding all your unsecured debts, your income from wages and any other means including state benefits and then decide with you, how much you are able to repay as one monthly sum to start the pathway to reducing the total indebtedness over time.  One, new and affordable simple monthly payment is arrived at with the client to ensure they are comfortable with meeting that payment.

  • The Debt Management Company will then negotiate with the various creditors as to the amount they will each receive monthly.

As you can imagine this involves a fair amount of work and negotiation with the various creditors.

One of the most common types of feedback we receive is that clients are so thankful that we make this process as pain free as possible and we manage to arrange a new debt repayment plan without the clients having to even write one letter.

It is possible to arrange all this yourself, but imagine just for a moment how much time energy and cost would be involved in the process if you were trying to deal directly with your creditors.

  • A client who is already in financial trouble is less likely to be able to cope with such situations as well as trying to negotiate the best terms possible.

Yes, it’s true that a debt management plan will cost you a small amount each month, payable as part of the payment plan and usually included within your monthly payment but the cost is negligible when you consider the many aspects involved in arranging a structured repayment plan yourself.

  • One needs to peek into the management side of a plan to see what is involved and appreciate the complex negotiations a reputable debt management company undertakes on behalf of a client.

Once a sensible monthly payment is agreed, the debt help provider will normally distribute your payments monthly on your behalf to your creditors on a pro-rata basis, minus the costs of the plan.

  • A second question we receive is;

Do I need to pay any legal fees and Do I need to put my property up as security?

The answer to that question is NO in both cases!

A Debt Management Plan is not a legally binding agreement and therefore no legal fees are involved.  If you have a property, this will not be needed for security when entering into an informal debt management plan.

What you will also find is that once a fair payment plan is arrived at, most creditors are very flexible in their attitude towards a debtor.  This is very probably due to the fact that many lenders or loan companies look at it with the attitude that the person involved has taken the positive steps to approach a Debt Management Company and made efforts to re negotiate their debts.

  • This is a very positive move!

They can also be very flexible depending on your track record of repayments.

You must bear in mind that under normal circumstances, debt management plans usually do not deal with but do take into account any secured loans such as mortgages or court fines and any tax arrears. These debts are normally budgeted for within your expenditure part of debt management plans financial statement.

For impartial advice on how a Debt Management Plan can help you right now, contact Lewis Alexander and ask to speak to a personal debt counsellor for free advice.

Professional debt companies like Lewis Alexander understand what people are going through and are willing to offer assistance that allows you to cope in these difficult circumstances.  We will help you review all your finances in private and make a suggestion for a positive solution.

Lewis Alexander Financial Management, offer a first class personal Debt Management Servicenationwide throughout the UK. We are based in Trafford Park, Manchester and we have helped thousands of people in our history.

We have in house specialists who concentrate on debt management and personal debt and loan consolidation and we have been looking after a great number of our clients for many years now.

Call Lewis Alexander on their personal debt helpline using 0800 018 6868, our lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and your call is free.

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How does Debt Consolidation work?

On November 27, 2009, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • How does Debt Consolidation work?
  • What is the best way to get Debt Help?

In our business of managing hundreds of clients finances and helping them with their debt consolidation, we have found that the biggest cause of stress in families is always regarding their personal debt and how best to manage the debt problem that can spiral out of control very easily.

We find that many people are not aware of the debt help that is available for people who genuinely want to reduce their debt and be able to cope with managing their income and expenditure.

There are many financial companies who have an excellent track record in helping people in this situation and these companies are able to ease their clients’ worries very quickly.

Debt consolidation is one method that can be used very effectively to reduce your outgoings and balance it with your in comings, especially with expert help.

  • Many people need educating in what one needs to do in this situation!

Contacting a debt consolidation company will help and educate them as to what decisions need to be made to effectively manage the current situation in the best possible way.  This in itself is a way that a client can receive immediate relief from the worries of not being able to cope financially and the ability to sit down or talk to a consultant over the phone will have long term benefits for the individuals financial future.

Over the many years of managing and clearing clients debts, our experience tells us that once a client contacts a debt management or debt consolidation company, they are put at ease, knowing that that they will not have to deal with a bailiff or collection agent knocking on their door demanding monies that they cannot afford.  The fact that the debt agency is there to help in this situation makes a huge difference.

  • What Is Debt Consolidation?

In the simplest terms, debt consolidation means that you take all of your individual unsecured or secured repayments such as credit cards, overdrafts, loans and catalogues etc and put them all together as one full amount owed. This full amount is the amount that is then arranged into one consolidated loan, offering the benefit of making one lower, affordable and reduced monthly repayment over a longer period initially, if necessary with the effect of reducing ones monthly outgoings.

  • The main purpose of this is to;

1)  Reduce the total amount of debt – this can be achieved effectively when you work closely with one lender who will pay off all your outstanding debt and consolidate it into one monthly repayment.

2)  Create one new payment to a new lender that is far smaller than all the individual payments to various lenders. Debt consolidation companies have much more experience dealing with lenders in this scenario and can also negotiate a much better rate of interest, effectively reducing your overall personal debt.

3)  Allowing you in time to reduce your overall debt if you can make slightly larger payments in due course will have the net effect that you would pay much less in interest over the whole period.

  • One of the benefits that occurs as a result of the above is that you end up with a much better organized financial statement regarding your income and expenditure.

We all find that many bills to pay means you have to be so much better organised and able to meet all the various payments at the due dates or end up paying penalties for late payments, causing you to pay much more in the long run and also affecting your credit rating along the way.

One outgoing for a loan is much easier managed than 10 different payments to various lenders!

  • What are my options when Consolidating my Debt?

1)  If you own your own home and have a reasonable amount of equity in your home you may consider the route of refinancing your existing mortgage to pay off other debts which will reduce your overall interest paid.

2)  If you have a fairly good credit rating you may be able to obtain a personal loan and many people would favor this as the equity in their homes has been drastically reduced in the last few years. You can find out more information about these specialist loans from good debt consolidation companies or debt counselors.

3)  If you have credit cards with large balances then you may opt to transfer all your other debts onto one single card, but you will end up paying higher interest or charges with this method.

4)  Many times you may be able to get help or assistance from family and friends, however, when one wants to keep a certain amount of privacy with financial affairs, most people are swayed against this course of action unless they have very good and open relations with family.  You are also likely to create tensions in family when the last thing you need is further tension, lack of privacy and stress.

5)  Seeking out a professional debt consolidation company – For many people this would be the best option, working closely with a time served and reputable company who have specialists in debt consolidation, debt management and debt reduction will really help you. The advantage is in the fact that they have an in depth knowledge of the areas concerned and also have very good working relationships with banks, credit card companies and general debt collectors and lenders. It is possible in many cases that they are able to negotiate better rates of interest and settlements.

It is important to note here that lately, there has been a surge in new companies operating in this debt arena, many of whom have very little track record and your interests are, shall we say, not their first priority!  It is very important that you do your homework and work with only the best companies that are prepared to look after your interests first, not their own.

Lewis Alexander Financial Management offer a first class personal Debt Management Service, nationwide throughout the UK. We are based in Manchester and we have helped thousands of client’s in our history.  We have in house specialists who concentrate on debt management and loan consolidation and we have been looking after a great number of our clients for many years now.

Call Lewis Alexander on their personal debt helpline using 0800 018 6868, our lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and your call is free.

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