Personal advice and help with debt management

On December 8, 2011, in News, by Lewis Alexander

Personal debt management advice and debt management help from UK financial solutions specialists.

  • free credit report UK from ExperianDo you need debt management help or advice in the UK?
  • With the right debt management advice and well thought out debt management plan, you too can get back to being clear of personal debt!

Getting reliable debt advice UK is crucial when trying to figure out the best way to clear debt properly. Sadly, good reliable advice is not always easy to find these days!

At Lewis Alexander, we don’t expect you to pay for the phone call to us because we know that if you are in need of debt help, you may not have money to spare for phone calls.

  • Are you struggling with credit card repayments?
  • Are you struggling to meet store card commitments?
  • Have you missed one or more mortgage repayment?
  • Do you have County Court Judgements pending?

Debt help UK

 

If so, all of the above are sure signs that debt is starting to take control of you rather than you controlling your debts. The good news, however, is that your personal debts are often not so bad that you are beyond help…few are!

With careful debt management online we could help you get back on the road of being clear of debt for the long term.  We can consider various debt management solutions for you to take back the control you want over these debts.

Facing debt alone can be very scary

Whether you are a single parent, a divorcee, a widower or simply single, debt can make you feel very isolated and the stress of it all could actually start to impact on your health. The last thing you need if you are living on one income is to become ill as this will directly affect your finances and will probably make the situation worse.

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Make the decision to get help right now!

Call us free today from a land line using 0800 018 6868 and one of our trained consultants will discuss your situation and they will give you the help and advice you may need in confidence.

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Unhappy with your Debt Management Company?

On February 18, 2011, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • free credit report UK from ExperianIn today’s ‘instant world’ plagued by financial difficulty, many of us are seeking instant miracles to reduce our personal debt following spending years of living in excess.
  • Thus Brits in their thousands are turning to debt management companies to help them reduce their debt commitments and regain control of the family finances.

Those in the upper middle classes (and certainly those with a combination of wealth, financial acumen and discipline) are increasingly scoffing at such behaviour – indeed part blaming it for compounding the economic difficulties of the past 3 or 4 years.

  • But whose fault is it really?
  • The banks for making such poor lending decisions in the first place?
  • Or us, the general public, for accepting offers of such easy money?

Having developed a mini debt mountain of your very own, once it becomes unserviceable (and certainly once you are unable to perform balance transfer magic or rob Peter to pay Paul) then the next stop can be quite drastic.  Alternatives include going cap in hand to a family member, taking an equity loan on your house – should you be lucky enough to have any equity – or entering into a debt management plan or IVA.

When debt management companies first sprang up in the UK way back in the early nineties, there were a number of small to medium sized companies offering a debt management service to their clients.  During recent years, these have been narrowed down to a few and now this market exists as an oligopoly with a few large players claiming the majority of the marketplace and its clients.

Where this happens, the inevitable consequences are poor customer service, service failures and a lack of personalisation. Look at any market run by a few small players and you will see the same. You can move or leave debt management companies!

  • Energy companies are blighted by their inability to get household bills correct.
  • Banks think it ok to outsource customer services to non-English speaking countries.

Should you have taken out a debt management plan with one of the large companies, it’s understandable that you may not feel personally served. Hidden fees in your terms and conditions, charges for break clauses, or simply the inability to talk to anyone who actually manages your case on a day to day basis is frustrating, infuriating and very much the opposite to the glossy brochure you were sent originally!

Here at Lewis Alexander we take a different view. As an established name in debt management, we ensure all our clients are afforded a personal, professional service that cannot be matched by our competitors. One dedicated point of contact throughout your dealings.

  • Once we have taken your case, we appoint a senior case manager who will be your contact throughout the period of time you use our service.
  • Whilst we can’t promise they are available 24/7 (we do encourage our advisors to get a good night’s sleep!) we do promise that if your case manager is not available to take your call, then we will  take your details and get your case manager to call you back when they become available.
  • Our call centre is also based in the UK, so you will not need to learn another language just to speak to us! Lines are open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

By retaining this personal touch we believe that fewer mistakes are made when evaluating your financial situation during our initial financial healthcheck.  We don’t simply set up arrangements for clients unless we truly believe there is a benefit to you. This time investment at the start of the process means that more of our clients are happy with what we do for them.   As we strongly believe that recommendation is our strongest avenue of new client attainment, this means that we generate most of our new clients via existing client referrals.

Finally, we are completely open with our charges and encourage our customers to review our terms & conditions and our competitor’s offerings to ensure that any solution we offer is competitive. We also display our debt management plan charges clearly and concisely up front. We know that being in debt is extremely stressful and so we don’t want our clients to be worrying about ‘the small print’ in our terms of business!

  • So call a personal finance advisor today! Our trained consultants are available by calling our freephone number – 0800 018 6868.

We look forward to speaking with you soon and working together to get you out of the personal debt problems you may face.

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  • credit report UK from ExperianIt was interesting to see the BBC dedicating a large percentage of the Rip off Britain show on BBC 1 this evening, to how debt management companies can harm a consumers’ financial position rather than benefit their financial future.

As with any commercial profit making industry, there will be rogue traders operating and taking advantage of any vulnerable consumers.  These rogue traders do not follow not only sometimes the spirit of an industry if unregulated but also the regulations or guidance if there are any in place.

  • What was particularly interesting this evening was the way the show seemed to tar the fee charging debt management sector.

There are a few points that we would like to cover regarding a fee charging companies attitude to the free fee sector, this is in addition to what was broadcast.

  • Lewis Alexander is a compliant industry member celebrating 8 years of compliant trading.

1)      The first thing we have to accept is that the Office of fair Trading put in place something called Debt Management Guidance in September 2001.  This Guidance sets out what is expected of and what must be adhered to by any consumer credit license holder should they wish to offer fee charging or free sector debt management plans or services.  Without being offensive or finding fault in any authoritative organisation, the guidance to our knowledge was not heavily policed unless complaints were made about a particular individual company.

Therefore, a great number of rogue traders felt “free” to operate without much concern of being found or traced as long as they pacified any consumer, who complained for whatever reason, thus stone walling any escalation of the complaint to an authority. We were only aware of such companies and subsequent practices when certain clients would tell us of their personal experience when explaining how they wished they had found us first based on our honest responses.  This guidance is still in place and was updated in 2008 prior to the recent investigations over the last 12 months or so by the OFT and local Trading Standards offices.

2)      The first lady featured on the BBC show had a genuine complaint and was obviously not made aware of the free sector or charitable debt management services available when she was being advised by the particular fee charging debt management company. However, her attitude was that of surprise that she had chosen a fee charging company when she could have got something for free.  The show then later changed topics and discussed being aware of something that is free, is that not a contradiction?

The free sector is funded. The Citizens Advice Bureau is absolutely free and government funded.  Other operations such as Payplan, CCCS and National Debtline are all funded and we believe operate on a not for profit basis, however they are funded to enable them to say the service is free.

You can check who funds these free debt services, in some cases it can be the creditor who the consumer actually owes money to hence the fee charging sector selling against these operations, on the basis of who is actually working for the client? an independent source or an extension of the people whom the consumer owes the monies to?

3)      The second gentleman seemed to be a victim of IVA direct selling, something we reported on way back in 2006/7 when certain large Insolvency operations were floating their businesses on the London AIM stock exchange. In certain cases an IVA may be the best debt solution to clear personal debts but insolvency became the quicker fix direct sell against the already badly publicised debt management plan. Say no more!

4)      The 3rd lady was genuinely miss sold to and mislead from what we could gather but again, the free sector is there and funded apart from CAB citizens advice bureau which is governmental. This particular lady had suffered a bereavement and was very vulnerable, another reason why the free sector should have been offered at the point of advice.

We often ask why people have this attitude that they can go out and spend what they like or commit to loans and expenditure for certain changes in circumstance and then find a free service to get them out of the mess.  It is a strange attitude and we hope that this changes as the pressure and load coming to these FREE services will always create an overflow of cases that require immediate attention and private paid help.  If this was not the case, BUPA and NHS would not exist alongside each other in such harmony, one compliments the other.

All personal debt cases should be considered individually, at Lewis Alexander we have offered free debt advice on our free from a landline debt helpline (free from landlines, mobile costs may vary) for 8 years now and only when a consumer decides to take our debt management help does our service become chargeable.

  • We are proud to charge for what we believe is an excellent unrivalled service within a most competitive arena. We also refer cases to the free sector when we believe the client would not benefit from our fee charging assistance.

DEMSA got a final interview and they are a trade body that set themselves up to offer a “stamp of approval” to certain member companies that comply with their expected standards.  We approve of Demsa but there are other debt management trade bodies such as the DRF or Debt Resolution Forum.  Our only concern is that the fees that these trade bodies require for us to join are not (when last checked) offered on a pro rata basis to the member companies turnover, if it was we would join as we believe we operate in line with what they require from a DEMSA member.  It is just the fees we cannot justify or afford.  It is less of a cost for the larger companies as they have a greater turnover than Lewis Alexander.  Our clients would only end up footing an extra cost for these associated fees.

Whilst remaining politically unbiased we would like to clarify that we are well behind the Coalition Government with Mr Camerons plans for the Big Society.  We welcome the effort shown by the new government and credit where credit is due, people may knock the Prime Ministers attempts but at least he is trying when we all accept that broken Britain is a real and current dilemma.  We feel that our initial free debt advice (ongoing services are chargeable) and our commitment to retaining our free phone number from landlines can be our donation to the big society and long may we continue in our quest to do our bit for broken Britain.

Whilst wishing ourselves at Lewis Alexander a happy 8th birthday we dedicate this blog post to our celebrated event.

  • Should you wish to discuss your personal financial problems with a trained advisor please call our personal debt helpline in confidence using 0800 018 6868.
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