ClearDebt recently spoke to the BBC in connection with DCM Apex story. Read more about the BBC coverage of this story and how ClearDebt were involved.
I was really pleased, if not a little terrified, to have an opportunity to tell our part of the DCM Apex story to the BBC, though I’m really angry that, yet again, one of the bad boys in the debt resolution industry is going to further damage the reputation of us all.
A large number of companies, members of the trade associations like Debt Resolution Forum, are working incredibly hard to deliver an industry with standards and training, which consumers can trust. Then along comes a company like DCM Apex that shatters all that good work.
Promoting standards within the debt industry
Companies like ClearDebt really welcome the tightening of standards that will come with new OFT guidelines, to be launched shortly. We want to be trusted because we know the consumer debt problem isn’t going to go away and we want to show that we can deliver a genuinely helpful service that people are happy to pay for.
Companies like DCM Apex – and others that are still in the marketplace, taking people’s money – damage all of that.
I believe it’s simple – in a debt management plan the company works, right at the beginning, to work out what you can afford to pay, negotiates with your creditors to reduce interest and charges as far as possible and then hands over every payment you make (less their initial and monthly fees) to your creditors within five days. If that isn’t what they are doing, then ask questions – especially regarding the way they handle your money: If large quantites of your dosh stay in their account for any length of time you have to ask yourself if you can trust them. Well, do you?
ClearDebt’s role in the DCM Apex story
There’s been a lot of confusion about ClearDebt’s role in the DCM Apex affair. We did not buy the company, the assets or the plans – we just bought the database of client contacts – and we have been offering clients free debt management plans and Individual Voluntary Arrangements with industry standard (protocol compliant) fees – or just to give clients access to the data DCM Apex held on them.
No – we’ve not been doing this out of the goodness of our heart – though one of the reasons why our Chief Exec, David Mond, decided to buy the database was because he thought a lousy job had been done and that something needed to be put right, for the sake of the industry’s reputation. So, ClearDebt through its sister company Abacus have offered entirely free debt management plans to those for whom it is the right advice and where appropriate. The fees we get (which are no higher than any other provider would charge) for IVAs is where we make this a reasonable investment for us.
It’s an amazing, scary, experience having a TV camera thrust up your nose and getting asked some tough questions – but i was glad to do it, if it shows people out there that there are some debt resolution companies that want to do the job right – and do.