Apex Debt Counselling and Management Limited – In Administration

Good news for worried clients of Apex Debt Counselling & Management Limited – which recently went into administration: ClearDebt Group plc is working with the administrators, HJS Recovery, to review the situation of every active Apex client.

Good news for worried clients of Apex Debt Counselling & Management Limited – which recently went into administration: ClearDebt Group plc is working with the administrators, HJS Recovery, to review the situation of every active Apex client who wishes it and to offer to continue their current debt management plan (DMP) for them, free of charge.

Apex DCM clients should contact ClearDebt immediately on this dedicated number 0800 612 3318 or by emailing apexenquiries@cleardebt.co.uk for free file review. ClearDebt will ensure clients are made aware of all their options and, should a debt management plan be the most appropriate solution, ClearDebt will waive all the fees normally charged on such arrangements to ensure debts are cleared in the shortest possible time. This plan will be entirely free of charge.

Due to work we did earlier in the year (which resulted in the appearance of this article in the “Crusader” column of the Daily Express), we are aware that a number of Apex clients may be better off in a different debt solution known as an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA), where all interest and charges can be frozen and a significant proportion of debts written off, usually over five years. We will be assessing Apex clients circumstances with this in mind and will advise if this appears to be most appropriate. If an Apex client chooses this route IVA fees will be chargeable but these will make no difference to the monthly payment you can afford, as long as you complete the IVA.

ClearDebt will not pressure you to accept our advice – the decision will always be yours. Our advisors are aware of the situation in which Apex DCM clients find themselves in and are available to speak to you from 8.00 am to 9.00 pm Monday to Thursday, and from 8.00 am to 5.30 pm on Friday.

Apex DCM customers who decide not to move to ClearDebt need do nothing. The consequences will be that their creditors will become aware that their plan has ceased when no more payments are received from Apex on your behalf. They will contact you and you will need to come to repayment arrangements with them individually, or choose another debt management supplier.

Should you decide to use ClearDebt and should creditors contact you direct for payment we will, of course, deal with this for you. We are here to help you towards a debt-free future.

Apex DCM customers should note that ClearDebt Group plc, or any of our member companies, agents or representatives have had absolutely nothing to do with the prior conduct of any plan held with Apex prior to 2 March 2011 and cannot advise you on any matters that took place before this date. Nor can we advise on any matters arising from the current administration of Apex however clients should note that any payments made since 3 March 2011 should be recoverable from the joint administrators, who are currently formulating proposals which will be sent to clients in due course. The administrators will not be making any payments to the creditors of debtors in Apex DCM debt management plans.

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  1. “Apex DCM customers who decide not to move to ClearDebt need do nothing. The consequences will be that their creditors will become aware that their plan has ceased when no more payments are received from Apex on your behalf. They will contact you and you will need to come to repayment arrangements with them individually, or choose another debt management supplier.”

    The above is bad advice and shame on you for saying such it is always good advice for consumers to keep in touch with the original creditor rather than doing as you state.

    I strongly suggest that you reword that paragraph

  2. Hi Mat. “shame” is a little harsh methinks.

    We thought long and hard about this – and the fact is that many of the clients of Apex have been with them for years and may well have lost details of their debts and even whom they owe. Yes, they should be getting annual letters from creditors – but if they came a while back they may be thrown away or otherwise mislaid too.

    It may also be that people in Apex plans may have not had a statement from the plan provider for some time too, so may have no idea, what, if anything is owing. Apex had a peculiar system of trying to negotiate final settlements with some creditors and occasionally paying off one before another – so it wasn’t a question of any sort of straight pro-rata reduction either.

    I agree that, in an ideal world, it’s best to get straight on the blower to each creditor and tell them what’s up. But, that’s only possible if you know who to talk to – and it may sometimes be difficult if you don’t have basic details, such as account numbers etc (not always – but it happens).

    So, in quite a long communication we thought it might be better just to reassure Apex’s clients that their creditors, when they notice no payment is received, will get in touch direct, using their clients’ last known details.

    However, at that point, I do agree with you – the debtor should talk to the creditor as soon as they can.

    The point here, however, is that we are offering every active Apex client the ability to repay their debt without us charging a fee – and with the likelihood that we will be able to freeze interest, etc in some cases. They are quite likely to be debt free, working through us, more quickly than they could achieve on their own.

    Finally, Apex plan holders are absolutely not obliged to use our service – and we won’t put them under any pressure to do so: But we are here if they feel we can help.

  3. Sadly we are one of DCMs customers and although it does make sense to contact creditors straight away in reality this is proving very difficult for the reasons above. DCM told us to forward all letters to them which we did and we have now lost track of who actually owns each debt. We ran an experian check and have contacted numbers from the list but they have no record of us without reference numbers etc which are with DCM.
    Despite not wanting to keep creditors waiting we may have to wait for some of them to contact us. After running the credit check it appears that DCM have not made payments to some of them for 12 months and other payments have been very sporadic so in reality they have already been waiting a very very long time for payments!

  4. MBW’s query isn’t the first we’ve had about lost details of creditors and outstanding balances. Every query we get we are dealing with privately and individually.

    However, as part of the agreement we have with the administrators of Apex, we have requested a list of all clients’ creditors and account numbers – as soon as we have this information, we will, on request, make it available to Apex clients, even if they do not wish to speak to us about a free Debt Management Plan.

    We understand this must be a very stressful and emotional time for clients of Apex and will do everything we can to help them deal with their creditors.

    We are, however, concerned that the records kept by Apex may not be comprehensive and we cannot be held responsible if there are any omissions or inaccuracies in the information we receive from the administrators.

  5. I am a APEX client, or should I say was. I had been with them for 8 years, and have been writing to them since Oct last year asking for a full list of my creditors and what I actually owe them as they had not sent me any info for a long time. Funny thing I got no response, which now makes sence as they have been creaming off the last of there clients money before they went bust! Very angry and feel gutted that I am back to square one with my debt situation of which I have been trying to settle for the past 8 years.


  6. Hi Manorris

    I have passed your details to a colleague of mine who will be in touch shortly to offer you some advice. We understand the administration of Apex DCM has caused great worry and upset for so many people and we’re doing everything we can to help.

  7. We too are ex clients of DCM, and also have had problems with statements our last one being Sept 2010. Also repeated requests to make settlement of discount offers from our balance never happened now I know why. I did start to think something was wrong before xmas and stopped my payments requesting all payments were made from my credit balance. My problem like most people is what is the true balance of accounts, when were these last paid and finally how much of my money did DCM hold. My last statement said £2704 credit but who knows. How much do I claim if any ? It’s a real mess

  8. Hi, I am pleased to report that we have now received all Apex DCM’s client details from the administrators.

    However, PLEASE NOTE, that we will not be in a position to provide details to former Apex DCM clients for a couple of days, until we have been able to cleanse the data and register it onto our system, so that is it is available for advisors to use.

    The data does include fields for creditor identities, account numbers, starting and current balances. However, please note it is data obtained from Apex DCM and, therefore, is only going to be as accurate and as up to date as they were.

    This data should be available this week and we will report this as soon as it is. Meanwhile, if anyone wants a callback when the data is available, they should email apexenquiries@cleardebt.co.uk or telephone 0800 612 3318. Our call volumes are very heavy at the moment and we will respond on a “first come, first served” basis.

    PS – Mikej: your question is really one for the administrators. We’ll ask it and report what they say.

  9. Update on data availability and advice calls.

    Following an initial assessment of the Apex DCM client data we have received we believe it will take a little longer to register it onto our system than first thought. We are doing everything we can and currently estimate that it should be available by close of play on Friday 25 March. We will announce it here as soon as it is in place.

    Meanwhile, we are receiving very high numbers of calls from concerned Apex DCM clients to the extent that, at busy times, we are not always able to put the call straight through to a member of our advice team. In that case we will ask you for a contact number and a time slot for a callback which is convenient for you.

    In the extremely unlikely event that an advisor is not available at that time we will call you in any event to re-book the call.

    Our advice team works until 9.00pm (5,00pm on Friday), so evening calls are fine.

    We have already been contacted by hundreds of Apex DCM clients, so we think this occasional overload will only be a temporary situation, lasting only a few days.

  10. I’m one of the team that’s been answering the phone to the hundreds of worried ex-Apex DCM clients who have rung us to discuss their situation. Sadly, it’s not all been good news.

    It seems that Apex assessed clients using a set of criteria that were definitely NOT industry standard, or, at the very least, that they hadn’t reassessed their clients for a very long time.

    A significant minority of clients were paying a lot less than we’d need to require in order to put forward a DMP that complied with CCCS spending guidelines. Others were making payments that, realistically, they couldn’t afford and we’ve had to recommend bankruptcy, debt relief orders or even the token payment scheme through the CCCS to them.

    But, I’m proud to say that there are many for whom our free plan is the most appropriate advice and also a number who should have been advised to opt for an IVA and who are now likely to spend less on their debts and see them resolved in a much shorter time. The hard work is by no means over, in fact it is only just beginning, but we are now starting to see some positive movement forward for the former clients of Apex DCM.

  11. I have been with DCM since 2003 trying to clear debts, I received a list of my outstanding debts in dec 2010 apon request, yet when I have checked old documentation it seems the amounts I owe have barely gone down! I had over £1000 in credit. It was only yesterday I received a txt to tell mw DCM had gone into liquidation, I couldnt believe it after all these years I seem no closer to clearing anything. Considering they went bust at the start of march my payment was still taken last week! Now im waiting for news of what to do next

  12. If you have a standing order to Apex DCM payments it will carry on until you cancel it. That’s the first thing you should do.

    Fortunately, any payment made to Apex after March 4 will be held in trust by the administrators and you will get it back in due course.

    If you contact the administrators and give them all the detail you have this will help them to return the payment to you as quickly as possible.

    Payments made before March 4, whilst the company was still trading, will take a lot longer to sort out.

  13. i have been paying APEX since Feb 2007 with an original debt of just over £28k after just over 4 years I have paid them just under 24k. I have now been told that I am still liable for the full amount of the original debt. i find this ludicrous and am extremelly irritated that this is the case. I have served my country for the last 20 years and due to retire from the forces with a pension in less than 2 years, the last thing I want is to pay out my hard earned pension fund to pay for this companies inefficiency. Why are people not advising people like us with positive vibes, I have 4 children to support and would have been debt free in time for my move to civilian life and my eldest children to start college. The sleepless nights have started again, waiting for the post to fill the mat. There must be some way to approach creditors, if I knew who and how much as no correspondance was recieved from DCM over

  14. ive been a client of dcm for 4 years . i have paid 400 pounds a month until christmas 2010 . i rang dcm and told them i was now unemployed . their reply was not to worry there is 5000 pounds in my account which they would use to pay my debts untill i was back at work .
    I was surprised to get a letter saying they had gone into administration. i have since contacted clear debt to find more about the situation . i have found out that dcm have only paid out 6500 pounds out of the 18000 i paid them , no wonder i never recieved any statements from them . hope to here what happend to the 5000pounds that was in the account at christmas . . kev

  15. I can sympathise with everyone who has had problems with DCM but of course our involvement is simply to advise as to the best options going forward for DCM clients.

    It is difficult to comment on individual cases without knowing the full facts and the current circumstances, so for anyone who is still in a position where they haven’t called us to review things then all I can say is that you should pick up the phone so that we can assess your options. We may not as a business be able to help, but we will always endeavour to point people in the right direction even if we cannot help directly.

  16. We are pleased to let everyone know that ex-DCM Apex clients’ account and balance information is now available.

    Please call on 0800 612 3318 or email apexenquiries@cleardebt.co.uk. Once we have verified your identity our advisors will be able to give you the latest information on your plan from DCM Apex’s records, including balances, creditor identities and account numbers.

    Please note however that we accept no liability whatsoever for the accuracy of this information – all we have is the last situation recorded by DCM Apex

    Phil Crosby
    Business Analyst for ClearDebt Group

  17. Hi,

    We have heard today from the administrators of Apex Debt Counselling and Management (DCM) – Gordon Johnston and Alan D Fallows of hjs recovery – with some good news for former clients of Apex DCM.

    Firstly, anyone who paid funds into their debt management plan with Apex after 2 March (when Apex went into administration) will get all that money back. The administrators still have to reconcile stuff though – so are aiming to make distributions in four to six weeks from now.

    There has been a lot of concern from anxious ex-clients. The administrators have now told us that anyone emailing them with queries will now get a response in 7-10 days.

    To ensure an orderly and fair response, anyone telephoning will be added to the end of the queue for email responses.

    We’d advocate emailing anyway – as it’s easier to be specific about your questions and for the administrators to be specific and clear in their answers.

    The email address people need is apexdcm@hjsrecovery.co.uk .

  18. Only after 2nd march I thought the letter said all the balances not just after 2nd march. Thought it was too good to be true

  19. Hi Mikej,

    You may have a point, it’s a topic that’s raising hackles in other places across the web – for example on Money Saving Expert – here (http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=3098382&page=15).

    Apex DCM should have done two things – first, distribute to creditors any money a client sent to them within 5 days of recept (minus their fees). That should have meant that, in most cases, all the money a client remits (less fees) goes towards repaying their debts almost immediately and that little, if anything, should be left in a company’s accounts after it ceases trading.

    Apex DCM’s practice of building a fund to offer full and final settlements may mean that this was not the case. However, a further safeguard should have then swung into action The OFT’s debt management guidance states:

    “Any monies held on behalf of consumers must be kept in a client account not usable by the DMC for the purposes of its own business. This includes, in particular, any deposit which under the contract may be returned to the client at any date in the future and any monies received by the company for payment to creditors. Any interest earned on this account should accrue to the benefit of the client, not the company.”

    So, any money they hadn’t distributed (ie the funds they were building) should be safe. There’s an interesting LinkedIn thread (here – http://www.linkedin.com/groupItem?view=&gid=2706160&type=member&item=47465624&qid=760a6d9f-e38e-467a-9b12-b83c2067d9dc&goback=%2Egmp_2706160 – but you’ll need to be a group member ) on this topic with a response from my Insolvency Practitioner colleague Steven Wiseglass. He said:

    “With regard to a clients account, a bank account has to be set up specifically as designated clients account, once this account has been set up and funds in the said account is held on trust for clients. If a liquidator is appointed over a debt management company or any company who operates a designated clients account, i.e. solicitors, letting agents, insolvency practitioners, accountants, etc, a liquidator will not be able to bring these funds into the estate for the general body of creditors which includes the liquidators fees. The only way a liquidator will be able to draw fees from the clients account is with the consent of each client concerned. If the account the client money is paid into is a general trading account then the clients funds are not protected.

    The inherent problem you have with the clients account is that if someone is teeming and lading the funds, this will be very difficult to spot unless at the time of the audit the account is overdrawn. The account being overdrawn is not in the sense that you are in overdraft but with the account having a large amount of unrepresented cheques and that this balance is being used.

    A regular audit is helpful to prevent either teeming and lading or any form of misappropriation of client funds which will hopeful scare the unscrupulous DM company not to dip into the funds.”

    I guess we can’t assume that Apex DCM did do everything by the book. In their letter to creditors,the administrators did make clear they would look into how things had been run. They said:

    “As Administrators, we have a duty to consider the conduct of those who have been directors of the Company at any time during the last three years. We also have a duty to consider whether any civil proceedings should be taken against the directors or others for the recovery of, or contributions to, the Company’s assets.

    If you are aware of any matters in connection with the directors’ conduct which you think may be relevant to my investigations, please advise me in writing. This request forms part of an Administrators’ usual investigation procedures and does not imply any criticism of the directors.”

    That’s really all they can say at this stage. If anyone wanted to email the administrators, the address is apexdcm@hjsrecovery.co.uk .

    Hope that’s helpful – sorry not to be more optimistic.

  20. The Administrators now have a very tough job of reconciling the clients accounts which I am definitely not envious about!

    The reconcilation is likely to be an extremely arduous task that hopefully will result in extrapolating some benefit for the former clients of Apex.

    In my experience it could be quite a while before any clients are likely to receive any money back which was paid to Apex prior to the appointment of Administrators.

    As ClearDebt are helping the former Apex clients hopefully they should be able to resolve any historical issues that they may have with creditors and/or put them in the most suitable debt resolution product, so that any loss which has occurred through Apex wont have any adverse effect.

  21. To everyone who is affected by DCM Apex, as highlighted on one of the above threads, there is a core group of EX DCM clients thats are banding together to get the whole DCM situation investigated by the police.

    It would appear that there are discrepancies in the positions people should be in against where they actually are.

    We are talking to former employees of DCM whom have come to us to advise us where exactly the money that was sent by us to DCM to settle our debts was going.

    We are not only in contract with the police but that also of the media (TV Radio and Various papers)

    We need as many people to come to this forum and let us know of your circumstances so that the authorities can gauge the size of the problem.

    We can also keep you updated on developments as and when they occur

    You can either contact myself or one of the others



    1. hi mike because apex dcm never payed my payments i recieved a ccj and now my life is hell, the amount of time i spent on the phone asking dcm to pay my creditores. money in my account has gone and in who pocket love to know.

  22. Hi Mike,

    I would strongly advise you to contact the administrators too, with any details you gather. They have a duty to investigate directors’ conduct and, frankly, they are the people most likely to be close to having a complete financial picture of what happened at Apex DCM.

    The employees you refer to should also offer their information to the administrators.

    The email to use is: apexdcm@hjsrecovery.co.uk .

    There is an outside possibility that this could help the administrators recover money for the creditors, including ex clients.

    Mind you, money can only be recovered where it exists and, as i understand it, one of the principles is deceased – so both money and justice may be hard to come by, if, indeed, anything was proven.

    Finally, Mike, you could consider posting here on Legal Beagles too:

  23. I was with DCM Apex from early 2003, from spending alot of time away with the forces I have only realised what a total sham this was, I have no idea of how much over the years i have paid, roughly 200 each month and i fear the worst after the stories on here. Does the information show when and how much was paid to dcm? Not at all happy….

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