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The Credit Services Association (CSA)
Important information for debt management customers of Debt Help & Advice Ltd, First Step Finance Ltd or Primary Business Solutions Ltd
Important information for debt management customers of Debt Help & Advice Ltd, First Step Finance Ltd or Primary Business Solutions Ltd.
People who have a debt management plan with Debt Help & Advice Ltd should cease making payments to the company immediately, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned.
Consumers should do the same if they have debt management plans with Primary Business Solutions Ltd and First Step Finance Ltd, who are affiliated to Debt Help & Advice Ltd. All three firms are based in Stockport.
On Tuesday (20 May) evening Debt Help & Advice Ltd announced that it had ceased trading. It is believed that between 3,000 and 3,500 customers have a plan with it or its affiliated firms. While valid debts will still need to be paid, as Debt Help & Advice Ltd is no longer operating consumers should not continue making payments to them as they will not reach their creditors.
Debt Help & Advice Ltd also uses a number of trading names, so no money should be paid to the following:
• Atria Finance
• Sales Help and Advice
• Debt Help and Advice
• Debt Help & Advice
• DH and A
• DH & A
The FCA is working hard to ensure that consumers are appropriately protected and will give further updates, via its website, Twitter or further press statements, as and when they become available.
In the meantime customers who have questions can contact the FCA’s consumer helpline on 0800 111 6768 (Freephone) or 0300 500 8082 (charged at a local rate for mobile phone users), and press ‘2’.
The FCA has contacted the Money Advice Service, StepChange and Citizens Advice to make them aware of the issue. Step Change and Citizens Advice offer free debt advice and are happy to take calls from affected customers who would like to discuss their options. Their contact details are:
The Money Advice Service does not provide debt advice but does provide free and impartial information that can help people get on top of their debts: www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/debt
The FCA is also attempting to track down the creditors of these customers to let them know the situation and will encourage them to take a sympathetic view of repayments while the situation is clarified.