An Independent Review Of The Fee-Charging Debt Management Industry

Collard, Sharon (2009). An Independent Review Of The Fee-Charging Debt Management Industry. Money Advice Trust, Birmingham.



A debt management plan (DMP) provides a means for people to repay their consumer credit debts in full. An affordable payment is calculated, based on an assessment of an individual's inclome and expenditure. The person in debt makes one monthly payment to a debt management provider, which is then distributed between their creditors on a pro rata basis, either electronically or by cheque. DMPs are provided by fee-charging debt management companies, which generally charge their customers a set-up fee and an ongoing monthly management fee. They are aslo provided by the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) and Payplan, which are funded primarily by the credit industry and offer DMPs free of charge to people in debt.

Almost ten years since the first independent research into fee-charging debt advice and management, the Money Advice Trust commissioned this review to provide an update on the fee-charging debt management industry in the UK. The review included a telephone survey of 53 fee-charging debt management companies, telephone depth interviews with 10 credit industry representatives, and face-to-face depth interviews with 30 customers of fee-charging debt management companies who, between them, had experience of fourteen different fee-charging debt management companies.

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