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Debt line any advice please?

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tcc65 | 21:58 Thu 20th Nov 2008 | Personal Finance
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My youngest brother has just owned up to having debt problems and now seems in a worse mess than he was in the beginning. He has a credit card and several store cards that he owes money to approx �3000 in total. He lost his job and missed payments so he signed up with debtline ( If I had known I would have strongly advised against this) He payed �150.00 sign up fee to them to sort things out for him, they promised to liaise with the companies, freeze his interest they tld him they would take care of it all. They agreed a payment of �150,00 per month direct debit so far he has paid them �600.00 and his debt has only gone down by �6.00 his credit cards are charging him late payment fees every month and the interest has not been frozen some are now threatening him with court action. He spoke to debt line tonight who no surprsie have blamed the credit card company but it looks from his statements that debt line are not paying the payments in time therefore the company are charging late payment fees and everytime they send him a letter to say his payment is late they are charging for that too. Debt line are due to take another payment from his bank next week and I think he should seriously think of canceling the direct debit and dealing directly with the companies he owes money to. One of the people at one of his credi card companies told him last week that he was being ripped off by debt line and they would have arranged a deal with him if he had explained his problems to them. So what does he do should he cancel the direct debit ,I have offered to write to the companies for him explaining what has hapened. Although he is 19 he is very young for his age excuse I know but he is now in such a mess. What about debt line has anyone any good advice, is there anyway he can get any of his money back they have not paid �600 to the companies as they should have done. Any suggestions on what to out in the letters I am writing? Many thanks


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I don't know which company you mean by debtline, but they are obviously a fee charging so-called debt management outfit - & if your brother's experience is anything to go by - pretty inefficient.

If he has a written contract with them it ought to include information on how the arrangement is to be cancelled. However, it seems as if they are likely to have breached the contract themselves if they have not been passing on the correct money at the right time, so he should be able to simply cancel his direct debit to them. There certainly seems to be no point going on throwing good money after bad!

He needs some proper free independent advice - could contact CCCS or his local CAB. Some CABs have debt advice information on their websites, including suggested wording for letters and how to prepare a financial statement to send to creditors with the letters.
Very sorry to hear that. I really wont be able to give any legal advise.Apart from that I would think it fit to learn a lesson from this incident.Such scams are rampant and the only prevention is knowing all about them before trusting them. A major change in the lifestyle may also be needed till the debt is cleared.
All the best.

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