The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in March 2012 published Debt Management (and Credit Repair Services) Guidance OFT366rev in which it addressed the responsibilities of creditors when dealing with third parties such as Debt Management Companies (DMCs) acting on a client’s or debtor’s behalf. This is some of what the OFT had to say in this publication:
3.48 ……. Creditors should not refuse to deal with a debt management business or third party (acting on the client’s behalf) unless the debt management business or third party failed to comply with the relevant consumer protection legislation and/or have appropriate regard to this guidance. Under such circumstances the creditor should be able to satisfy the OFT that it has an objectively justifiable basis for refusing to deal with the other party if asked to do so. Creditors who provide advice to customers should have regard to the spirit of this guidance.
3.49 Examples of potentially unfair or improper business practices include:
The OFT’s guidance document also sets out the standards expected in relation to the handling of complaints.
3.50 Licensees are expected to respond to queries and complaints promptly, appropriately and fairly, and explain any undue delays to consumers.
3.51 The Financial Ombudsman Service’s remit covers the consumer credit activities of all businesses holding a standard consumer credit licence and it has published rules on its website that set out in detail the procedures and requirements that licensees must follow when handling complaints from consumers. These rules apply to all businesses that are regulated by the FSA or the OFT.
3.52 Examples of unfair or improper business practices include:
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