The Debt Counsellors Charitable Trust is a new telephone based debt advice service open to anyone living in England and Wales. Our services are free, confidential, impartial and independent. For more information visit our homepage.
We welcome the opportunity to respond to this consultation. We very much support the draft pre-action protocol for debt claims as we believe it will assist our clients, (and advisers), by requiring creditors to provide full documentation before instigating court claims.
We believe that the protocol will be especially useful in cases brought by debt purchase companies, where often a debt has been sold on several times since the debtor took out the original loan etc. It will also greatly assist in cases where the client is not actually liable for the debt.
In our view the protocol should help speed up the court process by reducing the number of postponed hearings as clients will have had full information at an earlier stage in proceedings. It will also assist in establishing liability for debts at an earlier stage.
In short we believe that the protocol will fulfil its general aims as set out in the consultation paper.
Our greatest concern with the consultation paper lies in Annex 2. We believe that the list of independent advice organisations is too restrictive and would suggest that it is replaced by the form used by Financial Conduct Authority regulated firms when writing to customers in arrears.
Obviously, advice NI and Money Advice Scotland would not be required for leaflets used in County Courts throughout England and Wales.
We hope that this response is of assistance but please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any further information.