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Debt collectors hit out at advice websites

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Debt collectors are planning ways to hit back against online consumer forums allowing people to share advice about dealing with debt problems and taking on financial institutions. The Credit Services Association (CSA), the main trade body for debt collectors, has held workshops for its members to explore ways of "combating" organisations such as the Consumer Action Group (CAG), a forum with almost 250,000 members. A CSA PowerPoint presentation, seen by the Guardian, claims such sites are guilty of "encouraging" people to evade debts, provide "breeding grounds for misinformation" and "insult" banks and debt collectors.

 

A section of the presentation entitled "What do they actually do?" said online forums "celebrate 'victories' against creditors, set up tallies of how much has been refunded in bank charges [and] provide standard template letters". It outlined some of the most common claims made and said it had provided the Ministry of Justice with evidence of bad practice as well as suggesting possible amendments to primary legislation with the consumer affairs minister. It added that it had "discussed consumer forums and CMCs [claims management companies] with the OFT".

 

More:

 

Debt collectors hit out at advice websites | Money | guardian.co.uk

 

 

The Presentation by the CSA is here:

 

http://www.csa-uk.com/media/editor/file/Consumer%20Websites.pdf

 

 

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