Parties to this Agreement & Terms of Business
This Debt Management Agreement (DMA) is governed by English Law and is between Debt Support Service Ltd and the Applicant(s).
Term of this Agreement
This agreement is for the estimated Term of the Debt Management Plan (DMP), as set out in the draft Statement of Affairs, and may be revised when more up-to-date information is provided by you or your creditors. This Debt Management Agreement should be read in conjunction with the ‘Important Points to Remember’ shown below and the Statement of Affairs information pack provided.
We will deliver the Debt Management Services that you have requested in respect of the debts you have instructed us to act upon from the date of our appointment until termination of this agreement, subject to us having a signed Client Authority to Act Form.
- There are no pre-contractual fees.
- Our initial 6 monthly costs do not exceed 50% of your disposable income and our ongoing monthly management costs are £40.00 to £45.00 depending on the number of creditors included in the plan.
- We charge 25% of the difference between the actual balance and the negotiated balance for Partial Settlements and 12.5% of the total repayment amount for Full & Final Settlements.
- The estimated Total Costs payable and Total Duration of the DMP under this agreement are as set out in your draft Statement of Affairs.
You will provide us with any necessary information or documentation required to review your financial affairs on or around the anniversary of starting your Debt Management Plan (DMP) or on or around the anniversary of your last review. We are required to take reasonable steps to ensure that you provide information about all of your debts and assets when assessing your income and expenditure within the DMP. We reserve the right to terminate this agreement and close your DMP if you fail to complete the Annual Review when it becomes due.
How We will use Your information
Cooling Off Period and Waiver
You have a right to cancel this Agreement at any time during the first 14 days of the Term. The 14 day Term commences the date of signature. You can do this by contacting us online at www.debtsupportservice.co.uk or in writing to Debt Support Service Ltd, 11A Christie Way, Manchester M21 7QY, or by calling 0161 375 3328, quoting Your Client ID and stating you wish to cancel. We will then refund to you any payments already made to us that are Cleared Funds and that have not been distributed to your Creditors.
You may terminate this agreement at any time by either telephoning us or writing to us. We will give you at least four weeks’ notice in writing with a right of appeal, which should be addressed to our Client Services Manager. If you fail to make two consecutive monthly payments your DMP will be closed immediately without the aforementioned four weeks’ notice. Upon termination of this agreement by either party, within 7 business days, we will notify your Creditors that we are no longer acting for you. At the end of the notice period we will refund all Cleared Funds that have not been disbursed to Creditors from the Client Account. Our duties and obligations under this Agreement will then come to an end. You have the right to request the return of any copy paperwork relating to your account at this stage.
If your termination is as a result of: (i) our failure to conduct negotiations with reasonable care and skill required by Section 13 of the Supply of Goods and Services Act or (ii) a total failure of consideration or (iii) the Total Costs payable differ significantly from the estimated Total Cost shown in the Statement of Affairs, providing no Creditors are added at a later date to cause such a difference; we will review each refund request on merit and if appropriate, process the refund through our complaint policy which can be found at http://www.debtsupportservice.co.uk/contact-us/. Any balance held on file after termination will be returned to you in the first instance if we hold nominated bank details for you. If we do not have your bank details and we are unable to contact you we will pay the balance to the highest debt within 5 days.
Data Protection Statement
Please read this statement carefully as it explains what personal information We obtain about You and how this information is used as defined in Articles 6.1b & 6.1c (Lawfulness of processing) of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679).
(1) Personal Information is gathered directly from You once the first contact is made and also via Your Creditors as authorised by Your Client Authority to Act Form. Further information may also be obtained as a result of managing your Repayment Plan.
(2) We will use your personal information to provide our Services to You, and in particularly to:
(a) prepare and issue to You your Repayment Plan
(b) negotiate with your Creditors on your behalf
(c) keep You informed about your Repayment Programme and our services
(3) We may also use your personal information to contact You to provide You with details of other products and services which We think may be of interest to You, including those offered by selected third parties. We may share personal information with these selected third parties and they may contact You directly to provide You with details of such products and services. You may let us know if You do not want Us to use or disclose your personal information or if you wish to amend the way in which we communicate with you.
(4) The only information that will be disclosed is that required by law, court orders or as requested by other government or law enforcement authority, this includes any company or other entity to whom We may either transfer or subcontract any or all of our obligations to You under this agreement.
(5) Please be aware that We may record and monitor your calls to maintain or improve our Services.
(6) We will retain your data for the duration of your Debt Management Plan, plus an additional 6 years.
(7) You can contact Us at any time by writing to the Data Protection Manager, Debt Support Service Ltd, 11A Christie Way, Manchester M21 7QY for any information You require removing and also if You would like copies of any or all personal information We hold about You.
Enforceability & Variation
If any part of this agreement is found to be invalid or unenforceable, that part shall be deemed severed from Our agreement which will otherwise remain in full force and effect. If at any time, we agree to allow you to breach any part of this agreement it does not mean We have agreed to you doing so on a future occasion. We may vary this Debt Management Agreement & Terms of Business from time to time. We will notify You in writing to give You at least 30 days prior notice of any changes.
Disclosure & Cardholder Consent
If you have opted to make payment via card then you are giving us consent to store the card details for future weekly / monthly payments towards your DMP until completion. The transaction amount is shown within this agreement under ‘Costs’. You will be notified in writing if there are any changes to this consent agreement. Our contact details are Debt Support Service Ltd, 11A Christie Way, Manchester M21 7QY – Tel: 0161 375 3328. This consent should be read in conjunction with our Termination and Refund Policy.
(1) By giving You written notice We may transfer our rights and obligations under this agreement.
(2) All prior Agreements, understandings or arrangements (whether written or oral) will be superseded by this entire Agreement, this includes the provision of any services.
(3) We will offer no liability in relation to any other representation; promise or warranty made for this agreement. Entering into a Debt Management plan will cause you to go into arrears.
(4) Credit files are held by credit reference agencies for 6 years and adverse credit can affect your ability to obtain further credit and could possibly affect the cost of credit on items such as mortgages. Potential employers may also request credit files.
(5) If any event beyond our reasonable control prevents or hinders Us from performing our obligations under this agreement We shall not be deemed to have breached this agreement.
(6) You agree not to incur any further credit (the repayments of which may jeopardise your ability to make your agreed Debt Management plan repayments). In the event that your financial circumstances change (for better or worse) you agree to advise us immediately and contact us for further advice and assistance.
Definition of Terms
“Debt Management Agreement” means the agreement between Us and You made on the Terms of Business.
“Cleared Funds” means any cash or cheques made payable to Us which We have received from You.
“Client Account” means the account where any monies are held on behalf of our clients are kept and which is not used for the for the purpose of our own business.
“Creditors” means all the businesses or people You have told Us You owe money to who are included in your Repayment Plan.
“Initial 6 Monthly Management Costs” means the cost for setting up your plan. Our remuneration structure is shown on your Plan Information Form.
“Financial Statement” means a breakdown of your income and expenditure on a monthly basis.
“Client Authority to Act” means the form provided with these Terms of Business; which We ask You to sign to give Us authority to contact your Creditors and to act on your behalf.
“Ongoing Monthly Management Cost” means the monthly amount payable for our services. This amount is subject to a minimum of £40.00 or a maximum of £45.00 depending on the number of creditors on your plan.
“Monthly Payments” means the total amount, which is paid every month by You to Us throughout the Repayment Plan. This is made up of the Monthly Repayment to be made to your Creditors and our Monthly Management Cost as agreed with You. “Monthly Repayments” means the share of the Monthly Payment to be paid by Us on your behalf to your Creditors.
“Debt Management Plan or Repayment Plan” means the programme of Monthly Payments by which You repay your Creditors through Us including our Fees.
“Services” means the services We agree to provide You with under this Agreement.
“Term” means the period running from the start of this Agreement until we stop providing You with Services. “You” means the applicant(s) entering this agreement.
“Us” and “We” means Debt Support Service Ltd, whose registered address is Debt Support Service Ltd, C/o Sterling Partners LLP, Grove House, Wilmslow Road, Manchester M20 2DR. Company registration number: 06812829 or anyone to whom We transfer our rights and obligations to whilst in this agreement.
“You” and “Your” means the named applicant(s) entering this Debt Management Agreement & Terms of Business.
Important points to remember
Following our appointment as your DMP provider, we will inform your Creditors within ten (10) working days of our appointment.
- We will post your statement-of-affairs within 1 business day of completing your financial review with our debt adviser. This will summarise your income and expenditure, the unsecured creditors you have requested that we act upon and the estimated duration and total costs payable based upon your statement-of-affairs at the time of issue. Please check this thoroughly and sign and return it to us immediately, with any alterations clearly marked, as this forms the basis of the estimated repayments that we will then propose to your unsecured creditors.
- Wherever possible, please quote your Client ID when corresponding with us or your creditors and their appointed debt recovery agents. Please state that you have authorised Debt Support Service to act as your appointed Debt Management Company. Your creditors will have a record of our authority on their files.
- We request current balances from your creditors on the accounts that you have requested we act upon from your statement-of-affairs. We also ask that further interest & charges be stopped. The outcome will depend on your current financial relationship with each creditor but it is our experience that the majority of creditors will observe 30-days breathing space from our initial contact with them, allowing us to set-up and negotiate your Debt Management Plan (DMP).
- We recommend that you stop paying your unsecured creditors that you have requested us to act upon. We will notify your creditors that we are acting on your behalf. We will endeavour to start distributing payments to your creditors within the first 28-days of the commencement date, subject to having cleared funds from you, the credit agreement numbers for the respective debts and a confirmation that the named creditor is still managing the debt.
- Please inform us immediately if either a creditor or their agent attempts to re-negotiate a payment arrangement with you once we are appointed; as this is a breach by them of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) consumer credit sourcebook.
- We will confirm to you, in writing, how much your monthly payment will be and when and how to pay it. In the vast majority of instances, we are successful at freezing interest & charges during the DMP term, but there is no guarantee of reduced payments or freezing of interest & charges being agreed with every creditor. In addition we cannot guarantee that any current legal action or recovery can be suspended or withdrawn.
- You must prioritise payments, such as mortgage/rent, council tax, water rates, utility bills and car finance, including arrears, before any unsecured borrowings such as credit or store cards and personal loans. Allowances are made for these payments in your monthly budget when we calculate your monthly payment to us.
- You must disclose to us the details of any savings, investments or assets you may have or inherit in the future, as some creditors reserve the legal right of set off to clear an outstanding balance.
- Your credit file may show a one (1) month lapse in payments to your creditors which may show as further arrears on your credit file. This is generally because of the timing between acknowledgement of our payment and the creditor monthly submission to the credit reference agencies. This may be especially the case where the debt is placed with a debt recovery agency, who have to notify the creditor of our appointment and payment.
- Your creditors still have the option to use the county court (in Scotland/Northern Ireland the Sherriff Court/Northern Ireland Court Service) system to pursue their claim against you at any time. They may also issue a default notice under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 (as updated in 2006). They may precede this with statutory letters that should not be ignored. There can be costs incurred by the creditor which they are entitled to add to your account, causing the debt value to increase and the repayment period to be extended. Judgment debts and default notices have an adverse effect on your credit rating and this is unlikely to improve until six years have expired or until the majority of your credit agreements have been settled and marked as satisfied on the respective credit reference agencies records.
- Creditors should place a default against each credit account in the DMP and they should place a DMP flag on the your credit file for the duration of the arrangement to record your participation in a DMP. Late or missed payments towards your DMP may have an adverse effect on your credit file.
- Creditors should ensure that your information is removed from their credit-related marketing lists for the duration of the DMP.
- If the creditor chooses to sell a debt that is subject to a DMP, the debt-buyer is generally obliged to honour the existing plan for as long as it operates in accordance with the negotiated terms. It is essential that you inform us if you are notified of a debt assignment.
- Any monies paid to us will be paid into a Client Account. We will notify your creditors if you make any partial payments such as weekly or fortnightly instalments. We will disburse funds to your creditors in sufficient time to ensure that payment is made by the agreed date, subject to the full monthly payment amount being available as cleared funds in accordance with the Financial Conduct Authority consumer credit sourcebook. All creditors and their agents are obliged to accept our payments.
- You have consented for us to deduct any Monthly Payments, arrears or other notified contractual costs which may fall due, from the Client Account or via your current or previous payment method. If you have selected Debit Card as your current or previous payment method, then you may not raise any charge backs with your card issuer if we have distributed the Monthly Repayment to your creditors.
- You may choose to pay a monthly sum greater than the agreed monthly payment, for us to pay Priority Creditors on your behalf in accordance with any payment arrangements we have agreed with you. We will notify you if a surplus accumulates in the Client Account. If there is a shortfall then we will notify you who will be paid as a matter of priority. Any monies paid into the Client Account in respect of your agreement that is deemed to be a mixed remittance (i.e. not client money), will be reconciled within one business day.
- It is your right to communicate with your creditors at any time but we recommend that you keep calls short, polite and always advise the creditor or their agent of our appointment, quoting your Client ID. Please forward any postal communication you receive from creditors, their debt collectors or their legal agents to us as soon as possible. We will hold this on your case record.
- Reviews are conducted by us no less frequently than annually, based upon the anniversary of you starting your DMP or the last review date. Your creditors may periodically request reviews. If reviews are delayed or missed the creditors can terminate any payment arrangements that we may have negotiated.
- It is important that you do not ignore communication from your creditors and that you respond promptly to any request for signed documentation or additional information. Any delay in response may affect the outcome of our negotiations with your creditors.
Dealing With Debt – 5 Things You Should Know
- There are sources of free debt advice and services. You can find out more by contacting the Money Advice Service at:https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/where-to-go-to-get-free-debt-advice; or
0800 138 7777 (8.00am-8:00pm Monday to Friday, 9:00am-1:00pm on Saturday).
- You should have been advised on all the options for dealing with your debt [e.g. bankruptcy, debt relief order (DRO), individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) in England & Wales). The advantages and disadvantages of each were discussed with you to enable you to make an informed choice.
- You know the estimated total cost to you of the DMP and the time it will take for your debts to be repaid under the DMP. Any money you pay to us to cover our fees will not be used to repay your debts. You have the right to a Cooling Off Period as set out in the Agreement.
- We have been through a full and accurate budgeting process with you. This is vital to make sure that the payments you are asked to make are affordable for yourself and fair to your creditors.
- If you are not happy with the service you receive, you can complain. You should refer such complaints to us in the first instance to give us a chance to put things right in accordance with our complaint policy. The complaint policy is shown on this website. If you are still not happy with the outcome, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). FOS is an independent service who will look into your complaint and can award you compensation if they decide in your favour. Web site: www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.