The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has obtained a compulsory court order for the winding up of Total Debt Relief Ltd (TDR) on public interest grounds. This follows earlier action by the FCA to obtain an urgent High Court Order appointing a Provisional Liquidator in respect of the firm, to protect its customers’ money.
As of 31 October 2018 TDR is in liquidation. Stephen Hunt of Griffins Insolvency Practitioners LLP (Griffins) has now been appointed as liquidator and will take steps to secure customers’ money, with a view to returning the maximum possible funds to the firm’s clients, and realise the firm’s assets for the benefit of its creditors.
The FCA had concerns over how the debt management company was handling the money of its customers. The FCA has therefore taken various steps to protect the interests of TDR’s clients, including launching an investigation into the activities of the firm.
The FCA has written to all affected TDR customers to advise them of the free help and advice that is available to them through the Money Advice Service (MAS) and will continue to work closely with the firm to ensure that customers are treated fairly.
TDR is a debt management company which operates a full and final settlement model.
This typically sees the customer make payments to the debt management firm which, in turn, makes a minimum or nominal payment to the creditor. The remaining balance of the payment from the customer less fees is held by the debt management firm to create an accumulated fund over time which is then used in negotiations with creditors.
Who to contact
For queries relating to the firm
Customers should contact the liquidator if they believe TDR is holding money on their behalf, or for any updates on the liquidation process. The liquidator will gather as much information as possible from creditors and clients of the firm about payments made to, or owed by, the firm. Customers of TDR who believe that they are owed money by the firm could contact [email protected] as soon as possible.
The liquidator will ask customers to provide information such as:
- their client reference number
- a copy of the signed agreement initially entered into with TDR
- their full name
- their address and contact details
- a brief summary of their claim
- copies of any documents that support the claim
In the period 12 September - 31 October 2018, Stephen Hunt of Griffins acted as provisional liquidator for TDR. Customers who contacted Griffins at that time to register a claim and provided the information listed above do not need to do so again.
Customers can contact our Consumer Helpline for further information.
Should you have any concerns with TDR’s conduct, then please submit a report to: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report-a-fraud-including-online-crime
For advice on outstanding debts
We encourage customers who have set up a direct debit with TDR, or who pay TDR by standing order, to contact their banks to cancel the arrangements.
Customers who need advice on outstanding debts can contact the Money Advice Service. The Money Advice Service is a free and impartial service set up by government. You can contact them online at www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/debt-management or by phone on 0800 138 7777. Calls cost no more than a standard UK-wide number. The Money Advice Service will be able to discuss your situation with you for free and could help you to set up a similar arrangement to manage your debts.
What we are doing
We have written to all affected TDR customers to advise them of the free help and advice that is available to them.
Ensuring the debt management sector works well is a business plan priority and we are part way through our second thematic review of the debt management sector the findings of which will be published in March 2019. See further information regarding this review.
We refuse to authorise firms that do not demonstrate that they meet our minimum standards or follow our principles, particularly in relation to treating customers fairly. As part of this work, we are engaging with debt management firms, trade bodies, banks and creditor organisations to ensure that customers who are affected by firms leaving the debt management market are treated fairly.
Find out more about how we are working to protect consumers in this market.
We took over regulation of consumer credit, which includes debt management firms, on 1 April 2014.
Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) compensation is not available to customers of consumer credit firms with interim permission.