Claims Firms' Lawless Life; Money-Back Guarantee Is Not Covered by Watchdog

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Byline: by Tony Hetherington THE READERS' CHAMPION

P. S. writes: I am a client of Credit Compensation GB Limited, which is pursuing claims on my behalf relating to mis-sold mortgages. I originally paid [pounds sterling]6,000 in fees to Individual Credit Solutions Limited, which also used the name Unfair Credit Direct. It became insolvent and Credit Compensation GB took over its customers. My concern is that Individual Credit Solutions offered a money-back guarantee. I have been told verbally that the conditions remain the same, but I have not seen the terms and conditions of Credit Compensation GB, even though I have enquired about the guarantee.

THE claims management industry is rapidly getting a reputation as the biggest legal scam operating in Britain. Individual Credit Solutions advertised that borrowers could avoid repaying unsecured loans and credit card debts. It trumpeted: 'Do you know that through brand new legislation 70 per cent of credit agreements may be unenforceable?' But when the Advertising Standards Authority investigated in May last year, the company could not back this up and tried to wriggle out of trouble by saying it only claimed 70 per cent of contracts 'may' be unenforceable, meaning the figure might not be correct. It could be half a per cent. Not surprisingly, the ASA banned the advertisement. Individual Credit Solutions collapsed in October, owing an estimated [pounds sterling]100,000 in tax that it deducted from employees' wages but failed to pay Revenue & Customs. Surprisingly, company records make no mention of a single penny owed to customers for fees paid upfront. Perhaps this is because bosses reckoned they had transferred the work and the refund guarantees to Credit Compensation GB.

Individual Credit Solutions was based at the Aire Valley Business Centre in Keighley, West Yorkshire, and its bosses were Elaine Marshall, a housewife, Richard Bennewitz, an electrician, and Stephen Hume, a builder. Now guess what? Credit Compensation GB is also based at the Aire Valley Business Centre and it has exactly the same bosses. …