Roger Seed has worked in debt resolution since 2005, mainly at the front end advising those making a new enquiry as to the most appropriate solution to their financial problems. Here he gives us an insight into his experience and how his role has changed as has recently moved to supporting our debt management clients after they have come on board with us.

Roger Writes….

“People now expect much more and we need to ensure that we meet our client’s expectations.”

My recent change of role has opened my eyes to the service clients now receive on debt management. It is no longer just a 3rd party sending offers of payment to creditors. People now expect much more & we need to ensure that we meet our client’s expectations. Clients are now helped in so many other ways.

Bank accounts

Often it is a shock to clients that they need to consider changing their bank due to debts with that bank (see why is this). Harrington Brooks are now working closely with Secure Trust Bank to help clients open a bank account over the phone, no credit checks needed. In these times of austerity this is becoming a very popular option. Some quotes from customers:

  • ‘I would describe secure trust bank as a bank you can trust’
  • ‘up front & no hidden surprises’
  • ‘a bank where you are valued, not just a number’
  • ‘mainly the security coming from complete control over ones money, is not a high price at all. I think we got the best deal here’
Benefit And Entitlement Checking
Clients for whom we identify a gap in their entitlement on average gain an extra £900 per year.

Benefit Checking

Many people who receive benefits don’t question the amount or type of benefit. Harrington Brooks are now working with a UK social enterprise called ‘Income Max Community Interest Company’. They aim to make sure the client is receiving all the help they are entitled too.

Quote from their latest blog:

The personalised advice that IncomeMAX provide can make a massive difference to a customer’s income and expenditure, which in turn can have an impact on their ability to pay their bills. IncomeMAX currently work across a range of sectors, including financial services, utilities and debt management and we’re leading the way in developing new, innovative ways of supporting customers with their finances

In a recent example a client was given contact numbers to speak to the relevant departments about her benefits & the advisor even offered to do a conference call with her. Other benefits were also discussed that the client hadn’t looked into, such as warm home discount, free school meals & details of a trust fund set up to offer financial assistance to help with arrears on the water bill.

Utility Comparison and Switching

We are all used to seeing the adverts for price comparison for insurance but not many people have considered looking at their utility bills in the same way. By teaming up with ‘Uswitch’ who are a free, impartial comparison & switching service, we can help clients save money on their gas & electric bills. This week we saved a client £290.29 per annum & the biggest saving this month has been a whopping £544 per year.

Mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance

It’s all over the TV, radio & press about the miss-selling of PPI. For anyone that hasn’t already looked into it Harrington Brooks are working with a financial claims company. Claims can run into thousands of pounds. Whether the creditor pays out the money to the client directly or pays off some of the clients debt it is all helping.

Life Insurance

A lot of clients on debt management have either cancelled life insurance policies or not taken out a policy for financial reasons. Harrington Brooks can help clients find a suitable policy. The premium is then incorporated into the debt management payment. This way is doesn’t cost the client any extra.

Customer Service

All these services and extras are great but mean nothing if the client is receiving poor customer service. Harrington Brooks are keen to be as transparent & honest as possible. In the beginning the client is made aware of what to expect from the creditors and  Harrington Brooks. The client is then contacted on a regular basis in the first two months to keep them updated and to deal with any issues.

So, as we can see, the debt management plan is no longer just a 3rd party dealing with the creditors’ letters & phone calls. It is now a complete financial workout and a great service for the client.