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Complaining to a debt management company about an IVA

If you've got a problem with a debt management company, you can make a complaint.

This page explains how you can complain about a debt management company and what to do if you're not happy with the response.

Complain to the insolvency practitioner first

If you have an IVA and you are not happy with it, you should first complain to your insolvency practitioner. They are responsible for making sure the IVA is suitable for you and for managing it in the right way.

Complaining to the debt management company

If you were advised to get an IVA by a debt management company and you feel they wrongly advised you or mis-led you, you could also complain to them.

Debt management companies must follow the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules and guidance on debt collection. This means debt management companies are expected to give you the best advice that's appropriate to you and your financial circumstances. The FCA rules and guidane are available in the Consumer Credit Sourcebook (CONC) at www.fca.org.uk. If they didn't follow it, you should make a complaint.

All debt management companies must also be FCA authorised and a condition of that authorisation is that they must respond to all complaints promptly and fairly. This means you should receive a response which explains what they're going to do about your complaint within a reasonable time.

If the company has a complaints procedure, follow it. It's best to put your complaint in writing and keep a copy in case you need it later.

If you're unhappy with the response

If you're unhappy with the debt management company's response to your complaint, you can make a formal complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). The FOS has official powers to sort out complaints between customers and financial services providers. This includes debt management companies.

Remember that the FOS will only look at your complaint if you've already given your debt management company the chance to sort things out. You should only contact the FOS if you haven't been able to reach an agreement with your debt management company.

You can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service helpline on 0300 123 9 123 or visit the website at: www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.

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