June was a busy month for debt news but one story dominated everything else, and that was the probe into payday lending.
Also in the news, a TV call centre fell foul of the law and a debt collection agency also on TV had its license revoked. We’ve put all the stories right here so you can keep up to date and know your rights.
StepChange Debt Charity talks payday loans
Payday loans hit the headlines again at the end of the month when the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) chief executive cited StepChange Debt Charity as an organisation the OFT was working with to address the issue of problem payday lending.
The OFT made the decision to refer the payday industry to the Competition Commission amid evidence of deep-rooted problems in the sector. Our payday loan figures were included in Financial Times, Evening Standard, Express, Times, ITV and on many television and radio reports.
To support the campaign to regulate the payday loan industry we released figures and infographic that highlighted the five cities where the growth in payday loan debt has been highest. Is where you live mentioned in the infographic? We also wrote an article looking at the 7 key payday loans concerns we think need to be addressed.
Cancelling a continuous payment authority
In June the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) reminded banks that they must cancel continuous payment authorities (CPAs) when a customer requests it.
CPAs are recurring payments taken from a debit card. They’re sometimes used for gym memberships and the like, but more commonly they’re required when taking out a payday loan. In the past CPAs have been difficult to cancel but now the FCA are trying to ensure that banks cancel them, and stick by their word.
If you have a payday loan and can’t pay it, you can find out more about how to cancel a CPA.
Repo Man has licenced repossessed
A debt collection company last seen on the Channel 4 series ‘The Repo Man’ has had its license revoked by the OFT.
Donegal Finance made claims on its website that it had a tough approach to collecting debt. However a spokesman for the OFT said, “Our decision demonstrates that we will not hesitate to use our new power to suspend a licence when it is urgently necessary to protect consumers from risk of immediate harm.”
If you’re worried about debt collectors or bailiffs (or you don’t know the difference) watch our new video on the differences between debt collectors and bailiffs.
The ‘comedy’ call centre falls foul of the law
Also hitting the headlines was the new BBC reality show ‘The Call Centre’, set in a real-life Welsh call centre. While the show may have been a hit with viewers the real life firm behind it have fallen foul of the law.
Nationwide Energy Services and We Claim U Gain, part of Swansea-based Save Britain Money Ltd, were responsible for more than 2,700 complaints for making nuisance calls, some of these to do with reclaiming mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI). If you’re a regular reader of MoneyAware you’ll know that you can reclaim mis-sold PPI for free.
That’s all for this month, keep an eye out for next month’s debt news as the pressure on the payday loan industry is set to build.