Debt Help and Advice Ltd ceases trading

posted by in Budgeting, Debt news

Debt help and advice ceases trading

A screenshot of the Debt Help and Advice ltd website on 21 May 2014

UPDATE 28 May 2014: Debt Help & Advice Ltd. have been placed into administration. Instructions on how to get in touch with the administrators can be found on the FCA website.

Debt management firm Debt Help and Advice Limited ceased trading on 20 May 2014 leaving their customers wondering what will happen next. The company provided fee-charging debt solutions and it is currently unclear if their clients stand to lose any money from the company’s closure.

According to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) around 3,000 and 3,500 customers have a debt management plan (DMP) with them or their affiliated companies, Primary Business Solutions Ltd and First Step Finance Ltd. Debts that were previously managed by the company will still need to be paid, but as Debt Help and Advice Ltd. is no longer operating it’s important to stop making payments to them as the money will not reach creditors.

Debt Help and Advice Limited used a number of different trading names. No money should be paid to the following companies:

  • Atria Finance
  • Sales Help and Advice
  • Debt Help and Advice
  • Mortgagehelpandadvice
  • Debt Help & Advice
  • DH and A
  • DH & A

“A confusing and distressing time”

StepChange Debt Charity chief executive, Mike O’Connor said: “This is an confusing and distressing time for these companies’ clients. Thousands of people who thought that they were dealing with their debts have now been left in limbo. We urge any clients of these firms to contact StepChange Debt Charity, our advisers are aware of the situation and are on standby to offer free and independent advice to anyone who needs it.”

I’m a Debt Help and Advice Limited customer, what should I do?

It’s important to take immediate advice regarding your debts.The Financial Conduct Authority recommends that Debt Help and Advice Ltd. customers come to us here at StepChange Debt Charity. The first step is to use our online Debt Remedy advice tool or phone us on 0800 138 1111 (Free from all landlines and mobiles).

What about the money I’ve already paid to Debt Help and Advice Limited?

It’s hard to say at the moment. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is involved and they’re the best people to talk with about what will happen next. If you’ve got questions you can contact the FCA’s consumer helpline on 0800 111 6768 (Freephone) or 0300 500 8082 (charged at a local rate for mobile phone users), and press ‘2’.

Paul Stanley and Jason Greenhalgh of Begbies Traynor have been appointed as joint administrators and have set up a website to keep customers updated. The login details, which are case sensitive, are as follows:


Username: FI111ADM
Password: jZ7uBJvM

The FCA is also attempting to track down creditors that are expecting to receive payments from Debt Help and Advice Limited to let them know the situation and will encourage them to take a sympathetic view of repayments while the situation is clarified.

Can I switch my DMP over to StepChange Debt Charity?

If a DMP is your best option then we’ll be happy to provide one for you that’s completely free of charge. Firstly we’ll want to make sure that it’s definitely your best option. We pride ourselves on giving reliable advice and wouldn’t want to set people up on a payment plan that wasn’t right for their situation.

If another solution suits you better, such as bankruptcy, an IVA or a DRO, then we’ve got specialist advisors who can guide you through your chosen solution and help you with your debt-free journey.

Is a free debt management plan as good as a paid one?

Yes. Free DMPs do just the same thing as fee-based DMPs but because you’re not having fees deducted from your payments you’ll see more money being paid to your creditors. This means you’ll be able to get out of debt quicker.

How can I get advice from StepChange Debt Charity?

We try to make it easy as possible to get debt advice from us. You can either phone our helpline (free, even from mobiles), or you can use our online Debt Remedy tool. Either way we’ll be able to recommend a solution for you and guide you through the process of getting it set up.

Please note: we’re pre-moderating comments on this article as there’s an ongoing investigation and that anything unproven or libellous will be taken down.

James Winterbottom has been a debt advisor for six years. Away from work he is an amateur app developer and writes fiction. James is a lifelong supporter of Huddersfield Town football club, which suggests he is either very loyal or very daft. He also likes to talk about himself in the third person in bio pages.

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  • Chris

    It will be put into another pot and any monies that were left in the company, (around £4,000 i believe) will be divided proportionally – I gather that there is about £22,000 that went in after the Administrators took over!!! – I would like to know about what happened to monies paid in between then ceasing trading 20th and Administration on 29th!!!!

  • Anne Climie

    ive just emailed gmp on my fraud claim ,got an auto response there is a back log off fraud claims they are working on them ,hey wait for it i wont be back in work till the first of october,what a joke no wonder theres a backlog

  • Chris

    Has anyone heard anything from Begbies regarding payments that were made to FSF AFTER they ceased trading???

  • Laura

    Anyone heard anything?

  • sarah

    Not heard anything from begbies about post administration refund has anybody else got any ideas as to what is happening ??

    • Laura

      No and getting very annoyed

      • sarah

        I emailed begbies traynor about a week ago to query the post administration refund this is the reply I got today

        We have now received directions from the court regarding these funds and are undertaking an exercise to identify the payees from the company’s bank statements. Once this has been completed we will be contacting clients to return a portion of these payments from funds available.

        So my understanding is that there is also a shortfall of the money paid in after they ceased trading so we wont even be getting a full refund of that money either. My question now is what has happened to all that money if the company was no longer operating ??

      • Laura

        Thankyou, well all we can do is have faith that they treat us all fair. What has happened was wrong and the people should be punished accordingly !!

  • Anne Climie

    not heard a word from them or greater manchester police,but i did read the fca ,have shut down another 3 debt companys and froze there bank accounts,pity they didnt do it to first step finance and aka every thing else under them we might not have lost all our money .

  • Chris

    I am really surprised that this hasn’t been news on the TV and papers. They have stolen £7.5million…and this isn’t news??? I even notified the Manchester Evening News Newsline and nothing !!!!!

  • Anne Climie

    ive just had a letter from greater manchester police,what it amounts too,we have established that dedt help and advice is currently in administration ,should the administratorsfind any offences of criminality,they are duty bound to report ,them,so my investigation against them will be no further action ,so basically u can do what u like with everbody else money and tell lies about it .

  • Chris

    Has anyone recieved back their payment that was made AFTER the administrators went in???

    • sarah

      I received an email from begbies traynor after I queried the refund and they are in the process of sorting out payments apparently .

  • Laura

    I agree with you andy , I had £5,000 in my pot and lost the lot. I want some money back and I want to see someone care enough for all there clients and do something about it. Its always me chasing things up nobody gets in contact with me. Its wrong .

    • Don

      I still waiting for update on my £5000, am sick to the stomach with this company.

      [Message moderated to fit with our commenting policy. More here:

      • Laura

        I know I’m stressing about it
        Like mad.