‘Debt Sale Scams Beware’ Warns Office of Fair Trading

Written by PayPlan on 30 June 2009

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is warning consumers not to be taken in by businesses claiming to help them become debt free by ‘buying’ or ‘selling on’ their debts.

Consumer Liable Even If Debt Is ‘Sold’

Online advertising has seen a significant rise of certain kinds of adverts from various debt and credit companies that claim to ‘buy’ consumers’ credit agreements and ‘write-off their debts’. This is nothing more than a very misleading technique which has been labelled as a ‘scam’ by the OFT. Some adverts claim that in return for a small percentage cost (usually as an upfront fee) they will purchase unsecured debts from consumers and take over the liability for the debts, leaving the consumer ‘debt free’ – a remarkable claim.

Too Good To Be True

These claims are quite clearly too good to be true, but unfortunately, they are very appealing to the many vulnerable people with serious debt problems who are desperate to find a quick way out. This is made even more concerning given the current economic climate and the current worldwide recession in which working families who have previously serviced their debts adequately have run into financial problems due to a loss of income.

Debt Scam Warning

Consumers are warned by the OFT that regardless of what these ads may state, ‘selling’ a debt to a third party does not make a borrower exempt of their financial obligation to a lender – and the terms of their credit agreement will still stand. Essentially this means that the borrower will be legally pursued for any outstanding debt by their creditors.

Sources & Further Reading

Follow these links for further comment on the ‘Debt Sale’ scam: Office of Fair Trading (OFT); The Independent – Debt ‘Transfer Scam’

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This article was checked and deemed to be correct as at the above publication date, but please be aware that some things may have changed between then and now. So please don't rely on any of this information as a statement of fact, especially if the article was published some time ago.

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