Saturday, November 25, 2006

Bankruptcy - shark infested waters

Miserable subject for a saturday night but its blogging or X factor and I definitely aint watching that crap.

Our practice is moving into the insolvency field and I am leading a team putting our marketing strategy together.

Our marketing initiatives are predominantly online (we are very good at securing free traffic) and so that is where our research has focused.

Our products relate to straightforward bankruptcy cases and the odd IVA (Individual voluntary arrangements)

Bankruptcy is a simple procedure - once a client gets their head round the concept and the stigma, the benefits can be enormous to someone heavily in debt. In the UK we treat bankruptcy as the ultimate sign of failure whereas in the US its is seen as a sesnible measure allowing someone to start afresh. In typical UK style we dont give people much sympathy and like to kick when someone is down.

Whilst delving into this murky new world I was gobsmacked at the lack of regulation in the "Debt" industry generally. Somehow you think that this area has to be controlled because its focused on peoples livlihoods and their future is at stake. If you need to be regulated to buy a life policy you may never need - surely you would expect regulation for big money consolidation loans, voluntary arrangements etc. Not a bit of it!

There are some real shady bastards out there charging the earth to people who could and should be opting for a safer, cheaper route.

If you are struggling with debt (and Im talking real debt not failure to pay a debenhams card) - the best advice is to see an insolvency solicitor. It doesnt mean you become bankrupt overnight but it might just save your bacon by giving you the best advice possible at the right time.

The majority of the firms out there are sharks - plain and simple. They will kick you when you are down, they will shaft you from behind and they will absolutely not let go until they have finished you off. Dont let them bleed you dry - get the best advice you can.

No links, no publicity for our new initiative, no blurb - just good advice. Stay away from the sharks.


Contact said...

Very good advice, but it is worth noting that there are some extremely good 'free to the user' debt advice organisations, who will even manage (relatively uncomplicated)personal bankruptcies or IVAs. Of course, they are very, very busy, but I refer clients to one which has been excellent.

If the client being asked for fees that aren't clear, or maybe ongoing, they should run a mile. Serious sharks are out there, as you say.

legalspy said...

Thanks for your feedback nearlylegal

The more I get into the insolvency game the more I despair. Feel a bit like Robin Hood - steering "good ordinary folk" away from the Sherrifs men.

That said we dont work for free but I would like to think that solicitors are likely to do job the right way.