IVA factories face tougher regulation over ads

Three IVA providers; Begbies Traynor business W3 Debt Solutions, Money Debt
& Credit and Accuma were told to either alter or stop altogether adverts
that exaggerated the benefits for individuals entering into IVAs by the
Advertising Standards Authority.

But under the IVA industry’s new regulatory arm, run by the Insolvency
Practitioners’ Association (IPA), the firms could have faced bigger penalties:
‘Where people step out of line there will be serious action,’ said IPA chief
executive Nick Sabin. ‘They could be thrown out or fined.’

The IPA runs the arm on behalf of the new IVA body, the Debt Resolution Forum
(DRF). No action is being taken by the forum’s regulators as the adverts were
run before the firms joined in November 2006.

Money Debt & Credit managing director Jon Bartman said regulation would
help people feel more comfortable about the IVA industry. The British Bankers’
Association gave its seal of approval to the increased efforts of the IVA

‘I am delighted positive steps are being taken to ensure that IVAs are
promoted responsibly,’ said BBA chief executive Angela Knight.

An IVA factory not currently part of the forum –
Debt Free Direct (DFD) – will
soon receive the findings of an audit report undertaken by an independent firm,
for the benefit of its creditor clients. DFD will not consider joining the forum
until the body finds its feet.

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