Refresh Debt Services Limited – Business Terms and Conditions
These Terms and Conditions set out to “You” (the consumer) Your obligations, if You decide to instruct “Us” (Refresh Debt Services Limited) to assist with your financial difficulties. It is important that you read it carefully and that you are satisfied that you understand the terms that apply before signing. If you are happy with the contents and wish to proceed, you should sign the Authority to Act section and return it to our office along with the other documents required. Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
If any of these Terms and Conditions are unclear, please telephone Us on 02841 752 062. Calls to this number are charged at the standard rate when calling from a landline. If calling from a mobile number this will cost You more.f
Alternatively, please write to Us or email Us with Your specific questions to email@example.com
If You receive advice from Us regarding the potential for You to consider a particular form of debt relief solution will inform You what additional obligations will be placed on You and Us at the relevant time.
These Terms and Conditions are not intended to be exhaustive, insofar as they will not cover every point applicable to Your case, on the basis that every case is different. In addition to these Terms and Conditions, You will also receive communication from Us which will set out in detail the issues relevant to Your particular circumstances.
These Business Terms and Conditions are governed by Northern Irish law, written in English language and English will be the contractual language in which We will communicate through our agreement.
2. Our Regulatory Position
We are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You can access the website of the FCA at -www.fca.org.uk
Refresh Debt Services Ltd provides various forms of debt advice to consumers in the UK and as we are regulated by the FCA, We are obliged to comply at all times with the “Principles for Business” (“PRIN”) as laid out by the FCA (which includes the obligation to treat You fairly). At the end of this document, You will find details of our company, including our address, email address, web address, and other regulatory information that may be of interest and importance to You.
Please be aware that free and impartial advice about how to deal with your creditors and free debt counselling, debt adjusting and providing of credit information services is available from the Money Advice Service.
3. Explanation of the Services We Can Offer You
Refresh Debt Services Ltd is a firm which offers to advise consumers on their options with regard to financial difficulties and unaffordable debts and to make recommendations as to the most suitable debt solution(s) in consideration of the consumer’s circumstances and personal needs.
Refresh Debt Services Ltd offers to administer a Debt Management Plan (“DMP”) for consumers who choose that debt solution option or alternatively to refer You to another agency who offer suitable alternative debt solutions.
The pre-contractual information provided to you in this information pack does not require you to proceed with a particular debt solution however it will provide you with the information you need, so you can make an informed decision and choice.
We understand that it can be difficult to take in all the relevant information during a telephone call with a debt advisor so We have also included this information in writing for You so you can read through it in your own time. We would strongly recommend that you read the contents of the pack carefully and contact us with any questions or queries you might have.
Refresh Debt Services Ltd can advise you on the following debt solutions, if you are resident in Northern Ireland, England, or Wales:
- Debt Management Plan
- Debt Relief Order
- Individual Voluntary Arrangement
Refresh Debt Services Ltd can advise you on the following debt solutions if you are resident in Scotland:
- Protected Trust Deed
- Debt Arrangement Scheme
4. Your Responsibilities
You will provide Us with information relating to Your financial position. We can only act upon the information and instructions that You provide to Us. We will only discuss Your financial position and debts with You, unless You instruct Us otherwise. If You agree that We can discuss Your financial position and debts with a third party then We will require Your signed consent to do so. This consent can be provided by You either by email, in writing or over the telephone or other electronic means.
It is vitally important that You inform Us of all aspects of Your financial situation, relating to Your income, assets, expenditure and debts (both secured and unsecured) and any court judgments made against You or any other enforcement or legal action being taken against You. When providing information to Us, You should be truthful and accurate to the best of Your ability and knowledge.
5. Our Responsibilities
When taking Your initial instructions, We will ascertain the full extent of Your financial situation. When We do so We will then be in a position to advise You as to the options that are available to You. We will gather information as to who You owe money to on a secured and an unsecured basis in order to advise you on the most suitable options to deal with your debt difficulties.
During our assessment of Your financial situation, We will determine, based on the information that You provide, what Your monthly disposable income is. This figure can determine the options available to you. At the conclusion of our financial assessment, We will recommend to You the solution(s) which We believe, based on the information available to Us at the time, best suits Your position and personal needs.
The solution(s) recommended may result in a Debt Management Plan being administered by us on your behalf or we will refer you to an alternative debt solution provider.
6. Commissions and Fees Paid to 3rd Party Suppliers
If We received your details from a third party, fees may be paid to them for the initial work and advice provided on your case if you decide to enter into an agreement with Refresh Debt Services Ltd and/or proceed with a Debt Solution administered by us.
7. Creditor Action Against You
In circumstances where one of Your Creditors seeks to recover their debt from You by way of formal legal
means, such as taking You to Court, You should be aware that We will NOT act as Your legal representative in such proceedings. We cannot be held liable for any legal proceedings taken against You by Your Creditors and cannot guarantee that any existing or threatened proceedings will be suspended or withdrawn.
8. Creditor Contact
Do not ignore letters (or other forms of contact) from your creditors or their representatives. If you make us aware of any such contact we will endeavour to deal with it promptly on your behalf.
9. Credit Rating
Please be aware that entering into any debt solution is likely to affect your credit rating in the short, medium and long term. If a default or County Court Judgement or other Court Enforcement is registered against you by one of your lenders this will remain on your credit file for 6 years from the date it is registered. Entering into a debt solution may affect your ability to obtain credit and other financial services in the short, medium and long term.
10. Data Protection and Your Data
The processing of personal data by us is regulated in the UK by the General Data Protection Regulation EU 2016/679 as supplemented by the Data Protection Act 2018 together with other laws which relate to privacy and electronic communications (“Data Protection Law”). We act as data controllers in respect of the personal data we collect and we are responsible for complying with Data Protection Law in respect of this data.
Our privacy notice explains and details how we control and manage personal data. Our privacy notice may be viewed at: https://refreshdebt.co.uk/privacy-policy/
Your Authority to Act permits Us to pass Your details onto any other 3rd party. We will only recommend to You the services of a 3rd party if We believe that such a party will be of assistance to your financial difficulties or the administration of a debt solution. In such circumstances, We will always identify to You the identity of that party/agent and why We are referring You to them and where You can get in touch with them.
As to the information that We have on our systems about you, you have a right to see this. If you would like to see a copy of this information then please submit a Subject Access Request to our office address, for the attention of the Compliance Officer.
11. Money Laundering Procedures
We will comply with the various duties imposed by the Terrorism Act 2000 and related legislation, the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, the Fraud Act 2006, the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (MLR), and The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (together known as “the Money Laundering legislation”).
All Money Laundering legislation is intended to inhibit the activities of terrorists and other criminals by denying them access to technical expertise and illegal monies amongst other things. If We fail to perform these duties, We risk prosecution and/or imprisonment so it is imperative that We take certain steps to ensure compliance with these regulations.
In order to accept Your instructions, We need to obtain satisfactory evidence to confirm your identity and We may use electronic verification methods for this purpose. We may also need to obtain such evidence after we have started to act on Your instructions (such as Your credit file). Although a record of Our enquiry will be entered on Your credit reference record it will not affect Your credit history or Your credit score.
We may also need to obtain evidence confirming the identities of third parties and the source of any funds or other property. We may also need to obtain further evidence after we have begun to act on your instructions and the evidence may include searching by electronic means.
We assume that our clients are honest and law-abiding. However, if at any time, there appears to be grounds to suspect (even if we do not actually suspect) that your instructions relate to ‘criminal property’, we are obliged to make a report to the National Crime Agency (“NCA”) but we are prohibited from telling you that we have done so.
‘Criminal property’ is property in any legal form, whether money, real property, rights or any benefit derived from criminal activity. It does not matter who carried out the criminal activity or how removed the property is from the original crime. Even if you are honest in your dealings, if your property represents a benefit from someone else’s crime, we must still make a report.
Activity is considered ‘criminal’ if it is a crime under UK law, no matter how trivial, and whether carried out in the UK or abroad. For example, ‘tax evasion’ is a criminal offence but an honest mistake is not an offence.
12. Our Complaints procedure
Many complaints can be resolved informally by discussing your issue with a member of our staff. We encourage you to discuss your concerns with one of our members of staff in the first instance as many complaints can be resolved speedily to everyone’s satisfaction when raised in such a way. You can call us on Telephone Number – 02841 752 062 or email our helpful teams at firstname.lastname@example.org
If after discussing any concerns, you remain dissatisfied then you can make a formal complaint by writing to our Complaints Officer at Refresh Debt Services Ltd, Milltown House, Milltown Industrial Estate, Warrenpoint, BT34 3FN. Email: email@example.com
The Complaints Officer will decide whether your complaint can be resolved by a team leader or a Complaints Officer. The Complaints Officer will then send you a standard acknowledgement letter within 5 business days of receipt of the complaint giving the name of the individual handling the complaint together with details of our complaints handling procedure.
Like in any other business, mistakes can happen. Through a process of continuous improvement and training, we do our utmost to ensure that mistakes and instances of poor service are rare and our standards are usually upheld but if an unsatisfactory event occurs we want to know about it in order that we can take steps to rectify it and ensure that it does not happen again.
If you feel that we have not met expectations, the following information will explain how to go about registering your feedback or a complaint and what you can expect after you have submitted your comments.
a) Initial Steps
If you feel you have a grievance, first of all, please read the documentation and guidance that we have issued to ensure that you understand the commitments that we have made to you. If you are convinced that our service is below that standard please try to resolve the issue with your case manager. All complaints are registered and case managers are trained to be receptive and responsive to feedback. Your complaint will be responded to quickly and responses will be communicated to you by letter or email, at your request.
If you are dissatisfied with the response you have received or if you do not wish to resolve the matter with your case manager, you should contact our Complaints Officer. It is likely that you will be asked to put your complaint in writing as a matter of formal record and on receipt of your letter/submission you may expect a written response within the timescales set out in our complaints handling policy.
Throughout this process, you will be treated with courtesy and respect and if we conclude that your complaint is to be upheld in full or in part we will:-
- Explain to you how we propose to remedy the situation
- Explain how we came to our conclusions
If after having raised Your complaint with Us, You are still not satisfied then You can take the matter further by contacting the Financial Ombudsman www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.
13. Cancellation of Your Agreement with Us
In accordance with The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/3134) which came into force on 13 June 2014, you are allowed a 14 day “cooling off period” in the case of ‘distance’ and ‘off premises’ contracts for the sale of services.
On the basis of these Terms of Business, if you wish to proceed, please sign and date the duplicate copy as well as the ‘Authority to Act’ in the space provided and return it together with any additional documents requested. You can return these using standard mail or electronic means as advised by your case manager.
You have the right to cancel this agreement within 14 days without giving any reason. After this date, you must give us one week’s notice in writing.
The cancellation period will expire after 14 days from the day that you sign the ‘Authority to Act’.
To exercise the right to cancel, you must inform us of your decision to cancel this agreement by a clear written statement (eg a letter sent by post, fax or email). To meet the cancellation deadline, it is sufficient for you to send your communication concerning your exercise of the right to cancel before the cancellation period has expired.
If we have already passed your details to another agency and you have not yet entered into a separate formal engagement with them, then we will notify them of your decision.
At some point, We may have to change these general Terms of Business. If We do so We will send You a notification and/or provide access to the changes. Before We make such changes We will give You 7 days’ notice. If You do not wish to accept the proposed changes then You can exercise Your rights to cancel the agreement under Clause 13 above.
Refresh Debt Services Limited Contact Details
Refresh Debt Services Limited
Milltown Industrial Estate
Refresh Debt Services Ltd is a company registered in Northern Ireland – company registration number NI055582. Telephone Number 02841 752 062
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
We are Authorised & Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Authorisation No. 674160
Additional Terms of Business – As a Debt Management Plan (“DMP”) Administrator
(Clauses 16 to 24 only apply if you instruct us to administer a Debt Management Plan (“DMP”) for you)
16. Our Responsibilities as a Debt Management Administrator
When You instruct Us to deal with Your financial affairs by way of administering a DMP for you, We will negotiate with Your Creditors on Your behalf. Our agreement regarding this service shall continue until final repayment of the Creditors is made, unless it should have been terminated beforehand in accordance with Clause 22 below.
We will aim to persuade Your Creditors to freeze interest, to stop applying late payment charges, to stop contacting You and to stop enforcing recovery action against You. We cannot however guarantee any of the above.
You should be aware that if We advise You to stop making payments direct to Your unsecured Creditors, but instead to Us via Your DMP, then Your debts may increase for a period of time and You may fall into, or further into, arrears. However, We do our best to persuade Your Creditors to freeze interest on the basis that You have instructed Us.
Your disposable income must be paid by You into our Client Account on a weekly/monthly basis. This Client Account does not attract any interest from the bank involved. This Client Account is kept ring-fenced and is separate to our other company bank accounts. In order for Us to act on Your behalf We must receive Your weekly/monthly payment in a timely manner as and when expected by Us.
If You fail to make a weekly/monthly payment to Us, then We cannot make a payment to Your Creditors and We reserve the right to issue to You a Notice of Termination of the agreement. In such circumstances, any agreements and/or concessions that We have agreed with Your Creditors are liable to lapse. This is clearly not in Your interest. If You believe that You cannot make Your payment on the agreed date then You should contact Us without delay so that We can advise You of what steps You and We can take in such circumstances. If We have to send You a Notice of Termination, then We will at the same time inform Your Creditors that We can no longer act on Your behalf.
From Your disposable income, We will determine how much We will pay to Your Creditors. From Your disposable income We will deduct our fees. We will only deduct our fees after We have distributed Your payments to Creditors.
17. Our Fees for the administration of a DMP Explained
The fees you pay cover the following work:
Reviewing your financial position and circumstances, calculating your payments to creditors, the production of a financial statement and offers for your creditors as well as the initial negotiation with creditors by phone, letter and email to set up your agreements for reduced payments. On-going communication with both creditors and You, continuing active negotiation to reduce interest and charges wherever possible, distribution of your payments, creditor harassment complaints and annual reviews of your plan.
Online access to your personal log-in area which has updated information on your plan including a summary of your budget, creditor correspondence, and a negotiation report showing the status of each agreement.
No upfront fees are taken by Refresh Debt Services to cover the set-up costs of the plan. Instead, the set-up costs have been spread over the first 6 months of the plan. This prevents a delay in payments reaching creditors but means the first 6 payments to creditors will be reduced slightly.
Refresh Debt Services will charge you a monthly management fee for running the debt management plan.
During the duration of the debt management plan, the ongoing monthly management fee will be calculated based on a percentage of the monthly payment. The fee structure will be as follows:
For the first 6 months of the plan, an initial fee of 50% of the monthly payment will apply, with a minimum fee of £50 and a maximum fee of £250.
After the initial 6-month period, the normal ongoing monthly management fee will be determined based on the following criteria:
- If the monthly payment falls between £80 and £99, the minimum fee will be £39.
- If the monthly payment is £100 or higher, the fee will be 18.5% of the monthly payment, with a minimum fee of £45.
- The fee may also be subject to a maximum limit of £120 per month.
Please note that these fee structures are subject to change and are applicable as per the terms of your specific debt management plan.”
To ensure ‘significant payments’ are made to creditors at all times and to ensure the fair treatment of customers, we will reduce fees on a case-by-case basis and where the monthly payment is lower than average.
Where appropriate, we also negotiate informal settlements where clients are able to generate lump sums to pay towards all or some of the debts. Such informal settlements which achieve some level of write-off negotiated by Refresh Debt Service are charged at 20% of the amount saved.
18. How We Handle Your Money
We will pay Your disposable income to Your Creditors within 5 days of Us receiving it as cleared funds into our bank account. There may, however, be exceptions to this, such as when We are unable to do so because You have not provided a Creditor account number to Us, or where You have done so it transpires that the number is incomplete and/or wrong. We will make payments to Your Creditors on the basis of the amount of Your disposable income compared to the debt that You owe a particular creditor. We will explain in more detail how We do this when We speak to You on the telephone.
Furthermore, there may be occasions where You instruct Us to negotiate on Your behalf a payment in Full and Final Settlement of Your debts. In such circumstances, We may hold Your money longer than 5 days, but only with Your consent and on Your instructions. If We fail to obtain Your consent We may remove incomplete Creditor information to ensure that payments can be made to Your other Creditors. If You choose to enter into a process with Us to deal with Your unsecured debts by way of a Full and Final Settlement then We will write to You separately setting out the obligations of Us and You.
Your DMP is intended to deal only with Your unsecured debts.
19. Our Continuing Obligations In Relation To The DMP
When You enter a DMP with Us, if You are contacted by any of Your Creditors You should advise them that We are acting on Your behalf and You should ask that they contact Us. If You receive any correspondence from Your Creditors You should first read this Yourself and then send this to Us. You should never ignore letters, text messages, emails or telephone calls from anyone that You owe money to.
If You feel that You wish to do so, then please be aware that You can contact and deal with Your Creditors directly at any time. We would however ask that You inform Us of any discussions/correspondence as this may have an effect on Your DMP. If one of the Creditors in Your DMP is the bank that You carry out Your normal day to day banking with, You should be aware that in such circumstances the bank concerned may withdraw the bank account from You. In those circumstances We will advise You of the course of action that You should adopt in order to open a new account.
When You enter into a DMP, managed by Us, You should always ensure that You maintain any and all payments that You should make towards priority debts. When We refer to Priority Debts We mean payments such as Mortgage, Rent, Council Tax and Utility Bills, as well as Court Judgments. It is crucial that payments towards these bills/debts are prioritised so that You pay these before You pay Your unsecured debts/Creditors, as failure to do so could have very serious consequences for You. In addition, You should always ensure that You maintain payments in relation to taxes due, child support and/or maintenance payments and other payments which if You failed to keep up repayments may result in the loss of access or loss of use. An example of this my include payments under a Hire Purchase agreement of a vehicle which You use for work.
20. Our Continuing Obligations In Relation To The DMP
At least once a year We must carry out a review of Your financial situation. The purpose of this review is to determine if Your financial situation has changed for the better or the worse and to ensure that the DMP remains a suitable option for you. We are required by our regulator, The Financial Conduct Authority, to carry out reviews of your DMP regularly.
In order to complete a full review of Your circumstances You must cooperate with Us when We contact You in order to allow Us to complete a review of Your situation.
We may ask that You make Yourself available for a telephone appointment. In addition, We may ask that You provide Us with documentary evidence as to certain aspects of Your household income and expenditure. If You cannot do so, or fail to do so, then this may result in Your creditors rejecting our request for concessions to be applied to Your account which may result in the failure of Your DMP.
We will also carry out a review if We become aware that there has been a change in Your financial circumstances which means that the terms of Your DMP should be reviewed.
21. Termination Of The DMP
You can cancel the agreement with Us at any time by giving Us notice by post or telephone.
In order to fully update our records We would ask that should You wish to cancel the DMP that You do so by telephoning Us on 02841 752 062. There is no period of notice that You must give Us if You wish to cancel the plan.
In relation to the work that We carry out on Your behalf and the fees that We charge You, We will only be liable to refund fees, if You cancel the service within 14 days of commencement. This is called the “Cooling Off” period. The 14 days that make up the “Cooling Off” period will commence with the date that our service commences -which will be the date that You requested Us to begin carrying out our DMP administration service for You.If you cancel your Debt Management Plan and we have a payment on your client file which has not yet been paid to your creditors we will endeavour to return this payment to you. When you terminate your debt management plan it is your responsibility to cancel any standing order mandate you have set up to pay your debt management plan each month.
We do not charge any cancellation charges or penalties.
22. How We Will Be Paid
As We will be charging You fees for administering the DMP service, You should be aware that our service is profit-based and that We can only act on Your behalf if We can be paid fees for doing so from Your disposable income.
At the commencement of our relationship with You as an administrator of a DMP, We will advise You of the fees that We will charge to You. We will inform You of this over the telephone and We will also inform You in writing/email what the fees are.
From the first month that You make a payment to Us in a DMP, We will distribute a percentage of this to Your Creditors. This percentage that We distribute to Your Creditors will always be in accordance with the obligations imposed on Us by our Regulator, The Financial Conduct Authority. The amount that We distribute will depend upon the individual circumstances of Your case, and We will advise You specifically of this over the telephone and subsequently by post/email.
During the first six months of Your DMP, the fees that We will charge will be higher than in month seven onwards. This will be to take into account the fact that over the first six months We will recover the fees associated with the setting up of Your DMP. From month seven onwards the monthly fee that We will charge You should remain the same over the remaining course of Your DMP. However, our fees may change if Your payments to Us change.
At the start of Your DMP, We will advise You as to our estimate of the length of Your DMP, and the total fees that We will charge You over the length of Your DMP. Over time, the duration of Your DMP may increase and decrease. When this happens We will let You know of the changes. We may inform You of these changes over the telephone, electronically or via the postal service.
The estimated duration of Your DMP may increase or decrease depending on whether Your disposable income increases or decreases, or if the balances of Your debts are different to those envisaged. The duration of Your DMP may also need to increase or decrease if Your personal circumstances change. If they do You should contact Us immediately to inform Us about these changes.
If your situation changes in the future, it is extremely important that you advise us of any significant changes to your circumstances. Such changes may require an amendment to your DMP so that it remains suitable for your needs.
Variations to Terms of the Debt Management Plan
At some point, We may have to change the Terms and Conditions for Our service to administer a Debt Management Plan. If We do so We will send You notification and/or provide access to the changes. Before We make such changes We will give You 7 days’ notice. If You do not wish to accept the proposed changes then You can exercise Your rights to cancel the plan under Clause 22 above.