Mark Gardner, who has been helping clients to deal with insolvency issues for more than 20 years, said: “The first thing to remember is that not all debt management firms are bad eggs, some genuinely make an effort to help people out of the problems they find themselves in.
“However, I have had countless experiences where clients have found themselves in more serious trouble by going to the wrong firm, leaving them desperate and sometimes even suicidal.
“When people are faced with a multitude of debt problems, often they simply cannot see a way out. I had one woman who came to me some years ago, who had already bought the tablets and alcohol with which to commit suicide. When I sat her down, we were able to work out a much more manageable solution.
“Another case involved a client who had been given a 50-year repayment plan, when other routes could have solved the problem within a couple of years. Some of the people in these situations can find themselves paying more money to the debt management firm each month than they actually pay off on their debt.
“The best thing to do is not simply leap into the first solution that appears and to talk to independent experts who do not have a direct vested interest in the method of resolving the problem.”
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