London, UK -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/26/2013 -- IVA Online, a company that specialises in helping consumers on the Individual Voluntary Arrangement debt solution, has announced that it has recently seen an 18 percent increase in enquiries since the news broke about the new Debt Management Plan (DMP) Protocol. The new Protocol was recently announced by Consumer Affairs Minister Jo Swinson.
Thanks to the new Protocol, people who pay for help on how to best manage their debts will be protected in a variety of ways. For example, consumers will not be charged any fees prior to signing a contract with a Protocol-compliant debt management company. In addition, plans will now be more affordable, since providers must now spread the repayment of their set-up fees over at least six months. Companies that are part of the Protocol must also give clients information about other viable debt management options, including free debt advice that is available from some providers.
A spokesperson for IVA Company, IVAOnline.co.uk said, “The Protocol is part of a government plan to raise standards in the consumer credit and personal insolvency sector and puts into place minimum standards of best practice for debt management companies to adhere to. Many professional debt management firms already operate to these standards, as they understand the need to have a solid reputation for good service and value for money.
“While mandatory, the hope is the Protocol will become a standard to which IVA, Trust Deed and debt management companies will want to uphold, not to mention a mark of quality that immediately tells consumers that business can be trusted to operate professionally and treat them fairly.”
The new debt management protocol is completely voluntary; each debt management company can decide if they want to be a part of it. It will be independently monitored to make sure firms are being compliant and meeting the various rules and standards that are required.
As the spokesperson for IVA Online said, the Protocol will help to improve the standards in the fee charging debt management industry in preparation for the launch of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which will soon take over responsibility for consumer credit. The protocol will also be subject to a standing committee headed by The Insolvency Service which will oversee the protocol and report within the first 12 months of its operation.
About IVA Online
IVA Online provides help and advice for Consumers on the Individual Voluntary Arrangements debt solution. Consumers can write off up to 70 percent of what they cannot afford to repay on their debts as long as they owe more than £15,000. For more information, please visit http://www.ivaonline.co.uk