Business Irish

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Hundreds of customers in limbo after budget firm ceases trading reporters

Hundreds of Home Payments Ltd customers have been left in limbo after the household budget management firm ceased trading today.

They fear they have lost savings and money set aside for mortgages and bills – the company is not regulated by the Central Bank.

A note on the window of the firm’s Rathmines office today said the firm, which has been operating since 1963, has ceased trading immediately.

The National Consumer Agency (NCA) has warned all customers to immediately contact their bank to cancel any direct debits to this company.

The directors of the Rathmines organisation blamed failed investments in for the closure and added that they are currently in discussions with lenders to restructure their debt.

"This is an appalling situation for the consumers involved, where they paid money to a company so that they could manage their household budget," said NCA Chief Executive Ann Fitzgerald.

"This is a clear case of an industry that urgently requires regulation so that clients’ funds are legally required to be ring-fenced and therefore protected in cases where a company ceases trading.”

The NCA also called for Government to urgently legislate for the regulation of all companies that take money from consumers for debt management or payment and budget management.

“We strongly urge any consumer who needs help managing their budget to get advice before approaching any private debt or budgeting management company," Ms Fitzgerald said.

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