Saturday 18 November 2017

Probe of firm that advises clients on debts

The Central Bank: examining issues
The Central Bank: examining issues
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

The Central Bank has confirmed that it is probing a financial services company that has closed, leaving hundreds of heavily-indebted people to put new debt management arrangements in place.

Drogheda-based Moneybloom, which is run by Clare Dooley who features regularly on national radio, is to hold a creditors' meeting today.

The firm is registered as a broker, but advertises its services as a debt management adviser.

This is a firm that people who are in arrears go to and contract to act on their behalf with the banks and others creditors.

Debt managers try to cut a deal with the creditors, and the indebted consumers then makes one payment to the debt management firm each month to cover monthly payments to the creditors.

There are stringent conditions imposed on these firms by the Central Bank because they handle client money. A number have closed down since the new regulations came in.

Moneybloom says on its website it will "implement affordable, realistic repayment proposals to your creditors. Once appointed, you creditors will deal directly with us."

However, Moneybloom is not regulated by the Central Bank to operate in this fashion.

A spokesman said: "The Central Bank is currently examining issues in relation to Dooley Financial Services Limited trading as Moneybloom, which is registered as an insurance intermediary.

"If any consumers of Dooley Financial Services Ltd have any queries concerning their insurance products, these consumers should contact their insurance providers directly."

Ms Dooley, who speaks regularly on NewsTalk on personal finance issues, is registered as a director of Moneybloom along with Patrick Dooley.

The two have been directors of six other companies, three of which have closed.

The accounts for Dooley Financial Services show the auditors resigned last November.

The firm had a judgement registered against it in 2011 by Ulster Bank for €11,092, according to 'Stubbs Gazette'.

Ms Dooley did not respond to calls to her office, to her mobile or to text messages.

Aviva ended its agency agreement with Moneybloom on April 17 last.

David Hall of the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation has offered assistance to any clients affected by the closure.

Irish Independent

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