Watch for any and all advisors that use high-pressure sales tactics. The definition of a 'debt management service', 'debt management assistance' and 'credit reporting assistance', is at section 6 of the National Credit Act (inserted by regs 4B and 4C of the Debt Management Services Regulations).
Debt management services after 1 July 2021 are considered to be engaging in unlicensed credit activities (unless the transitional arrangements were utilised or they have been approved an ACL by ASIC). This an offence under section 29 of the National Credit Act.
If you're unhappy about any product or service, or unsure whether something is legal, you can use the free organisations and resources to help you complain. AFCA recommends that the first step for consumers is to make contact and lodge your complaint with the member firm direct. If your complaint involves a scam, visit the scams link to report it to the appropriate authority.
Prior to accepting any client engagement, Debt Management Services recommends that consumers review our FREE RESOURCES page. It may be more appropriate for you to utilise free Government departmental resources or seek advice from a financial counsellor.
Debt Management Services™ is a for-profit private business and charges clients for services rendered. However, we realise that many clients seeking our advice are facing financial distress and may already be suffering hardship. We never worsen the position for consumers by giving false hope, unrealistic expectations and/or charging unnecessary fees. Our primary concern is for the welfare of consumers.
We reserve the right to refuse our professional services where it is not reasonably believed that we can effectively negotiate, improve or add value to a client's circumstances or financial position.
Debt Management Services™ has an internal complaints handling process and we aim to rectify all disputes in an orderly and timely fashion and without the need for escalation. We strive to act efficiently, honestly and fairly.
If you have a complaint in relation to any of the services provided by us, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org providing the full details of your complaint and what you would like rectified.
We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 5 business days and aim to provide a response within 10 business days. Clients should always utilise our internal complaints handling process prior to contacting AFCA in relation to services provided by Debt Management Services™.
Our FOUNDER Eddie Griffith is a practising accountant and member of multiple professional bodies and associations. You may complain about Debt Management Services™ to:
FOUNDER Eddie Griffith holds appropriate professional indemnity insurance relevant to the provision of credit licencee activities with a debt management services authorisation. Professional IPA membership requires disclosure that Eddie Griffith trading as Debt Management Services™ has liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.
Our commitment to you is that we will always seek to resolve complaints about Debt Management Services™ services by acting efficiently, honestly and fairly.
AFCA is independent and impartial ombudsman for member financial firms. 'Debt Management Services', as a private business, is a registered member of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA 86551) to ensure the service we provide meets the required professional standards.
AFCA membership is a mandatory licensing requirement for Australian Credit Licence holders who are engaged in credit activities that provide debt management services (refer above). AFCA can assist you to resolve your complaint about any member financial firm. We also have a comprehensive understanding of the complaint resolution process. You may opt to have us assist you in making your complaint (although it is free to make a complaint direct using AFCA).
For AFCA to consider your complaint, the financial firm must be a member organisation. To check, visit the AFCA directory here (https://www.afca.org.au/make-a-complaint/findafinancialfirm).
We often refer to AFCA's Operational Guidelines and Approach Guides in helping you understand in detail how AFCA considers, determines and handles complaints. It is free for AFCA to assist you in resolving your complaint but AFCA does not provide legal or financial advice.
AFCA has set timeframes for financial member firms to respond:
• 90 days for superannuation or traditional trustee complaints
• 21 days for complaints involving financial difficulty, or
• 45 days for all other complaints.
When a complaint is lodged at AFCA, the financial member firm must halt any and all enforcement action.
Debt Management Services™ holds an Australian Credit Licence number 666666 [NOT ACTIVE] (ACL 666666) with a debt management services authorisation. Debt Management Services™ is a business name held by the sole proprietorship of Edward Griffith (FOUNDER).
Debt management service providers were not previously regulated under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009. From 1 July 2021, it is a requirement that all financial firms providing debt management advisory services hold a credit licence or become an authorised representative of a credit licensee (an ACL holder).
NOTE: Banking Industry Guiding Principles on Debt Management Firms The Australian Banking Association have developed principles with regards to debt management firms if they believe they are not acting in your best interests. If a bank or financial institution is not licensed or acting appropriately, they will refuse to deal with them.
Services that are likely to be debt management services include:
Offering to help a consumer negotiate repayment arrangements or changes to a debt under a consumer credit contract with the credit provider.
Helping a consumer lodge a dispute with a credit provider or AFCA in relation to the consumer's credit contract.
Helping a consumer give a hardship notice to a credit provider where they are having difficulties meeting.
Offering to 'repair', 'clean' or 'fix' entries in a consumer’s credit report that relate to a consumer credit contract.
Debt Management Services™ - ABN 33 987 559 145
Australian Credit Licence: 666666 | AFCA Member 86551 | Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.
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