This following provides you with key information about debt management services. It is not marketing material. The information is required by law to help you understand the nature of this service and the risks of using the service. You are advised to read it so that you can make an informed decision about whether debt management services are suitable for your personal circumstances.
The Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) offers free advice for people in debt, or in danger of getting into debt, in Ireland.
MABS can be contacted at its Helpline (0761 07 2000) which operates Monday to Friday 9am-8pm or by email at: helpline@MABS.ie
MABS has over 60 offices nationwide. For details of your nearest office, visit the Contact MABS area of its website at: www.mabs.ie
We are not authorised to hold your funds or make payments on your behalf. If an arrangement is agreed with your creditor(s), it will be your responsibility to make the revised payments to the creditors.
Our fee and charges will be applied as follows:
Our fees for services are charged at a rate of €150.00 per hour (or part thereof) plus VAT @ 23% and the firm may charge an initial retainer fee which is detailed in the Terms of Engagement.
We may also charge a success fee for successful settlement negotiations. This fee would only become payable in the event that First Choice Financial Services deliver an outcome with your Bank(s) that is satisfactory to you and you sign up to and agree terms. The cost of this fee will be outlined in our Terms of Engagement
Your advisor will use a Standard Financial Statement to obtain financial information from you.
You must ensure that all information about your personal and financial circumstances which you supply as part of the financial assessment is accurate.
Your advisor will consider the debt management options available to you.
This Statement of Advice will provide you with details of a proposed course of action for you and explain why this proposed course of action is suitable and affordable for you.
How the proposed options work as well as any actual or potential consequences of the proposed course of action will be explained to you in the Statement of Advice.
You may be responsible for undertaking the actions proposed and you may engage a third party to assist you.
Your creditors are not obliged to accept reduced repayments or freeze interest or charges.
Your creditors’ collection activities may continue even though you have engaged a debt management firm.
If you cancel payments to your creditors, you will be in breach of your agreement with them and your account(s) will go into arrears or further into arrears.
If you reduce your payments it may mean it takes longer to pay off your creditors and you may pay more than if you paid over a shorter term.
If you undertake a proposed course of action it may affect your credit rating, which may limit your ability to access credit in the future.
If you are a property owner, as part of any arrangement, you may be required to sell or re-mortgage your property to pay off some or all of your debts. Your ability to do so may be restricted and a mortgage may only be offered at a higher interest rate.
If you are a property owner, failure to make the negotiated payments to creditors could result in you losing your home.
If you wish to stop using our services, you can notify the firm that this is the case.
If you stop using our services, any outstanding charges will be payable as follows:
- You will be liable for the hourly rate agreed up until termination of services
- You will be liable for the success fee due (if any) if our involvement up to the point of termination delivered a successful result.
If you are not happy with the services we provide to you, you have the right to make a complaint to us.
This will be handled in accordance with our complaints handling process.
If your complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction, you have the right to refer your complaint to: The Financial Services Ombudsman’s Bureau, 3rd Floor Lincoln House, Lincoln Place, Dublin 2.
The FSO can be contacted at its helpline: 1890 88 20 90 or 01 662 0899