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Where to Seek Help When in Financial Difficulty

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 16 Dec 2010 | comments*Discuss
Where To Seek Help When In Financial Difficulty

Finding yourself in any type of financial difficulty is never easy, and if lenders are continually harassing you for payment it can cause great stress. Knowing where to seek help may take some of the strain from the situation. There are a number of financial agencies and government bodies that can give advice, information and help should you find yourself in financial difficulty.

Search Options

With today's numerous communication options it has never been easier to find out where to seek help with debt options. Typing the words 'financial help' into your internet search bar will bring up thousands of different websites dedicated to financial advice. The internet is a good place to find help from people who have been through the same problems as yourself, and it is a good free option for gaining useful information.

The Effect on Lenders

In most cases lenders will take you more seriously if you contact them first and explain your financial situation. However there are some lenders who will not be open to negotiations. With these lenders it is important that you know your rights. Many of them will try to abuse your consumer rights assuming that you are not fully aware of what they can and cannot do. Make sure you fully know your consumer rights including what powers debt collectors do and don't have.

Find a Local Office

For excellent advice on all sorts of problems with financial and consumer rights and advice then you should visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau. Your local office will have trained staff that will be able to contact creditors on your behalf, write letters and make telephone calls, or put you in contact with someone who can help. You will not be charged a fee for any help or advice given from this office.

Government Help

There are a number of government offices that can help with financial grievances and disputes. The Financial Services Authority is the best government office to find out all the latest consumer rights advice. They can give information on all types of debt and borrowing, pensions, insurance and mortgages. They also have information on the latest scams and swindles that are perpetrated on the public every day.

The Financial Ombudsman

If you have complaints and grievances with banks and other financial institutes then you can contact the Financial Ombudsman (FO) to settle the dispute. If you have taken the matter up with the company you have a grievance with and they have done nothing to rectify the situation, then you can contact the FO for help.

The FO can help with a wide range of financial disagreements including disputes over banking, pensions, insurance, mortgages, credit, loans and investments. Their website gives details on how to lodge a complaint and taking the matter to the next levels.

The Office of Fair Trading

The Office of Fair Trading can also be a good source of information on consumer rights and has an excellent website. They are especially helpful if you have queries and need to know your rights on financial matters including banking and debt.

Advice from Friends and Family

Often one of the best sources of advice you can get will come from friends, family, and colleagues. If you are looking for references for the best lawyers, accountants, banks and lenders in your local area then your immediate friends and family may be able to help.

Word of mouth is the best advertising, and those closest to you will not usually give you wrong information about these sorts of services. Likewise they may be able to give you some useful information if you find yourself in trouble with debt or other related financial issues. You can usually be assured that word of mouth referrals from friends can be trusted.

Debt Collectors and the Police

If you are having serious problems with debt collectors or bailiffs who use threatening behaviour then you should contact the police immediately. This type of behaviour is against the law and a case can be build against debt collectors, bailiffs, and the company that has hired these agents to recover money or goods.

Knowing where to seek help when you are having financial disputes or are in financial difficulty is the first step towards dealing with the problem. Never be afraid to ask any of the above agencies for help or advice; helping the public with their consumer rights is one of the reasons these establishments exist.

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