Hayley Newton of Ashley Park Debt Solutions
We spoke to Hayley Newton of Ashley Park Debt Solutions about nominations, referrals and IVAs....
1) What does Ashley Park Debt Solutions do exactly?
Ashley Park provides assistance to people who are in financial hardship. We have an in house Insolvency Practitioner which allows us to administer IVA`s as well as debt management plans
2) How long has the company been going and how long have you worked there?
Ashley Park was formed in 2007 just prior to the credit crunch. I joined in October 2008, prior to this I was working in the secured loan industry.
3) What kind of debt management advice do you give?
Our company policy is to always offer best advice to a client regardless of commercial gain. If a client’s best option is a Debt Relief Order we will refer them to the relevant body. Our aim is always to protect a client’s assets i.e. let them stay in the family home whilst reducing their outgoings to a level that reflects their current situation rather than when they took the credit out.
4) How does the majority of your business reach you? Do you offer incentives to brokers for referrals?
A large percentage of our clients are referred to us by I.F.A.s / Mortgage Advisors and secured and unsecured finance brokers. We have a market leading referral program which works on a shared revenue basis.
5) You recently became runner-up for Debt Resolution Forum’s Debt Advisor of the Year – congratulations! Why do you think you were nominated?
I feel it is because my advice is always in the best interest of the client. I regularly stay late to contact people at a time they request and will do my best to provide information on solutions that we do not offer directly and point them in the direction of the relevant organisation.
6) What kind of cases do you deal with on a regular basis?
A typical client is someone whose outgoings exceed their income. This can be through reckless borrowing or more commonly they have had to take either a pay cut or a lower paid job and can no longer afford to service their previously manageable debt.
7) How many people don’t realise how many options, such as an IVA or settlement services, are open to helping them emerge from debt?
Whilst there is only a small percentage of people who have not heard of a debt management plan or IVA the majority of people are only aware of the down sides. A common objection is “it will affect my credit rating” and whilst this can be the case an impaired credit file with restructured outgoings can be a contributing factor to a client keeping the family home.
8) What other, less well-known, options are available to those seeking debt management that brokers may want to refer their clients to you for?
An IVA is an option for somebody with a higher level of unsecured debt who also has a higher disposable income. An IVA is a formal agreement between client and creditor which sees the client pay an agreed percentage of their debts back, typically over a 5 year period with the creditors agreeing to write off any remaining debts at the end of this period.
We also provide stand alone services where we assist clients in preventing repossession of their property and those folk who are lucky to receive a cash windfall we provide a full and final settlement service where we look to settle their debts at a reduced amount. This can assist a mortgage broker when arranging a consolidation re-mortgage.
9) What do you predict happening in the debt management sector of the next couple of years?
As the cost of living continues to rise and now public sector cuts are adding to already high unemployment figures I feel that the debt management industry will continue to grow. Whilst more people may find they are in need of this type of solution, stronger regulation by the OFT and industry body the Debt Resolution Forum (DRF) may lead to less service providers in the market place.
10) If you weren’t working at Ashley Park what would you be doing?
I could only see myself working in a customer service role as I enjoy helping people and this job can be very rewarding in that respect! I can honestly say that accepting my job with Ashley Park was the one of the best choices I have ever made. I now see this as my long term career and could not imagine doing anything else!