Swift House Solutions, which traded under the name ManageMyRepo.co.uk, was blamed for taking advantage of vulnerable consumers “desperate” for a solution to their housing worries.
The firm also continued to trade the businesses of Repossession Management Bureau Limited, RMB Assets Limited and OM Payments Limited, despite having been wound up last year after a separate investigation by the Insolvency Service.
Clients of Swift were subject to misleading and unfounded statements, the Insolvency Service found, and there was a lack of transparency surrounding fees charged to customers. Swift claimed to customers that the charge was in place to “protect the client’s equity” should their property be repossessed by the lender, but instead were used to secure “excessive fees” for the firm itself.
Swift’s management and operations were discovered by the Insolvency Service to be shrouded in secrecy, with the firm’s controller John Paul Dowdeswell, operating under the alias Paul Dowd, found to be attempting to hide his involvement through the appointment of a nominee director.
Alex Deane, an investigation supervisor with the Insolvency Service, said: “Where it becomes aware of such activities, the Insolvency Service can and will close down companies that abuse the vulnerability of people in financial difficulties. However, I would urge people faced with repossession proceedings to take proper professional advice before granting a further charge on their property. Whilst this is ostensibly to ‘protect their equity’, in reality it serves only to secure excessive fees for the adviser.”