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Debt firm is ordered to stop trading.

BIRMINGHAM trading standards chiefs have forced a company which promised to make people debt free for as little as pounds 1 to stop trading.

Consumer watchdogs won a Birmingham County Court order against debt sale firm Momentum Network, following an investigation that found its activities were causing "significant detriment" to vulnerable consumers.

It was thought customers handed over more than pounds 1 million in fees to the firm, which traded as Credit Card Killer, enticed by the promise they could become "debt free in two weeks" by selling their debts to the company for pounds 1. But in reality, many people handed over thousands of pounds to the firm, which charged a pounds 1 fee, as well as an additional charge based on a percentage of the value of the debt the company was buying.

The Office of Fair Trading warned consumers who sold debts to the firm or similar businesses were likely to remain liable for the money they had borrowed, while they would also lose the fees they had paid to the firm.

On its website, Credit Card Killer lists its address as a PO box number in Birmingham.

Basil Benjamin Rankine, of Somerset Avenue, Rugeley, near Lichfield, and Amanda Rankine, of the same address, are listed in company reports as directors of Momentum Network Ltd.

The order prevents Momentum Network from engaging in the "unfair commercial practice of debt sale", making misleading claims and running an ancillary credit business.

It will remain in place until April 21 next year or until a further order is made. The Ministry of Justice has previously cancelled the authorisation of Momentum Network to provide regulated claims management services.

The group appealed the decision and the outcome of the appeal is pending.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Apr 27, 2010
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