Finding The Right PIA Company
Finding someone qualified to give you unbiased and independent advice about debt management solutions like Personal Insolvency Arrangements can sometimes be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Well-meaning friends and relatives tell you about a son or niece who works in the industry and why not give them a call? Someone at work will tell you there’s a company they read about in a newspaper that’s offering first time client discounts. It gets to the point where you don’t know whose advice to take and who to trust with one of the most important decisions of your life, and that’s at a time when you need accurate information quickly.
With PIAs, your first port of call should either be a PIA adviser with good links to local PIPs, or a Personal Insolvency Practitioner (PIP), professional solicitor or accountant who have been trained to set up and administer PIAs and bankruptcies to individuals. These people are trusted by the government to assess the financial situation of individuals in debt, advise them on the best course of action and act upon that information to help the person subsequently tackle their debts.
If you don’t speak to an adviser first, you can obtain lists of PIPs from official sources, but you have to do your own homework in advance and choose one to speak to.
So what should you look for in a good PIP?
Someone who is qualified to help you set up a PIA will be either b :
- A solicitor
- A barrister
- A qualified accountant
- A qualified financial advisor
- An individual holding a Level 7 qualification (or equivalent) in business, finance or law
It’s crucial that a PIP has completed studies on law and its practical application in insolvency cases. These are relatively simple checks, as the PIP will have information for the professional memberships they should have, as well as making sure they have the relevant certificates for any additional training they have done.
Being able to have confidence in the PIP who will be assisting you over the next six years will be vital if you are to successfully complete your PIA. Do they make you feel confident and secure that your debt problems are solvable and you can do a good job budgeting and meeting your requirements? Are they patient and clear with their explanations when you have questions, or do they treat you like an inconvenience?
A good PIP needs to have a good depth of experience dealing with insolvency-related issues but must also have the commitment to continue their studies and keep up with changes in the law. Having a PIP that doesn’t bother to keep up to date means they could be giving their clients incorrect information or missing out on something that could have an impact on your life.
The very best way of finding a PIP is by personal recommendation from someone who has used them for a PIA or insolvency-related matter before. Chances are you won’t know anyone in your immediate circle of friends and family, so you might have to do some searching online or talk to a PIA adviser. There are many groups and forums where like-minded people gather to share experiences and talk about issues relating to their situation, not to mention companies who can offer information and referrals to local PIPs, and it is likely that you find a recommendation for someone here.
If you talk to someone doing a PIA, try to find someone who is a reasonable way through the process. Someone who has just started may be so relieved they have been ‘saved’ they may be more willing to overlook characteristics of their PIP that later on will cause problems.
Our friends and family mean well when they try to give you advice, but for something as serious as a PIA you need an unbiased assessment from a qualified and professional PIP.
If you need to find out about PIPs in your area that can give you expert PIA Advice, call our PIA and PIP Advisors now on 0800 193 1024.