As a fully licensed debt collection company that has been incorporated since 1984, we have a long history in providing advice on how to choose an ethical and trustworthy debt collection partner. But unfortunately sometimes this message doesn't get through to those that really need it and many businesses up and down the country can find themselves unwittingly in bed with unlicensed, unregulated and unethical 'debt recovery' companies.
Thankfully the Company Investigations team at the BIS do investigate these cowboy collectors and take action when necessary.
A Payment too Far
Like in the recent case of Mr Ian Burrow and his company Goldman Vicenti Ltd (registered number 07818410). According to the Insolvency Service investigation, Goldman Vicenti Ltd engaged in a number of highly dubious practices, including:
- Charging advance fees of up to £595 to creditors
- Charging debtors unjustified additional collection fees
- Charging VAT on its services despite not being VAT registered
- Failing to refund clients the full debt collected
- Failing to safeguard monies recovered from debtors
As if that wasn't enough, the investigation also found that Goldman Vicenti Ltd failed to:
- Explain transactions on its bank accounts
- Provide evidence of testimonials used on its website
- Maintain adequate records in line with statutory duty of company directors
But despite the somewhat less-than-satisfactory record keeping at Goldman Vicenti Ltd, investigations showed that the company appeared to be insolvent, with liabilities both to HMRC and also to the clients whose money they were supposed to be collecting!
On the basis of the above the High Court found that it was in the public interest for Goldman Vicenti Ltd to be wound up. Commenting on the case Alex Deane, an investigation supervisor with the Insolvency Service, said:
"This company engaged in unacceptable business conduct in that it failed in its duty to its customers and their clients.
"They deliberately posted false testimonials on their website, thus giving the incorrect impression that they were trustworthy.
"The Insolvency Service will take action to remove such companies from the business environment."
The End of an Era?
Thanks to the hard work and diligence of the Company Investigations team at the BIS, this company has been liquidated and the business community is now free from one more dodgy debt collector.
But is that the end of the story for Mr Burrow and his debt recovery ambitions? Unfortunately it does not appear that the recent brush with the Insolvency Service has dampened Mr Ian Burrow's enthusiasm for collections...
A quick search on a credit reporting service can be very illuminating. In this instance it is easy to identify that Mr Ian Burrow, the former director of Goldman Vicenti Ltd, is also a director at a number of other currently trading companies.
These include not one, not two, but three different 'debt collection' agencies. Two of these companies were formed after Goldman Vicenti Ltd was wound up by the Insolvency Service!
So let's have a little look at Mr Burrow's new ventures, shall we?
Goldman Vicenti Recovery Ltd
Company number: 08129631
Registered Office: Suite 72 Cariocca Business Park,
2 Sawley Road, Manchester M40 8BB
Incorporation Date: 4th July 2012.
Relentless Debt Recovery Ltd
Company Number: 08399603
Registered Office: 3rd Floor, 207 Regent Street
London W1B 3HH
Incorporation Date: 12th February 2013
Relentless Recovery Ltd
Company Number: 08467307
Registered Office: 207 Regent Street
London W1B 3HH
Incorporation Date: 2nd April 2013
Once again we would repeat our advice for any company looking for a reputable partner for debt collection:
- Never pay in advance for debt collection
- Always choose an established company
- Always ensure any agency is fully licensed
- Always carefully investigate any references or testimonials
If in any doubt about the legitimacy of your chosen agency, always exercise extreme caution.
NB Goldman Vicenti Recovery Ltd, Relentless Debt Recovery Ltd and Relentless Recovery Ltd should not be confused with Relentless Recovery Ohio or any other companies trading under similar names - and nor should any other Ian Burrow who work in debt recovery businesses be confused with this individual.
Over 150 Years Of Industry Experience
Our modest but highly skilled team has a combined total of over 150 years of experience in commercial credit management and B2B debt collection. From independent IT contractors to major film and TV publishers, Safe Collections has the knowledge and experience you need to get paid quickly and cost effectively.
Image by flickr userv Kevin Zollman is licensed under CC BY 2.0