Search Agents massive bad debt burden

The Association of Independent Personal Search Agents (IPSA) has today completed a partial survey of its members in relation to their combined burden of bad debt. The survey has revealed the amount IPSA members have written-off since the introduction of Home Information Packs due to non-payment, liquidation, alleged fraudulent trading and improper business conduct.

Christian Lister, IPSA Chairman is shocked by the results, he commented; ‘The results are horrific especially when the majority of the debt instigators were PCCB registered or members of a hip trade association displaying the HIP Code logo. Allowing for the fact that these are only interim figures* with some members yet to finalise their losses the total number could well exceed seven figures. These institutions set industry standards and are there to give the consumer confidence in the quality of the product they are purchasing.’

Home Information Pack providers are at the frontline in dealing with consumers, mostly taking payment for goods up-front. ‘Some of these companies have left a trail of destruction in their wake,’ stated IPSA member Steve Davies. He continued: ‘As search agents we are required to pay for Professional Indemnity Insurance as protection for all consumers using our services. All of these failed HIP companies have left their suppliers with hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of unpaid bills, which raises the issue of the title of goods being called into question.’

The auditable figure of £779,561.30* if divided by the average cost of a member’s search fee would mean that insurers have not passed title on these unpaid goods, leaving an estimated 7796 Local Authority Searches within Home Information Packs uninsured.

‘This is a consumer’s worst nightmare,’ said Christian, ‘and I believe the PCCB and hip trade associations must now stand on their key message of consumer protection and investigate the implications of this to the general public at large. I will not accept that this situation is, as one trade association Director is reported to have remarked ‘it’s just business’. It’s almost criminal and something must be done.”


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8 Responses to “Search Agents massive bad debt burden”

  1. This is due to companies entering business relationships without doing the necessary credit checks and being selective about who you supply searches to. Onesearch Direct refuses to supply searches to many new and non HIP code companies and will modify the credit facilities offered to new clients based on their track record. Any credible and sustainable business model must have a method of filtering out ‘bad business’ before it gets onto your books. Many of the problems being experience by the IPSA members are simply a symptom of risky business practice.

  2. One Search direct must therfore have no bad debt to HIP co’s. Not sure how much credit referencing helps in an industry where the players have traded for less than 12months. Unless Mr Park is clarvoyant or has access to industry data that no one else does!

  3. The majority of bad debt they we have incurred as been from long standing and well known companies, not new or non Hip/Search Code practices. how does this stand up against your comment Ronnie?

  4. Andrew Prismall Says:

    I cannot believe that anyone connected to One search Direct has the nerve to accuse this well established industry as “cowboys” The people dragging down the industry are OSD, the johnny come latelys and the HIP companies who drive down price foresaking quality from people such as myself who have been in the search industry for 22 years.

    “James Taylor” has made ridiculously amateur and offensive comment and should apologise or everyone will just treat his comments, quite rightly, as bitter and unintelligent. I would advise anyone to ignore such desperate people

    This comment was moved from IPSA non-compliant Local Authority Searches survey as it was believed to be more appropriate here, though James Taylor’s comments were on the original.

  5. I don’t think IPSA members need a lesson in credit control Mr Park. How about sharing your wisdom on the issue of consumer protection which is the overriding issue raised in the press release.

  6. Oh come on ladies. If you are in business you will have bad debts. Most of the Pali bad debts are from solicitors with a recent addition of estate agents. We have one firm which had five estate agents offices established for thirty years. They have closed four offices and now owe us £7744.17.
    If I could have seen that coming I would be a sooth sayer.
    Nick.

  7. Ronnie, ronnie, ronnie you are a bad monkey!

    odd how you miss the entire point of the seaches not being insured and the consumer not getting what they paid for.

    the press release hasn’t mentioned anything about the search agents moaning about losing money.

    it’s about ethical trading and consumer protection.

  8. […] Search Agents massive bad debt burden […]

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