Chilliwack debt pooler shut down by Consumer Protection BC

Chilliwack debt consolidator Don Antle has been shut down by Consumer Protection BC (CPBC) and the agency wants to hear from clients who may have been impacted by his questionable practices.

CPBC froze the assets of Antle and his business Options Credit Services Canada Ltd. (OCSC) and suspended his licence in December after an investigation spurred by numerous complaints.

The business of debt consolidation, also known as debt pooling, involves helping clients with their bills by grouping payments to various creditors into one monthly payment. Companies like Antle's, of which there are 70 in British Columbia, charge a fee for the service.

Further to the investigation, CPBC said Wednesday OCSC's licence has been cancelled after the business was found to have breached several sections of the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act and the Debt Collection Industry Regulation.

“This has been a complex investigation from the start, involving a number of consumers and a variety of financial transactions," said Tayt Winnitoy, vice-president of operations at Consumer Protection BC. "We are very concerned about the financial impact that may be felt by consumers as a result of this company’s business practices. We will make every effort to help consumers receive whatever refunds are possible.”

In addition to consumer complaints, Vancouver Sun financial columnist David Baines reported in June on the numerous individuals who had filed lawsuits against Antle.

These were not debt consolidation clients but rather individuals who purchased $15,000 licences from Antle to operate under Options Credit Services Canada Ltd. or Options Credit Canada Ltd.

Two of the lawsuits stemmed from licensees responding to Craigslist or Kijiji ads offering opportunities to earn $50,000 to $100,000 a year.

Consumer Protection BC is asking anyone who has been impacted by the work of Don Antle or OCSC to email or fill out a debt pooling claim form at the link here.

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