Bill payment firm ceases trading
Customers using a bill management company that ceased trading have been warned to cancel all payments to it amid fears their money may be lost.
Dublin-based Home Payments Ltd claimed it had invested in the property sector and its collapse had a negative impact on the value of other investments.
The company, which has been in business for almost 50 years, offers a number of services, including a household bills budgeting service.
The Consumers Association of Ireland urged those using Home Payments to contact all companies the firm represented on their behalf to find out if their bills had been paid.
Chief executive Dermot Jewell said: "It is important that there be no danger now of further pain to these consumers through collection proceedings commencing against them for bills they believed to have been paid by Home Payments Ltd.
"To that end we are calling on all providers concerned to exercise the highest level of patience and to extend the greatest degree of understanding, assistance and generosity in facilitating structured payments without penalty to those affected here."
Callers to RTE's Liveline programme who used the business said they had no idea that the company had invested in the property sector.
In a statement on their website, Home Payments said the company was acting to protect customers and secure deposits.
"Home Payments Ltd made investments in the property sector. The decline in values in this sector has had a significant negative impact on the value other investments. The company has been in discussions with its lenders to restructure its repayments," it read.
"In the best interests of our customers we have had no option but to take the actions as outlined above."