Heritage Day (also known as Braai Day) is an opportunity for South Africans to celebrate their culture and diversity of their beliefs and traditions. On this day we can reflect on the values, traditions and the legacy we pass on to our children but Wendy Monkley, Head of Marketing of DebtBusters, South Africa’s largest debt counsellor, is also encouraging South Africans to think about the financial habits and lessons they want to pass onto their children.
28 November 2012
Recent figures released by StatsSA suggest that South African banks are becoming more lenient when it comes to chasing up loan defaulters who are struggling to keep up with their repayments.
From December to February the number of summonses for debts fell 11.3% while the number of judgements fell 10.3%. Of the R560.7million worth of civil judgements, the largest portion can be attributed to judgements involving money loaned and owed to promissory notes and other debt acknowledgements which include money owed through credit card debt.
DebtBusters MD Luke Hirst said he was very pleased with the news that South African banks seemed to be stepping off.
“This is great news for South Africans under pressure. It’s a sign that local banks have bought into the debt counselling process and have come to realise that there is more to gain from negotiating with the consumer than heading straight to court.”
He said that it is important to remember that people who apply for debt counselling aren’t doing so because they want to ease off the pressure of paying off their loans, but rather because they have no other option.
“Many people who apply for debt counselling are just a few steps away from full on administration – a position in which neither the client nor the banks will benefit. By utilising debt counselling, the client is acknowledging that they intend to pay off the money that they owe and this alone should be enough to encourage banks to broker relationships with debt counsellors.”
With one more interest rate hike expected this year, Hirst said it was important for South African to review their finances immediately if they thought they may be under any sort of financial pressure.
“If you are struggling to make ends meet now, another rate hike could put you into very deep trouble. Consult a registered debt counsellor if you have any apprehensions about your current financial situation.”