As the South African economy is going through testing times, with increases in electricity, petrol and food costs, people’s incomes have lost its purchasing power, leading to high reliance on credit for day to day consumption. This has tipped many consumers over the financial edge and more and more consumers are turning to debt counselling to help them manage their finances.
4 August 2014
What is asset repossession?
Repossession is the final stage of legal action and is most commonly seen with assets accounts (house, vehicle or furniture). If there has been a deviation from the required credit agreement, credit providers have the right to proceed with legal action to allow them to recuperate the outstanding debt.
Repossession is the final tactic used and involves taking back then selling the asset on auction in order to obtain funds to thus reduce the outstanding debt owed. Please note if the sale of the asset does not settle the outstanding debt you are still liable to pay the shortfall.
What should you do if someone appears at your house or work threatening asset repossession?
- Do not sign anything. Documentation given to you by repo men may be a Voluntary Surrender form. By signing this, you are essentially giving the repo man the permission to take your asset. To legally proceed with repossession, the repo man needs to present a warrant of upliftment/attachment issued by the sheriff. This means the credit provider needs to have followed the correct legal process and obtained approval from the court to continue with repossession.
- Obtain the repo man’s details. This information will greatly assist your Debt counsellor in resolving the matter as being able to contact the repo man directly will ensure we get a faster response and can negotiate with the right person.
- Contact your Debt counsellor. Your debt counsellor will investigate the reason for asset repossession and thus confirm whether the action being taken is valid. They will then try to negotiate with the credit provider to halt the legal action.
How does Debtbusters handle a repossession matter?
Each case brought to our attention is handled individually by specialised consultants within our Financial Control department. The matter is investigated to established exactly what has occurred with the account, and whether the repossession is valid. We then contact the credit provider to establish whether they are willing to renegotiate, in order to prevent the asset from being taken. We will communicate feedback with the client at each stage and advise what is required.
The requirements may differ depending on the case and most commonly the credit providers require payment toward the arrears or an increased instalment. We aim to reduce the amount of pressure being put on the client and ensure the client is not taken for a ride due to lack of knowledge of the legal process. We also try prevent matters getting to this stage by proactively addressing issues before they become a repossession matter and we have a success rate of 82%.
If you are struggling to make payments and worried that you may have an asset taken away from you, call DebtBusters on 086 999 0606 or email email@example.com for more information. Speak to a DebtBusters financial consultant for a free credit health assessment – don’t lose your home!
Author: Kelli Knutsen