The South African Banking Risk Information Centre was proved correct last week as the public was warned to be careful of false promises from Debt Counsellors who may be abusing their profession and the debt review process. Luke Hirst, MD of Debt experts DebtBusters, says ‘The National Consumer Tribunal (NCT) decision to cancel the registration […]
17 April 2013
On the 28th of March, in light of Human Rights Day, DebtBusters sent out the following press article:
The average age of South African consumers under debt counselling, has reduced a substantial amount as a consequence of consumers falling into debt at a younger age than in the past.
According to Ian Wason of DebtBusters, South Africa’s largest and leading debt management company, “In 2008 the average age of DebtBusters clients successfully entered into the debt counselling process fell into the age bracket of 40 to 45 years old. However, in 2013 statistics confirmed that the average age of DebtBusters’ clients reduced by 19.7%, thus resulting in the majority of clients falling into the age brackets of 30 to 35 years old and lower.”
Debt is becoming a wide spread problem and therefore it is important to know your debt counselling rights sooner, rather than later.
In June 2007 the sections of the National Credit Act No. 34 of 2005, which introduced the formal debt solution debt counselling, came into effect in order for debt counsellors to provide assistance to the increasing amount of over-indebted consumers in South Africa.
Debt counselling is a process that helps South African consumers struggling with debt to take back control of their financial situation. A debt counsellor registered with the National Credit Regulator (NCR) will negotiate with various credit providers on the behalf of a client in order to agree on a structured debt repayment plan that consists of reduced interest rates and extended repayment terms.
A debt counsellor is an individual who must be registered with the National Credit Regulator (NCR) and must have no affiliation with credit providers or debt-collection agencies. Debt counsellors are responsible for reviewing consumers’ indebtedness and provide recommendations regarding debt restructuring.
Debt counselling is suited to South African consumers that are currently employed and earning a monthly salary, but are unable to make their debt repayments after deducting their expenses from their income. Thus, consumers must be deemed over-indebted.
The following requirements are necessary for debt counselling; once you have submitted your debt counselling application fee you must receive a proof of application. A registered debt counsellor must then proceed by alerting the National Credit Bureau and all your credit providers of your debt counselling application. Your application must be accepted or rejected and it is protocol that you and all of your credit providers sign the agreement made by the debt counsellor, if the application is accepted.
In order for the process to begin, the debt counselling agreement must be placed before the Magistrate’s Court and must become an Order of the court. In the event that you skip a debt counselling payment, the agreement will be cancelled and you must go to the Magistrates’ Court to have it rescinded.
Debt counselling fees can vary across companies, but debt restructuring fees will be determined based on an individual’s debt amount and affordability. Debt counsellors are allowed to deduct a once off application fee, monthly admin, sundry and legal fees that are in line with the National Credit Regulator.
Find an expert debt counsellor from DebtBusters at www.debtbusters.co.za or by calling 0869990606 and get out of debt today.