UNDERSTANDING A SECTION 129 NOTICE AND WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU RECEIVE ONE?
A section 129 notice is the last step before the legal process begins and it can be considered one of your last chances to do something to prevent legal action from your creditors. The notice is issued in terms of section 129 of the National Credit Act (NCA) and advises a consumer that they are in arrears of a certain amount in unpaid instalment(s) at a given date.
The credit provider or their attorney may issue notice according to section 129 of the NCA at any time after the client has been in arrears for more than 20 business days. The credit provider may not proceed with any legal action without having fully complied with NCA requirements as contemplated in section 129 and section 130.
The section 129 notice is your last chance to take action before you are faced with serious legal action from your credit providers. Seeking a debt management solution such as debt counselling can help you to avoid legal action and will protect your assets from repossession. You can speak to one of our professional consultants today who can assist you with one of our life changing solutions.
What will a section 129 notice look like?
A section 129 notice will have to fulfil the general requirements and should possess some key elements such as your name, ID and address. A section 129 notice should be clearly dated and should state the agreement which the client is in default and the specific amounts thereof. It should also clearly indicate that the letter serves as “notice in terms of section 129”. The notice should state in no uncertain terms that the consumer is in default. The intentions of the credit provider to enforce his rights per the agreement must be clearly stated, as well as possible remedies and a timeframe to avoid further legal action.
There are specific criteria outlined in the NCA that deems a 129 notice valid. These are as follows:
- a) Notification of the consumer’s default should be given to the consumer. It is important and a precondition that the consumer be made aware of his default;
- b) The notification should be in writing;
- c) The notification should comprise a certain format, stating in no uncertain terms what the consumer’s rights and options are;
- d) The notification should disclose the intent on the credit providers front to reconcile and negotiate a plan to help the consumer out of his default,
Section 129(1)(b) adds to the above mentioned criteria by stating that:
- a) Legal action may not be taken against a consumer in default if the notice as envisaged in section 129(1)(a) has not been delivered;
- b) Legal action may not be taken against a consumer should the requirements as stated in Section 130 not be met
Section 129 notice of the NCA is the last step before legal action and should be taken very seriously to prevent legal action. At this point, you do still have options, so do not hesitate to seek the professional help of a debt counsellor.
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