Certain provisions of the National Credit Act No. 34 of 2005 deal with over-indebtedness and restructuring of debt.
Apply to a debt counsellor for help
Certain provisions of the National Credit Act No. 34 of 2005 deal with over-indebtedness and restructuring of debt. The Act makes provision for the registration of debt-counsellors to assist over-indebted consumers. Debt counsellors are required to undergo training approved by the NCR.
Debt counselling services will be available to consumers who are unable to honour in a timely manner, all credit agreements to which they are party, as indicated by the their history of debt repayment.
Debt counsellors will provide you with budgeting advice and will also mediate with your credit providers to reach an amicable solution.
Indicators of over-indebtedness include borrowing money to pay other loans, skipping payments on some accounts in order to pay others or having numerous judgments against you. When you apply for debt counselling, you cannot take on new loans or credit until you have paid all your debts and have received a clearance certificate from your debt counsellor. You will also be listed on credit bureau records as a consumer under debt counselling. Currently, the National Credit Act provides for a R50 application fee for debt counselling, but the department of trade and industry is considering changes to debt counselling fees.
State employees who are over-indebted will be granted free access to NCR-approved debt counsellors as part of the financial wellness programme for civil servants offered by the Life Offices’ Association.
A consumer may apply to a Debt counsellor to be declared over-indebted. If the debt counsellor finds that the consumer is indeed over-indebted, he/she will make a recommendation to the Magistrate’s Court for the consumer to be declared over-indebted. The Court may in turn re-organise the consumer’s debt by extending the term of any agreement, postponing payments, recalculating unlawful fees or interest and may order adjustments to improperly charged items. If a debt counsellor finds that a consumer is not over-indebted, he/she will provide the consumer with a letter of rejection. The consumer may then appeal to court for a review of the counsellor’s decision.
A consumer who is over-indebted may approach a debt counsellor directly, or he/she may be referred to a debt counsellor by his/her creditor/s or by the magistrate court.
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To lodge a complaint with the National Credit Regulator: