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Debtfree South Africa’s debt counselling magazine

APRIL 2010 www.debtcounsellingsa.co.za


Editor

Welcome to the new look Debtfree digital

Contents 02

Editors notes

03

Decoding the jargon

04

Your debt, your right to know

06

Precedents

07

Keeping you in the know

08

Mini directory

For a while now you may have been receiving Debtfree DIGI in your inbox as a PDF document. Some have expressed concerns over the growing size of DIGI. What started off as a two page electronic newsletter between print runs of the Debtfree magazine has slowly being expanding in size and content. We are very happy to now bring DIGI to you in a way that allows us to include even more content without blocking up your mail inbox with big mails or having DIGI bounce back into the electronic nether realms of the internet. This new format will also allow those who have previously been unable to afford the normal subscription cost of a print magazine to enjoy more of the features, updates and developments covered in Debtfree magazine. We like and hope that you will enjoy the interactive feel of the “page turner� effect. With this new platform we hope to bring you expanded content each month and keep you current with trends and developments in the debt counselling industry. Comments and suggestions welcome, as always.

Editor


CONSUMER

Decoding the jargon Understand what your debt counsellor is talking about, 17.3

No doubt when you began the debt counselling process you were given a copy of a document called a form 17.1. a 17.1 document is the form that is sent out to all your creditors which shows you have enquired about debt review and that your application for debt counselling has been registered with the National Credit Regulator. Later a document called a 17.2 would have been sent out to all your creditors if you did indeed qualify for debt counselling. Another form that can be issued on behalf of a consumer under debt review is called a 17.3. What is a 17.3 you ask? Sometimes while under debt review a consumer may have a change in circumstances. Due to this change in circumstances you may now no longer be able to make your restructured debt repayment as per the restructured debt repayment plan that was proposed to the creditors and at court. It is an acknowledged fact that it is obviously possible for your circumstances to change. For example you may become unemployed or you may find your income reduced due to a change in the way your commission structure is arranged. Other factors may arise such as a member of the family or yourself being hospitalized for a serious medical condition or because of an accident. These circumstances may make it impossible to make your restructured repayment not through neglect or dereliction but rather due to circumstances.

If something like this occurs it is very important that you notify your debt counsellor immediately. Don’t wait till the end of the month or neglect to inform your debt counsellor. The document that the debt counsellor will send out to your creditors is called... you guessed it a form 17.3. What will you need to give the debt counsellor? Things that may help are things like: a letter from your company showing your retrenchment or invoices from the hospital etc. Don’t expect your debt counsellor or creditors to just “take your word for it”. Proof of your change of circumstances will be required and may be sent to your creditors along with the form 17.3 letter. It may in some cases be necessary to have the change recognized by the courts and other times your creditors will simply send your debt counsellor an acknowledgement and a temporary change of the repayment amount will be put in place. This is a very time consuming and complicated process and is not something that can be done often while under review. However the point is: If you do have a change of circumstances talk to your debt counsellor at once. Leaving it too late or missing a payment may result in your having your debt review terminated by creditors who do not receive payment in the proposed amount. Rather talk to your debt counsellor and let him send out a form 17.3 on your behalf.


CONSUMER

Your debt, your right to know Your Budget When you apply for debt review it is vital that you actually discuss your budget with your debt counsellor. Don’t simply let someone tell you:” you will need to repay this much each month so that leaves you with X amount of Rand to live on... ok?” Consider the suggestions that the debt counsellor makes in regard to amounts for certain types of expenses. Be ready and prepared to make changes. After all what you were doing before was not working. You may feel that you need to maintain a certain lifestyle but remember that many millions of people around the world exist with a lot less than what the debt counsellor may be suggesting. Also keep in mind the ultimate goal: that of being debt free. Proof of your debt review status Ask for a form from your debt counsellor to show creditors when they contact you from call centers to ask for payments. Your debt counsellor may give you a receipt for your application or a copy of a form 17.1 document. This may also help in changing your banking. The Proposal While you have given your debt counsellor Power of Attorney to act on your behalf this does not mean that you should be cut out of the loop entirely in the proposal phase of the process. It is well within your rights to ask your debt counsellor for a copy of the proposal that he is sending out to your creditors (if he does not automatically supply you with one). Remember that this proposal may change slightly over time as

some of the creditors come back to the debt counsellor with suggestions on how to speed up the process (like lowering the interest rate etc). However it would be appropriate if your debt counsellor kept you up to date with what is being proposed. Court When your debt counselling matter is heard before the Magistrates Court near where you live or work it may be obligatory to attend. However, even if this is not the case you may want to go and attend anyway. It would be appropriate for your debt counsellor to keep you informed as to when and where the court case will be and who will be representing you. Statement This is your debt thus it would be good for your debt counsellor to send you a monthly statement of your debt. Often this statement is automatically generated by the Payment Distribution Agency and will reflect the restructured interest rates and amounts as proposed by the debt counsellor and ordered by the court. This figure may well differ from the amount shown on the creditors systems as they may not be able to adjust the rates on their computers that generate your normal statements. Annual review Every year (at least) you should have a review with your debt counsellor and review your situation and see if it is possible to repay your debt faster or if any changes need to be made. Know your rights while under debt review and insist upon them. After all it is your debt.


INDUSTRY

Precedents First Rand Bank Ltd v Dhlamini [2010] JOL 25158 (GNP) 11 / 03 / 2010 The applicant bank had sued the defendant for money owing under a covering mortgage bond. The debt arose as a result of the defendant’s failure to make the monthly repayments. The defendant filed an intention to defend which led the applicant to bring the present application for summary judgment. The defence raised by the defendant was that he did not receive notice in terms of section 129(1) of the National Credit Act 34 of 2005. The applicant’s position was that provided it properly addressed and dispatched the notice by registered post to the respondent’s chosen domicilium that was sufficient, and it was irrelevant whether the notice in fact came to the respondent’s attention. Judge J Murphy held that the correct question to ask when considering if there has been compliance with section 129(1)(a), in terms of

the wording of the section, is not whether the notice has been “delivered” to the consumer, but is rather whether the credit provider has “drawn the default to the notice of the consumer in writing”. Compliance with section 129(1)(a) of the National Credit Act requires that notice of any default by the consumer be brought to his actual attention; and that failure on the part of the credit provider to do so will bar the institution of legal proceedings with the result that any action instituted before then will be premature. The application for summary judgment was postponed sine die to allow the applicant to cure the defect.

Information courtesy of the DCASA website wwwdcasa.co.za.


INDUSTRY

Helping to keep you in the know PAYMENTS TO FNB CARD ACCOUNTS It has come to our attention that some debt counsellors’ PDA’s are experiencing a problem in making payments to FNB card accounts. In order to curb the problem, kindly note the following guideline: *It is always best to ask the client for the Card account number appearing on the plastic.

with 4901 xxxxxxxxxxxx Payments can also be made to accounts where the account number starts with 8855 xxxxxxxxxxxx FAX NUMBER HAS CHANGED Please note that due to the move to Selby, the fax number 011 352 7398 has been deactivated. The initial plan was to keep the number, but due to technical problems it had to be deactivated. The new number is 0860 117 532.

*If the client cannot provide the Card account number appearing on the plastic, please request the client to provide the card account number appearing on the Customer Card Please accept our apologies inconvenience caused. statement.

for

the

Payments can be made to accounts using the FROM account number on the plastic or account First Rand Bank Debt Review Centre number from customer statement starting

Debt counselors only 0860 36 2002 frbdebtreviewcentre@firstrandbank.co.za


Mini Directory Debt Counselling AA Debt Counselling Centre Anthea Johannes NCRDC531 Tel: +27 (0) 21 982 0522 Cell: +27 (0) 84 402 7032 Alan Watts NCRDC 962 NCR registered Debt Counsellor Tel: 084 4448439 Fax: 086 6501954 alan@active-debt-counselling.co.za www.active-debt-counselling.co.za Consumer Assist Andre Snyman Tel: 0861 628 628 Debt Counselling South Africa Cape Town Branch Tel: 021 919 66 94 Rod De Witt NCRDC831 Visit: www.debtcounsellingsa.co.za for info about debt counselling Helpdesk Debt Counsellors Allan Hoffman Tel: 0861 000 754 Help-U-Debt (Vaal Triangle) Wanine Tel: 082 445 3967 Help-U-Debt (Potchefstroom) Madra 083 390 3275 Help-U-Debt (Parys) Marilouise 082 920 6249

Help-U-Debt (Vanderbijlpark) Herma 083 320 8303 Think Green Debt Counselling Sandi Pauw sandipauw@mweb.co.za Tel : 012 991 6638 Cell : 082 460 7800 Fax : 086 219 2615 Incentive Debt Counselling “Paving the way to a Debt Free Tommorrow” Darran Manikam NCRDC704 Tel: (031) 409 9379 Fax: (031) 409 1327 Cell: 0845898286 Branches: Phoenix and Shallcross PBC “Consulting your future today” Are your credit cards, car and loan accounts in a mess? Are you running behind on all your payments? PBC Debt Counsellors can help you! We arrange One Payment for all your debt. Tel: 086 9000 1 U-Win Debt Counsellors Coreli Roos NCRDC509 Aliwal North, Burgersdorp, Bethulie, GariepDam, Smithfield, Springfontein Cell:079 626 66241 croos@global.co.za

Support services Staff Line Ndizani Executive Recruitment Cell no: 083 3028163 Direct Line: (011) 468 - 2150 E- Mail: saki@staffline.co.za Blank Design For all design and marketing needs including websites, brochures, business cards etc. Steve Rosenberg steve@blankds.com 083 700 2020 www.blankds.com Designtimes South Africa’s creative resource www.designtimes.co.za Financial ABSA Customer Debt Repair Line 0860 356 356 Credit Ombudsman 0861 662837 Experian 011 799-3400 debtcounsel@experian.co.za Eric Streso Financial Planner B Juris LL B CFP MBA Tel: 0833273358 Fax: 086 612 7912 Fair Debt 0829019788 or 012-3772558 ray@fairdebt.co.za


Gooseberry Business Advisory Tel: 012 644 0589 Nedbank Debt Rehabilitation & Recoveries Services 0860 109 279 STD Bank Debt review Helpline Telephone: 0861 111 402 TransUnion 0861 482 482 Thinkmoney Financial comparison website Contact: Gareth Mountain Tel: 079 0996 798 www.thinkmoney.co.za WIZARD Vereeniging Making Mortgage Magic Wanine Smit Tel:+27 16 454 1132 Fax:+27 86 686 3678 Cell:+27 82 445 3967 www.wizard.za.com Legal Brett Carnegie Attorneys Tel: +27 (21) 4470332 Fax: +27 (21) 4470338 Mobile: +27 (0)82 320 6099 www.carnegielaw.co.za Physical Address: Suite 23(B) Unit 8 Waverley Business Park Mowbray 7700

Bornman Associates Attorneys ABSA Building, 32 Voortrekker road 4th floor Bellville 7530 Tel.021 949 0458 Fax 021 949 5957

The Department of Trade and Industry www.dti.gov.za

Other

SA fraud protection service (free service) www.safps.org.za 0860 101 248

Association of Debt Recovery Agents (011) 333-4335 www.adraonline.co.za

Identity theft

Banking Association South Africa www.banking.org.za Credit Information Ombud www.creditombud.org.za Financial Service Board www.fsb.co.za Micro Finance South Africa www.mfsa.net National Credit Regulator Sharecall: 0860 627 627 Telephone: (011) 554 2600 Fax: (011) 805 4905 Email: info@ncr.org.za or Website: www.ncr.org.za Micro Finance Regulatory Council www.mfrc.co.za Ombudsman for Banking Services www.obssa.co.za South African Reserve Bank www.reservebank.co.za The National Consumer Tribunal www.thenct.org.za

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April 2010 Debtfree DIGI