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Debtfree South Africa’s debt counselling magazine

April 2012

Green Debt There has been much debate, marketing tactics and self promotion used to disregard the values and principles of Sequestration and Liquidation. As in all available solutions that help ease a financial burden, the success of the application, level of service provided and cost implications thereof, shape the type of consumer experience. It is therefore vitally important to use a specialist that places an emphasis in honour and truth; these are the specialists who respect their consumers enough to provide a service of value, without committing financial rape. No extravagant sum of money can buy honour, truth, service or respect. theDCI is proud to recommend Green Debt as our specialists of choice. Green Debt has established national relationships with market leading attorneys. All of the professionals involved with the company are exposed to strict screening and process evaluations. Green Debt’s personnel are all fully trained in the services provided and offer a free consultation whereby consumers will be comprehensively informed regarding the processes and risks. As part of the Green Debt service, a full support

system throughout the process is ensured for each consumer. theDCI recognises the role of debt counsellors to be that of consumer debt guardians. This role includes the need to advise consumers who can no longer afford their monthly debt review payments, who have no income or who do not qualify to be placed under debt review about the solution of sequestration or liquidation, as they too form part of the solution in helping to resolve financial stress. theDCI has tried and tested Green Debt’s services and support structure - the response from consumers has been highly recommended and positive. It is important to note that theDCI does not take kickbacks or offer kickbacks from any of the Attorneys that we have recommended either within the consumers section of this site, or within the secure section of this site. theDCI supports Green Debt because of their passion to assist consumers, their drive to ensure work is done ethically with the highest of standards, but never at unreasonable rates or to the detriment of the consumer. Green Debt is our partner of choice.

For further information go to Direct contact details, Leandri Haasbroek, Office Phone 087 151 0543 Email: or, SMS your name to 071 360 0038 and they will get back to you


Editors notes




The weird and wacky world...


Just joking


DC Partner Debtwise tutorial


The ten ‘R’s


Letter from a reader


Success stories


Consumer Protection Act




within the CPA arena, to begin to see the practical effects on consumers. Something that is effecting consumers, is the continued pressure from creditors who are trying to collect through other means even when consumers are under debt review. Finally however, the courts seem to be coming around to issuing 86(11) judgments and even making creditors pay for unnecessary legal action when consumers are already making debt review payments. However, due to this additional pressure from credit providers, the focus for many consumers and DC’s has recently been toward the negative. So this month, we thought, rather than focus on all the negative and boring stuff (don’t worry we have some of that too) we will try find our readers some weird and wacky stories relating to debt review. With your help, we are trying to come up with some jokes about debt review (no, calling consumers on April Fool’s Day and telling them their debt is written off is not a’s just cruel!) and yes, we do have an article on what the CPA can actually do for you.

So, we hope you enjoy all the news and funny A year ago, the whole of SA was talking about stories. Remember that each month you are the new Consumer Protection Act. We should taking another step toward financial freedom have taken note that the CPA, ironically, came and one day soon, you will be debt free. into effect on April fools day. A full year later, and we are still waiting to see any sort of concrete effect from the new Act. Having seen how long it has taken the NCA to gain traction and only now seeing the industry start to establish things like a responsible Ombud, and codes of conduct after years of being in effect, (it will be 5 years this June) I guess we will just have to be patient and wait for all the court cases and other developments

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NEWS FLASH For daily debt counselling news visit AllPro DC NEC 2 members of the Alliance of Professional Debt Counsellors National Executive Committee (NEC) need to be replaced after stepping down. Both stated that work obligations are consuming too much time for them to give proper attention to the positions. Both continue to be committed AllPro DC members. A member of the Western Cape Regional committee will now temporarily hold the post of Secretary until another election can be held in terms of the AllPro DC constitution and these posts filled.

Michael Tellinger Case continues Michael Tellinger recently went to the High Court with regard to his R800 000 Bond. He is seeking to gain clarity on where the money actually came from. Std Bank have opposed him and are focused on taking the property back and selling it. You will recall Mr. Tellinger lost his case and tried to appeal the judgment, however the judge who got to decide if there could be an appeal, was the same judge who gave the initial ruling. It took him only minutes to dismiss the appeal. Mr. Tellinger is now taking this argument to the Constitutional Court, supported by interested parties such as the New Economic Rights Alliance. For more info about New ERA or to comment on this matter head over to: za or

Is there a Bubble? Nomsa Motshegare, Acting CEO of the National Credit Regulator (NCR) recently said that the credit bureau statistics reported for the quarter ended December 2011 suggest the need for caution in regard to unsecured lending. Soon afterward there were claims that the NCR’s concern over the huge increase in unsecured credit had prompted Parliament’s Trade and Industry Committee to request a special hearing which will be held with the NCR and the Banking Association of SA (BASA) in May 2012 to discuss their concerns over this matter. Next, with the release of Nedbank’s recent financial report, all sorts of government ministers and political figures started shouting at each other and making claims about a possible industry ”bubble” in regard to unsecured lending. A large portion of those shouting are saying that there is no “bubble” and that the other side should stop talking about it. It is true however that unsecured lending has recently gone through the roof as the main BASA members (Banking Association of South Africa) including Nedbank, have aggressively targeted this area of the industry. However, despite claims that the NCR is “investigating” and that there are now “probes” etc into the issue, most of these claims have been exaggerated. While the NCR has asked the banks for some reports (they always do anyway) this ongoing issue

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NEWS CONT. which you may have read about, seems to be one of personalities and political wrangling rather than actual investigation. A case of more talk and less action on everyone’s part. Nedbank staff were recently told to stop commenting on the issue. It seems that Nedbank Management feel that this will just fuel the fire rather than change public perception. Rather, all such enquiries are now being directed to BASA for comment. It seems that most of the people concerned are more worried that saying there is a “bubble” will cause foreign investment and financing concerns rather than any actual concern that a bubble does exit. Many analysts say that there has simply been a shift away from secured lending to unsecured lending and that the banks are taking precautions to avoid reckless lending as per the NCA.

Consumers can approach the NDMA if they are not receiving these statements monthly. issues continue The NCR have recently been getting complaints about the NCR Debt Help system (this is a computer program used by Debt Counsellors to update the NCR about the status of consumers under debt review.) The NCR has received a lot of criticism over the years for the website being complicated (or not user friendly) and having many glitches. e.g. For quite some time, consumers leaving debt review have experienced problems when reapplying for credit because of the Credit Bureaus not having removed their debt review status on their systems. Since their systems are updated by the NCR Debt Help system, there seems to be a problem either in communication DC Partner or the software. Consumers who make use of DC Partner In April the NCR sent out a circular saying that Payment Distribution Agency can now look they are not responsible for these problems, forward to receiving detailed email statements then threatened Debt Counsellors and Credit of their monthly payments. This is as per the Bureaus to keep the systems up to date. Service Level Agreements that the NCR have However since the website is called http://www. with each PDA. They want to ensure that it is easy to see why people consumers know what payments the PDA would think that the NCR are responsible for have made each month. controlling this aspect of the process. There is now talk of the NCR asking a credit Many consumers are still not receiving provider body called the NDMA to take over statements from their creditors after entering and sort out the website - something that Debt debt review. Consumers have a legal right Counsellors and consumers might not actually under the NCA to receive this information. want to happen as it contains sensitive info that Some creditors may be unable to get their could potentially be abused by unscrupulous computers to make the needed changes, others credit providers. Not to say that that would be might be worried that the statements are not the case, but one wonders if the web-site name reflecting the payments received from the will then change to www.NDMAdebthelp. PDA or the adjusted interest rate calculations.

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NEWS CONT. AllPro DC Elect W Cape Committee Debt Counsellors in the Western Cape met at the end of March 2012 in Parow to choose a committee to organise activity in the Cape. 3 Western Cape members were chosen (as Chair person, Deputy Chair and Secretary). This follows after similar appointments recently made at meetings in PE and Pretoria. Information regarding the Alliances bank balance were announce to all in attendance in an effort to maintain transparency – one of the Alliance’s stated goals. It was announced that from 2 April 2012 onward, AllPro DC members would have the opportunity to comment on the drafted Code of Ethics and Conduct. Though the NCR recently recognised them as an association, they have urged AllPro DC to produce such a Code, and to have their members subscribe to it with all due haste. The draft Code has been circulated among the NEC members, as well as some regional committees, but has yet to be released to the general AllPro DC members for comment, due to delays. Less than half the DC’s in SA have signed the Current Code of conduct which was originally released by DCASA and later slightly modified by the NCR. According to one poll 28% of those who did sign the code sent out by the NCR have now said they did so under duress due to pressure from the Regulator.

the USA, as their seasons change and more Americans drive their cars, increasing US demand for an already reduced supply.

Debt Counsellor’s de-registration confirmed by the High Court. Over the last year and a half, the NCR have been trying to de-register Debt Counsellor Chriso Bornman. They had received many complaints about Mr. Bornman relating to poor results for consumers under debt review with him as well as the fees he charged. Many of Mr. Bornman’s consumers were asked (and agreed) to pay a 10% fee above and beyond the normal fees charged by most other Debt Counsellors. Normal Debt Counselling fees are 5% of the monthly repayment amount (up to but not more than R400). The NCR were also concerned that at first, Mr Bornman’s consumers did not make use of a Payment Distribution Agency, though this later changed. Eventually the NCR took Mr Bornman to the National Credit Tribunal and asked for his registration to be cancelled. It was cancelled, even though Mr Bornman fought the matter. When he lost the matter before the tribunal and was ordered to return the extra 10% fee, the matter was then taken to the High Court. Recently the High Court ruled along the same lines as the NCR and NCT regarding Christo Bornman having to pay back the 10% collection fee and his no longer being allowed to operate as a Debt Counsellor. As a result, he Petrol to go up again? For a number of reasons including economic has been asked to turn over his approximately sanctions against Iran, and the Rand to Dollar 4800 client files to the NCR. exchange rate, we may see petrol increase by While this ruling will not effect all consumers a further 20 cents next month. An influencing who were under debt review with Mr. Bornman, factor is the pickup in petrol consumption by if you are at present (or in the past) a client

NEWS CONT. of his, and are worried or would like to know about when or how you might get those funds back, then feel free to contact the NCR for more information. Contact Nurunisa Soobrayan on (011)554-2600. You can also contact PBC directly (ph. 0861900 091) to see if this effects your debt review, as your matter may have been handled by another Debt Counsellor at the firm and thereby not involved in this ruling at all. Mr. Bornman may now take this matter to the Constitutional Court to argue that the ruling handed down was defective and infringes on his constitutional rights. It has yet to be seen whether the Constitutional Court would hear such a matter.

New appointments at Std Bank Standard Bank announced some new appointments which effect the Standard Bank debt review department. Firstly Alicia Thandroyen has been appointed as Senior Manager, Debt Review Operations on Industry and Legal Matters (Alicia will be reporting directly into Tebogo Mocumi). Then Venessa Chetty has taken up a new role within Credit Rehabilitations and Recoveries and will no longer be overseeing the Debt Review front end operations i.e. COB, Service Fulfillment (Queries and Complaints), Origination and Admin, and Payment Management. With immediate effect Melissa Ross (Uzzell) will oversee the front end operations and will continue to oversee the Debt Review back end operations i.e. Proposals and Restructures, Legal Ops, Terminations, Exits and Reinstatements. Melissa will also continue to report directly to

Tebogo Mocumi. Should you wish to contact Melissa, you are welcome to e-mail her on: Cape Attorney withdraws from debt review cases Recently a prominent Western Cape Attorney, who was handling over 2000 debt review matters, contacted Debt Counsellors involved and told them that due to various reasons he cannot continue to handle the matters. This has sparked panic among some consumers and Debt Counsellors due to most of these consumers already having paid legal fees and now facing the possibility that they may have to pay once more. Many of the matters will simply need a document to be handed to the courts saying that a new attorney has been appointed while in other cases entirely new applications will need to be filed. Some DC’s are more concerned about problems that have arisen in regard to cases where the firm was unable to attend court or lost track of the progress of court matters. One DC, who now has several cost orders granted against her as the applicant for not having representation at court on the court days, says “two weeks ago MFC repossessed my client’s car - this was after I had full consent and no opposition on the court application. Much to my dismay, I found out that this matter had been off the court roll for more than 6 months, without my knowledge and contrary to the reports that were sent to my office.” She fortunately had a happy ending to this story. “Because I had spoken to MFC about issues with my attorney and could prove certain facts, my client’s car was delivered back to her house 5 days later...MFC were great in assisting

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and proves that some creditors do have understanding and compassion. They have also agreed to pay for all legal work to rescind prior legal action. Big thumbs up to them for this help.” Unfortunately for another client of hers, ABSA had already taken judgment and was actually busy selling the consumers house on auction before she became aware of any problems with that matter. (In that case, she

had received “full consent, including on the bond”). She was unsure how things could have gone from no problems, to auction so quickly. ABSA are now trying to assist in this matter.

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Other news stories at this month: Size matters at ABSA Consumer Protection Act 1yr old The NCR Blitzkrieg hits credit providers again Figures from the NCR Consumer Credit Report Sequestration? theDCI might have the answer for you FNB getting a bad rep DCASA forum ABSA retrenching employees sparks resistance from Solidarity Trade Union NCR SCAM? Job Search Coach gives advice Std Bank writes off R9953.08 in fees and charges Are you missing out on all the latest Debt Counselling news? Visit our daily or follow us on twitter to stay up to date.



The weird and wacky world of debt review OK so we know debt review is serious stuff. After all, it makes a huge change in a consumer life when they can finally stop running from their creditors and sticking their head in the sand and start to face up to their financial obligations. Debt Review is undoubtedly the cheapest form of collection for any creditor and has helped thousands of troubled South Africans... But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t weird and wacky stories about debt review out there. Here are just a few:

Urban Legend?

You may have heard of the possibly urban legend about the troubled consumers who go to a Debt Counsellor. The DC sits down with the consumers and works out that: No they are not really over indebted. He tells them your situation is dire but with some big changes in their lives they could cope. [ Now here is where the story gets weird] Then he tells them that if they go down to a local furniture outlet and buy him a couch for his office on credit they would be over indebted and would qualify for debt review and he would not charge them a restructuring fee. This is no joke. If a Debt Counsellor tells you something like this, get out of there as fast as you can and report them to the NCR.


Bond, Client’s Bond The story of a Debt Counsellor who ended up paying for a consumers bond...House Bond... (oh, oh we cant stop doing that) One day a Debt Counsellor received a strange email from her Payment Distribution Agency (PDA) telling her that her trust account held with them, was owed approximately R24 000.00. Kind of strange since consumers pay funds into this account and then those funds are automatically paid out to their creditors. So how could the DC now owe money on this account? After some investigation the situation became clearer. When a consumer’s application for debt review is successful the debt counsellor would provide them with the PDA Trust account details, so that the consumer can begin to make debt repayments into this account. So far so good, until one consumer in his infinite wisdom, went down to his local bank and completed a debit order for his bond (Home Bond). Since he was now going to be paying his debt via the PDA he decided to give them the banking details of the PDA trust account he had been given. Weird! Even Weirder the bank accepted this and began to make monthly deductions for the bond [Ed- i had to step in here and stop the whole 007 thing] against this account. This

meant that not only was the consumer paying funds into the bond account via debt review, through the PDA but the bank were now also deducting money from the PDA account directly, something that not even the Debt Counsellor can manage to do.

she answered the phone to hear one of her consumers muffled voice tell her: “ they’re spray painting my car “. “What” she said? They are spray painting my car she heard again. “Who?” she asked. “The Sherriff” he answered. “The Sherriff is spray painting your car?” she asked in shock. No” he replied No? she said confused. “No... my cow” he said pronouncing cow very slowly for her. “Your cow?” she said with a tone of incredulity in her voice Yes. It seems that this is a common practice in the world of agriculture where assets (lets say...a cow for instance) are bought on credit. If you don’t pay, they get taken away...oh and spray painted with a mark to indicate that they have been repossessed. These assets then are later sold on auction. Maybe you should give your clients your office and not you home number. * only the facts have been changed to make the stories more wacky, names are pretty much as they were.

When the PDA told the DC about the money now owing she did some investigating and found out that the consumer had somehow achieved the impossible. Trying to set the matter straight she contacted the bank and asked them to stop making the debits. They refused saying that only the consumer who set up the debit order would be able to cancel it (on an account that was not his) in writing. The bank even refused to help the PDA when they tried to get the debit removed. The Bank (Standard Bank) when contacted informed the DC that they has no obligation to confirm the banking details and “that’s why we have a complaints process” (quote). The DC had to resort to the threat of legal action against Standard Banks CFO before the debit order was suspended. On a more serious note, there is no guarantee that this debit order will not be re-instated at some later point (as can and does happen). Since it took the PDA 4 months before the irregularity was detected, other consumer’s debt review disbursements were effected when there was not enough money in the PDA A Debt Counsellor felt pity for a new consumer trust fund account. No laughing matter. who was trying to set herself up in a new apartment after a split in her relationship. The consumer had just applied for debt review and needed to make some big changes to reduce costs and begin to make regular debt It was a dark and stormy night when Debt repayments. Since the Consumer could not Counsellor Girl* received a strange phone afford the deposit required to secure the call. In her groggy middle of the night state apartment the Debt Counsellor went out on a

No good deed...

Remo o oo oo oving assets

limb and made the payment on her behalf. The grateful consumer was thus able to move into the new place and so begin her new life. When the consumer then did not make the agreed repayment as per the DC’s suggestion at the end of the first month of the review the DC followed up. The consumer promised to make the payment...but for various reasons relating to extra unplanned for costs which came up the consumer did not make her payment. The Debt counsellor encouraged her to make payment the next month end and tried to smooth things over with the consumers creditors.

When the end of the month came around again the consumer did not make her payment. In fact, she never made any payments after that despite always promising to. Eventually the Debt Counsellor was forced to withdraw from the debt review due to the consumers non cooperation as it was prejudicing the creditors. When the Consumer received notification of this she contacted the DC and swore at her saying it was because the DC was a racist b**#@h and ...(well we can’t print that sort of stuff but you get the picture). It just goes to show no good deed goes unpunished.

Speak to us for effective, affordable & ethical Legal Services! Our Managing Director, Nicky Campbell, is an expert in Consumer and Credit Law, having co-authored “The Credit Guide” (Juta) and “A Guide to the National Credit Act” (Lexis Nexis). Our Services include: • Consumer/Credit Law • Credit Record Rehabiliation • Contracts • Debt Collection • Debt Settlement Negotiations • General High Court and Magistrate Court Litigation • Trusts • Labour Law • Intellectual Property CONTACT, telephone (011) 367-0695, mobile 074-112-0076 or submit your query online at

Frequently asked questions At Consumer Assist Support Services wê receive a lot of questions from clients and the debt counselors that wê assist with their administration burden. I thought I will share some of them, Johann Vermeulen said. What is the difference between Debt Counselling, administration and liquidation? Debt Counselling is where a Debt Counsellor develops a repayment plan that is affordable for the Consumer and acceptable to the Credit Providers. This becomes a court order. The process is regulated by the National Credit Act Administration is a legal process, where the installments are reduced, but Credit Providers only receive payment every three months. The term of repayment is much longer than under debt counselling. Debt must be less than R50 000 to qualify. The cost is also môre than for Debt Counselling. (on average 12.5% of monthly installments vs 5%) Sequestration is a legal process where assets are sold to try and lessen the debt and the Court will appoint somebody to manage your finances. Not all qualify and those that do will be listed for 10 years without access to credit or until the Court declares you rehabilitated. Can I apply for credit while under Debt Review? No, the National Credit Act does not allow you to do so. If you are under debt review you will be flagged on the credit bureaus as such until a clearance certificate is issued. (wê can not say to creditors that wê can’t pay them full installment and then want to apply for môre debt) Is there a way that my debt can be consolidated? You can apply in conjunction with your Debt Counsellor for a consolidation loan to the relevant institutions however this tends to only be granted in extreme cases. Can I consult a Debt Counsellor if I have received a Section 129 Notice (Letter of Demand)? Yes, a consumer should visit a Debt Counsellor urgently if they receive a letter of demand. Debt Counsellors can negotiate on a letter of demand but they cannot include this debt directly under the court restructured debt review unless the creditor agreed. All your other debts can be included. You may be curious about the answers to other questions such as: Can I still go under Debt Review if I have been black-listed by a creditor? Which debt can be included? Does Debt Review mean I get a payment holiday? Must I continue to pay my accounts? When will I be under Debt Review? What proof will I have that I am under Debt Review? If so visit our website at: http://www.

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Just joking Almost every industry or ethnicity has a lightbulb joke. We love to hear them and to tell them but have you ever heard one about debt counselling? No? Probably not, so Debtfree DIGI is on the hunt for the most popular DC Lightbulb joke. We have added a few examples of lightbulb jokes below to give you a reminder of how they go and then we have a few submissions from readers. If you like one Debt Counsellor lightbulb joke in particular or want to submit your own then mail: Who knows you could even win a lightbulb... just joking. Q: How many call center people does it take to change a lightbulb? A: Ring-ring ring-ring Ring-ring ring-ring Ring-ring ring-ring Ring-ring ring-ring Ringring ring-ring Ring-ring ring-ring Ring-ring ring-ring Ring-ring ring-ring Ring-ring ringring Ring-ring ring-ring Ring-ring ring-ring Ring-ring ring-ring Ring-ring ring-ring Ringring ring-ring Ring-ring ring-ring Ring-ring ring-ring...

for the rights of the new lightbulb, and one to argue for the rights of the light socket Q: How many amoebas does it take to change a lightbulb? A: One. No, 2. No, 4. No, 8. No, 16. No, 32... Q: How many Debt Counselling Industry Magazine editors does it take to change a lightbulb? A: You were supposed to have changed that lightbulb last week!

Q: How many mystery writers does it take to screw in a light bulb? A: Two: One to screw it almost all the way in Q: How many jokers does it take to tell yetand the other to give it another light bulb joke? a surprising twist at the end. A: 622 - One to tell the original joke, and the Q: How many Department Managers does it rest to give some minor variation of it, believing this to constitute a great new joke that no-one take to change a light bulb? A: We’ve formed a task force to study the else had ever thought of. problem of why light bulbs burn out and to figure out what, exactly, we as A: One. Q: How many psychics does it take to change supervisors can do to a lightbulb? make the bulbs work smarter, not harder. Q: How many lawyers does it take to change Q: How many fish does it take to change a lightbulb? a lightbulb? A: 3 - one to argue for the rights of the old A: surrealist. lightbulb, one to argue

Q: How many market researchers does it take Q: How many people at the NCR does it take to screw in a light bulb? to change a lightbulb A: With what degree of certainty do you need A: None, they contract out for things like that. to know? Q: How many Debt Counsellors does it take to Q: How many `Real Men’ does it take to change a lightbulb? change a light bulb? A: 2000. One to change it and other 1999 to A: None: `Real Men’ aren’t afraid of the dark. debate whether the change was correct in view of the NCA and the NCR task Team report. Q: How many politically correct people does it take to change a lightbulb? Q: How many Debt Counsellors does it take to A: None. “Why should we impose our values on change a lightbulb? the lightbulb? If it wishes to be a lightbulb of A: As per your terms and conditions of no light, we should respect its uniqueness and registration the PDA have to change the bulb. individuality.” Q: How many Debt Counsellors does it take to Q: How many philosophers does it take to change a lightbulb? change a lightbulb? A: None. They’d just go round telling everyone A: Define “lightbulb”... that it’s time for a change to the light socket but the only way this can come about is if the Q: How many lawyers does it take to change a DTI does something about it. light bulb? A: How many can you afford? Q: How many Debt Counsellors does it take to change a lightbulb? Q: How many Call Centre Operators does it A: Four. One to determine if the bulb is indeed take to change a light bulb? dark. One to send the proposals to the light A: Who can tell? Call Centre Operators are socket. One to submit the court documents. always in the dark. One to complain to the NDMA when the light socket sends an 86(10) saying they no longer And now our best DC lightbulb jokes so far: wish to be part of the process and of course, the PDA to screw in the new bulb into a holding Q: How many Debt Counsellors does it take to account. screw in a lightbulb? Q: How many Debt Counsellors does it take to A: None. They’d rather blame the wording of change a lightbulb? the Act. A: Those lightbulbs can no longer be accepted for change as per the code of conduct. Q: How many Debt Counsellors does it take to change a lightbulb? To submit your own email us or visit: http:// A: None, a consultant will do it.

DEBT COUNSELLORS: Consumers look to us as their guardians, support structure, advisory council and at times, their last option of hope. If YOU cannot take the time to care enough about your consumers and this industry, maybe it’s time to rethink your profession. 4 minutes in one of your days to expose the truth is the best deal you will ever get. Sign to Unite.


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The ten ‘R’s Consumers need to get serious about their rights under the CPA and NCA. Public Interest Lawyer Louise Bick relates ten ‘R’ that all consumers should keep in mind.


You have the right to receive information in a way that is understandable. But, you still need to read agreements, including the terms and conditions, before signing. If you are unsure about anything, you need to ask questions so that nothing is unclear. It will be too late to say “I didn’t understand what I signed” after the agreement has been signed.


Like a cavity in your tooth, letters from creditors are not going to go away. The longer you ignore them, the worse the situation will become. It is your responsibility to react to these letters because (in some instances), if you do not, you effectively give up certain of your consumer rights. For example, by law, credit providers have to give you the option of seeking help from a debt counsellor before they can take action against you. If you ignore one of their notices (for ten business days or more) the credit provider can take you to court. If you receive any kind of legal document, such as a summons or notice of motion, react as quickly as possible because you are given a limited number of days to respond. The amount of time you have will be in the document. You should take this seriously because if you do not, a court judgment could be taken against you without you being there.


Write down as much as you can – from simple details, like the name of the person that you spoke to at a consumer complaints desk, to more important details such as discussions and resulting arrangements. If you ever have a legal problem at a later stage, it will be far easier to prove the facts if you have them in writing. The CPA recognises how important it is to have documentary proof and states that a supplier must provide you with a complete sales record of the transaction.


Correct errors timeously. If you see something strange, for example an amount on your statement or a deduction on your payslip, deal with it as it happens. It will be far more difficult to reverse charges or deductions after a few months.


Check quotations and prices before accepting them. According to the CPA, you are entitled to a written quotation for any repair or maintenance services over R1 in value. It is your responsibility to review this quotation and authorise the work to be done. The CPA also requires prices to be displayed and may not force a consumer to pay a price higher than the displayed price.


Consumers often get caught up in the excitement of a sale, particularly when the goods or services are marketed directly by telephone, email or in person. The CPA allows you to reconsider a purchase made as a result of direct marketing. But it is your responsibility to reconsider and inform the supplier of your decision in writing, within five business days from the date on which the transaction was concluded or the goods were delivered to you.


Think about the consequences of overspending – personal, financial and environmental – and resist the temptation. Be aware of the impact of your consumer behaviour on your own pocket and the community around you.


Tell others what you learn about consumer rights and responsibilities. The National Consumer Forum highlights the following consumer responsibility: “organize together Rely as consumers to develop the strength and Consumers have the right to complain to influence and to promote and protect our the relevant Ombudsman of certain service interests”. The CPA allows for recognised industries (e.g. Banking, Credit, Motor, Press, consumer protection groups to act and protect Short and Long Term Insurance), who will try to the interests of consumers individually or mediate between you and the supplier to solve collectively. the issue. It is your responsibility to choose respectable suppliers that are governed by Know your rights, know your responsibilities these bodies if you wish to rely on this option. and empower others to do the same.


Submitted by: Louise Bick It is your responsibility to try to resolve your Public Interest Lawyer at Werksmans Consumer consumer rights issue with the supplier directly. Law Clinic Fax: +27 (0)11 535 8573 Certain resources will only be accessible once Switchboard: +27 (0)11 535 8000 you have done so. As an example, the Credit Email: Ombudsman will only investigate your dispute after you have taken it to the credit provider or bureau concerned, and given them 20 business days to attempt to resolve the dispute.



LETTER FROM A READER Things people might not know about the sheriff of the court I was the deputy sheriff of the court in the George area from May ‘06 to March ‘09. In my time I saw many people get into a lot of trouble with our offices. In some cases the respondent just did not listen to the instructions given to him by either the acting attorney or even our offices once the documents arrived for us to execute the process. Mostly, people did not know what to do or how to react. Here are some tips for dealing with the sheriff . 1. Do not avoid the sheriff. If the sheriff contacts you, meet him, take the documents he gives you and ask him to explain the contents. It is in your best interest to get as much information from the sheriff as possible, as they work with these matters each and every day. Also remember, the longer you avoid the sheriff, the higher the costs will be. 2. Make a note of the date when you were served as most of these documents are linked to some sort of time frame in which you need to act. If the time lapses, the process will continue and will cost you even more if you ignore it. 3. If the sheriff comes to your home with a warrant of execution and wants to attach your goods he will, in most cases, not leave your premises without executing the warrant. Let him do his job, take the documents and sort it out afterwards. Remember, you still have time

and every time the sheriff must return to your home, the costs will only add up! You must act on these warrants immediately because the next step in the process is to remove the goods from your premises and once that happens, the costs will increase exponentially. By then it is too late to simply try and hide from the sheriff to protect you goods, because all they will do is get a locksmith to open your home and remove the goods anyway. This is within the boundary of the law. 4. One of the most dangerous documents is a summons commencing action which includes an automatic rent interdict. Here is why: Lets say you move in with a flat mate, the contract is in your friends name. You pay your share of the rent to him/her every month and he/she then pays the funds over to the landlord. After 6 months the sheriff knocks on your door with a summons and you realise that your flat mate has not been paying the landlord. What is the result? a) The sheriff will serve the summons and attach all goods in the home. b) Your goods will be attached as well, as you share the house. c) If you cannot provide the landlord with a document proving which goods belonged to you, which you should have given to the landlord prior to moving in, you are in trouble. When it comes to rent, all goods on the premises can and will be attached. Submitted By HJ



Success stories It is always nice to hear stories of how consumers were helped to avoid financial ruin. We asked SAinDebt Solutions to share some of their success stories with us. DAINFERN - MIDRAND One of SAinDebt Solutions’ Advisors had met with Mr.M 10 months before and at that stage Mr.M felt that he could still make a plan - his property was totally bond free and although he had cash flow problems due to some Government Contracts having gone sour, he was sure it could still be resolved. Unfortunately, as time went by things got worse and Mr.M defaulted on his levy account and the Home Owners Association obtained a judgment and a subsequent interdict against the property and were going to sell it on a forced auction. Mr.M contacted SAinDebt Solutions in the nick of time and we negotiated a settlement amount with the HOA and committed to maintain the monthly levy payment. Next we provided funds to do some much needed repairs to the property which, although a very beautiful house, fell into disrepair due to the lack of funds. We also provided some necessary cash for medication for Mr.M as due to the stress he was so weak that he had to get by on crutches. The property was subsequently placed on the market and was sold in quick time for an excellent price, realising M and Mrs.M a substantial amount.

Mr.M has recuperated fully and has the full use of his legs again - his mind is clear and free to focus on a new business venture and in his words “he has risen like a phoenix from the ashes!” WIERDA PARK - CENTURION Mrs.T’s property was scheduled for a sale in execution by the bank due to her having defaulted on the account and not being able to bring the arrear amount up to date. Mrs.T’s problems started when her husband tragically passed away two years prior and since then it had been a battle for her to support her family on her own. SAinDebt Solutions negotiated with the bank to stop the auction and made funds available to repair the leaking roof and damage to the interior, advanced cash to her to settle some minor accounts and then placed the property on the market. We finally achieved a selling price of 95.6% of the established market price. We again made funds available to Mrs.T to secure alternative rental accommodation and paid the balance of the proceeds over to her on transfer of the property to the new buyer. Mrs.T is ecstatic to have been able to settle all her bills, find a lovely townhouse and be able to start afresh and move on with her life.

Debt Wise Solutions

Debt review and distribution software. Proud Software provider to DC Partner, Payment Distribution Agency.



A CLOSER LOOK AT THE CPA - PART 4 Even though one often wonders if the CPA will have any tangible effect on consumers. You might be surprised by the extent of the rights protected by the Act. Such as: Section 8 the right to equality in the consumer market. This section confirms the right to equality and no unfair discrimination in supplying goods and services. Differentiation between treatment and services may be done, but only to satisfy the specific need of a group of people. Selling liquor and tobacco to minors are examples of restrictions, whereas the provision of vitamins and supplements to older persons is authorised as being to a specific group. Section 9 the right to privacy equals section 14 of the Constitution. This relates specifically to what is called ‘direct marketing’ through electronic advertisements or via mail. One often gets a sms with promises of some form of financial gain, loans, debt reviews or annoying information. Consumers have the right to restrict these adverts by ‘blocking’ them. Referring to contracts, there is a 5 day ‘cooling off period’ whereby the consumer can cancel the contract. This period does not apply to a contract under section 44 of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002. Section 13(1) the consumers right to choose. In short, this is where a supplier may not ‘bundle items’. An example would be where the supplier puts a pair of shoes together with pairs of socks for sale and says you cannot just buy the shoes or the socks separately. Not true.

Section 14 the renewal of fixed term contracts. The consumer may now cancel the contract on the expiry date without a penalty or charge. One can refer to the fixed term contracts of cell phones, gym membership and security contracts. Often consumers misread the fine print, where it is written that the contract will be renewed for a period same as the initial contract period, should the consumer not cancel the contract in writing before a specific time. One often finds that this lead to penalties and summonses being issued for ridiculous amounts by service providers. Even if one now does want to cancel a fixed term contract before the date of expiry, only 20 days notice are required. What a contrast! In some older contracts, periods of up to three months were required. Section 17 the right to cancel reservations, bookings and orders. If a consumer orders custom-made goods, they will however not be in a position to simply cancel the order with no consequences – the consumer will still be liable for expenses and the total outstanding amount due for the service. In all other such situations the supplier will be entitled to claim a reasonable amount as a cancellation fee. This section also includes factors to be taken into account when determining what the “reasonable amount” would be. Products may not be sold at a reduced price on condition that no refund will be made should the product be returned for some reason. This section also has an impact on fees from legal representatives. Adv Hennie v Rensburg

SERVICE 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 Central SA Debt Counsellors 082 950 7806 Fax: 086 563 1621 Consumer Assist Johann Vermeulen Tel: 0861 628 628 Credit Matters 021 431 9100 CS Debt Counselling Bernidene Smith NCRDC 764 057 352 4115/352 5000 Welkom - Free state Darran Manikam NCRDC704 Debtbusters 0861 663 328 (NO DEBT) Debt Budget Tel: 021 824 8885 Debt Solve Debt Counsellors Office: 033 397 0945

DEBTINC NCRDC’s 1071, 1188, 1189. Tel: (022) 713-2021 Fax: (022) 713-2028 Share Call: 0861 20 21 20 E-mail: Website: SMS: HELP to 35075 DebtSafe 0861 100 999 Debt Serious We are serious about debt Vida Scheepers NCRDC1792 Po box 394, Garsfontein, Pretoria 0042 Fax no: 086 553 9403 Debt Rehab Colleen Van Wyk(BCom, LLB) Debt Counsellor NCRDC2619 Tel: 083 290 0848 Tel: 011 740 7374 Fax: 086 716 9694 Website: Debt eezy Your Debt Solution made Easy Ashley Carstens NCRDC858 Tel: 021 839 2809 Fax: 083 512 4160 / 086 665 9125 Email: Website:

Debt Rescue Neil Roets NCR DC 474 Cell: 083 644 7406 Tel: 0861 800 009 Fax: 086 523 0617 E-mail: Derry Burge Tel: 021 855 5997 Durban Debt Counselling Services Suite 112, 1st floor Union Club Building 353 Sm ith Street Durban, 4001 Tel: 031 301-7893 Fax: 031 301-5809 Debt Counselling South Africa Cape Town Branch Tel: 021 919 66 94 Rod De Witt NCRDC831 Visit: Debt Knowledge Debt Counselling 082 379 2337 Debtonators 041 585 0276 Fincorp debt Counsellors cc Cecilia Zwarts Holistic Debt Counsellors

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 MG Consulting NCRDC 1403 Strand - Helderberg Area Telkom : 021 853 4537 Mobile Phone: 082 450 7459 / 082 782 0595 Fax Number: 0866 220 690 E-Mail: info@mgconsulting / NDA Debt Counsellors Your Trusted Debt Counsellors Gary Williams (NCRDC 143) Tel: 034 315 3880 Fax: 086 612 4112 Think Green Debt Counselling Sandi Pauw 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 Indigo debt counsellors CC Tel: 087 808 9734 Fax: 086 580 8675 Zuné Coetzer Debt Counsellors NCRDC 1599 24 van der Stel Street Dan Pienaar Bloemfontein Tel: 051-4364515 Fax: 086 5870 845 Email: 2nd Chance Debt Counsellors Tel: 0861 00 225 0

DRS KING WILLIAMS TOWN Herman Marais Cell: 082 378 3743 Email: DRS CRADOCK Office: 043 721 0652 DRS QUEENSTOWN Herman Marais Cell: 082 378 3743 Email: DRS MTHATHA Herman Marais Cell: 082 378 3743 Email: EASTERN CAPE: DRS ALBANY Office: 041 373 9693 Email: DRS ALGOA Marius Weyers Cell: 083 497 3219 Email:


DRS BOND CHOICE P.E. Andrea Atkinson Office: 041 393 7000 Email:

DRS BEACON BAY Johan Pretorius Cell: 082 324 4038 Office: 043 748 1139

DRS CENTRAL EXPRESS Derryn Fish Office: 041 373 9693586 2020 Email:

DRS BUFFALO CITY Herman Marias Cell: 082 378 3743 Office: 043 7210652

DRS DESPATCH Isabe Landman Cell: 072 337 3328 Office: 041 933 1189 Email:

DRS HUMANSDORP Morne Steyn Cell: 083 298 8182 Office: 042 291 0135 Email: DRS NKONKOBE (Fort Beaufort) Bernadine von der Decken Cell: 083 2859289 Office: 046 645 1898 Email: DRS KIRKWOOD Keith Le Roux Cell: 073 207 1675 Office: 041 451 0474 Email: DRS PORT ELIZABETH Derryn Fish Cell: 084 515 6135 Office: 041 453 8961 Email: DRS SIDWELL EXPRESS Keith Le Roux Cell: 073 207 1675 Office: 041 451 0474 Email:



DRS GOLDFIELDS (Welkom) Irvin Billy (Derryn Fish) Cell: 072 114 4427 Office: 081 319 0083 Email:

DRS CENTURION EXPRESS Amanda Johnon Office: 041 373 9693 Email:

DRS MANGAUNG Amanda Johnson Office: 041 373 9693 Email: DRS FOREISTATA EXPRESS (Bloemfontein) Derryn Fish Office: 041 373 9693 Email: DRS SOUTH FREESTATE Nelmarie De lange Cell: 079 236 3615 Office: 053 591 0734 Email: GARDEN ROUTE:

DRS SOMMERSET EAST Luther De Bruyn Cell: 082 568 2970 Office: 042 243 1107 Email:

DRS DE AAR Veronique Louw (Derryn Fish) Cell: 076 382 2020 Office: 053 631 1189 Email:

DRS UTENHAGE Lynn Lindoor Cell: 083 7174 183 Email:

DRS GEORGE Francois Van Zyl Cell: 079 522 1930 Office: 044 874 2820 Email: DRS EDEN (Hartenbos) Bruno Mertsch Tel: 042 291 1083/4 Email:

DRS LYNNWOOD Junique Julius Office: 012 807 4339 Email: DRS PRETORIA EXPRESS Ben Vermeulen Cell: 082 442 8654 Office: 012 331 2145 Email: DRS PRETORIA NOORD Office: 041 373 9693 Email: DRS ROODEPOORT EXPRESS Derryn Fish Office: 041 373 9693 Email: DRS RUSTENBURG Amanda Johnson Office: 041 373 9693 Email: KWA ZULU NATAL: DRS GREYVILLE Vyas Juggernath Cell: 083 206 0300 Office: 031 309 8716 Email:

DRS KOKSTAD Melanie Louwrens Cell: 083 269 0424 Office: 039 727 1430 Email:

DRS WEST COAST Marius Coetzee Cell: 082 978 4407 Office: 022 713 3766 Email

Staff Line Ndizani Executive Recruitment Cell no: 083 3028163 Direct Line: (011) 468 - 2150 E- Mail:

DRS MORNINGSIDE DURBAN Erica Mtshali (Amanda Johnson) Cell: 076 578 8660 Office: 031 301 5990 email

DRS SALDANHA Marius Coetzee Office: 022 713 3766 Email:

Information resources & services

DRS PHOENIX Vyas Juggernath Cell: 083 206 0300 Office: 031 309 8716 Email: DRS PIETERMARITZBURG Sanele Zulu Cell: 083 543 3487 Office: 033 394 8319 Email: WESTERN CAPE: DRS BELLVILLE Patricia Bekker Office: 021 948 8523 / 4 Email: DRS DIAMOND Clive Palmer Office: 021 421 8563 Email: DRS TYGERBERG Craig Lakey Cell: 082 627 0957 Office: 021 945 4062 Email:

DRS SOLUTIONS Christelle de Villiers Cell: 084 586 5600 Email:

U-Win Debt Counsellors Coreli Roos - NCR DC 509 Aliwal North, Burgersdorp, Bethulie, GariepDam, Smithfield, Springfontein Cell:079 626 66241 Rihanyo Debt Counselling (012) 804 50 57 SUPPORT SERVICES

Business and Personal Website and Software, Design and Development Services. Contact Number: +27 76 382 0933 Email: Web:

Designtimes South Africa’s creative resource TRAINING Compuscan Academy 0861 51 41 31 You & Your Money Western Cape: NCR Debt Counsellor Training: For a Cutting Edge Course with practical input contact: You & Your Money Dawn Jackson net Cell: 072 1769789 (021) 761 3287 FINANCIAL ABSA Customer Debt Repair Line 0861 005 901 Credit Ombudsman 0861 662837 Experian 011 799-3400

Eric Streso Financial Planner B Juris LL B CFP MBA Tel: 0833273358 Fax: 086 612 7912 Fair Debt 0829019788 or 012-3772558 PACFIN Financial Solutions Head Office Tel: +27 11 9757445 Fax: 0865368783 36 Van Riebeeck road Kempton Park 1619 Monte Carlo Building No 8 Voortrekkerstreet Kempton Park 1619

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

Kempton Park Contact: Reyno Coetzee Tel: +27 11 3945363 Fax: 0866048002 Cell: +27 73 3690884 Boksburg / Germiston Contact: Armand Posthumus Tel: +27 11 8921911 Fax: 0865620378

WIZARD Vereeniging Making Mortgage Magic Wanine Smit Tel:+27 16 454 1132 Fax:+27 86 686 3678 Cell:+27 82 445 3967

Nelspruit Contact: Ann Baker Tel: +27 13 7415559 Fax: 0880 1374 15559 Cell: +27 82 9024236 Springs Contact: Wynand Mclachlan Tel: +27 11 8113728 Fax: +27 11 8113728 Cell: +27 83 2754014/5

Eric Streso Financial Planner B Juris LL B CFP MBA Tel: 0833273358 Fax: 086 612 7912


Karen van Staden Tel: 012 998 9117 / 012 993 2132 Fax: 086 721 6467 / 086 662 1153 Email: Is it time to expand your Debt Counselling practice?

Do you need specialist Attorneys with a national footprint? Scheepers Attorneys

Gerhard Scheepers Do you need expert advice on how to protect your practice and your clients? Are you informed about recent statutory and Legal Rights legal developments within the industry?

Affordable & ethical Legal Services Tel: (011) 367-0695 Cell: 074-112-0076 Attorneys servicing individual needs Pretoria: +27(0)12 998 9117


Nelspruit: +27 (0)13 752 708

LUCID Attorneys Tel: 011 880 1100 Fax: 011 880 1101 Email:

Ludick Attorneys Prinsloo & Associates Attorneys and conveyancers Nanika Prinsloo Farm Bergamot, Paarl 7620 P O Box 6199, Paarl 7620 14 Laing Street, Barrydale 6750 Cell: 072-8558-106 Fax: 086-623-5986 RM Brown and Associates 601 Pier House, 13 -17 Heerengracht, Cape Town Docex 138 Cape Town t: 021 431 9127 f: 021 425 0875 e: Agiliti CC Colleen Van Wyk(BCom, LLB) Tel: 083 290 0848 Tel: 011 740 7374 Fax: 086 716 9694 Website: CREDIT BUREAUS Compuscan 0861 514 131 Computer Profile Bureau 0861 28 7328 Experian Business- 0861 63 60 70 Consumer- 0861 10 5665 Micro Lenders Credit Bureau 0861 28 7328 TransUnion 0861 886 466 XDS 0860 937 000 OTHER

Association of Debt Recovery Agents: 011 781 3337 Banking Ombud 0860 800 900 Credit Bureau Association 011 463 8211

012 841 2945 National Credit Regulator 0860 627 627 Ombud for Short term Insurance 011 726 8900

Credit Providers Association 011 789 6825

Pension Funds Adjudicator 021 674 0209 South African Fraud Prevention 0860 101 248

Department of Trade and Industry 0861 843 384

The Banking Association 011 370 3500

Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Ombud 012 470 9080


Financial Services Board 012 428 8000 Furniture Traders Association 011 789 6770 Legal Resources Centre 011 836 9831 Long Term Insurance Ombud 021 657 5000

EVENTS 20 April 2012 Western Cape Reckless Lending Workshop 25 April 2012 Free State Reckless lending Workshop 11 May 2012 Gauteng Court Preparation Training

Micro Finance South Africa 012 345 0809

8 June 2012 Eastern Cape Court preparation Training

Motor Industry Ombud

15 June 2012

Western Cape Branch Meeting 13 July 2012 Western Cape Court Preparation Training 22 August 2012 DCASA Annual Conference 14 September 2012 KwaZulu Natal Court Preparation Training For more information contact DCASA Head Office at 086 143 2272 or TRAINING EVENTS You & Your money A part time training option is available in Plumstead (Cape Town) Upcoming Dates: 21st May - 8th June. Following Course Dates: 23rd July – 3rd August (excluding Saturdays and Sundays) The Course is 2 -3 days per week for a total of 10 days. Contact Dawn Jackson for specific days and dates during these times. Dawn Jackson Training Cell: 072 1769789

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April 2012 Debtfree DIGI theDCI Special Edition  

Debtfree DIGI - April 2012 The Special Edition for theDCI News, articles,advice, jokes and DCI content

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