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South Africa’s debt counselling magazine

October 2013 www.debtfreedigi.co.za


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Debt Counselling explained Debtfree DIGI asked Debt Counsellor Darran Manikam helps us understand what debt review and debt counselling is:

In the current economic cycle many individuals are struggling to cope with debt. The same debt that was easy to manage previously may now be too much to handle with cost of living increasing and income shrinkage month on month. Banks and other creditors have been very aggressive in lending to consumers, but consumers are finding it very difficult to make full monthly payments to creditors. Many consumers are finding that they are over indebted and cannot manage their monthly debt payments anymore. Thanks to the National Credit Act that came into effect in June 2007, there is an alternative to help people manage their debt. Over indebted consumers can now apply for debt counselling with the help from the National Credit Act. Debt counselling protects over indebted consumers from aggressive creditors who are quick to take legal action and not always willing to listen or understand the consumer’s problem. Consumers benefit, because they get to pay more manageable monthly payments and the creditors benefit from not having to take any expensive legal action.

generally more willing to negotiate with a Debt Counsellor than a consumer. The reason is that with debt review the creditor knows that the consumer is truly over indebted and cannot afford the monthly payments. The creditors will see that the consumer is actively taking steps to repay them. The biggest mistake that over indebted consumers make is to do nothing! They wait and hope for a miracle or hope their situation changes fast in the future. They hope for an increase at work, or to win the lottery, they go gambling, or hope the debt and creditor will simply disappear. If you leave your problem for too long, not even debt counselling will help you. You need to take action before you get a summons from a creditor. Take action as soon as you see that your current income cannot meet all your monthly expenses.

Your Debt Counsellor will negotiate with your creditors on the your behalf during the application phase before referring the matter to a court for a Court Order. Creditors are Phone: 0313014810 / e-mail: debt@mailbox.co.za


EDITOR’S NOTE Summer is here. Ahhh glorious summer! Our fun cover says it all. Oh oh, which means that December will be here before you know it! Which means January with all it’s extra expenses is just around the corner! Wow that make my head spin. The bottom line is: If you want to fit into that bikini then now is the time to really step up your exercise routine. If you want to give gifts in December or buy school clothes for the kids in Jan then now is the time to start making plans for that. Don’t leave it to late. Time flies.

the groundwork for a new VDMS or Codes of conduct? Read and find out.

But some say the more things change the more they stay the same. This month saw the meeting of the new Credit Industry Forum (CIF) which has replaced DRAC. If you don’t understand any of that then be sure to catch our feature article on the topic. We break it down for you in easy to understand terms with all the nasty little acronyms explained. The CIF will be making suggestions to the NCR about how debt review should be done on a day to day basis. We look at issues some people have with the forum and what the forum have been talking about. Is the CIF already laying

We also interview a Debt Counsellor from KZN and consider how he runs his business. It is important to realise that DCs are normal business people to who face constantly evolving industry challenges. How does he get new clients? Who is the best creditor to deal with? Darran tells all.

This month we have a chuckle as we look at the world’s oldest debt review (not really) and you will see we have quite a bit of industry news. That’s because a lot of things are on the go. [In fact we couldn’t add everything so be sure to visit our news page for more info in the next few days.] This issue in the news we do get around to talking about one Debt Counsellor who is not a DC anymore and why that is.

Looking forward to the end of the year? Well, as said: time flies. Before you know it, it will be here and then before you know it you could be debt free.


C ONTENTS News

NCR Workshop for Debt Counsellors

DRAC is dead long live the CIF

ALLPRO DC Newsletter

Debt Counsellor Interview


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INDUSTRY

CONSUMER

NEWS FLASH For daily debt counselling news in 3 minutes or less visit www.debtfreedigi.co.za

Metrofile Arson?

On Friday the 11th of October a fire at Metrofile Westmead was reported. The fire began after hours and raged for over 24hrs well into Saturday evening. Roger Jones the eThekwini Fire divisional commander said that the “The fire is contained, but not extinguished,”. He said that this was not uncommon with a building this size and with this much flammable material in it. He also said” we are going to battle with it for the next four to five days”. Reporters mentioned that they could see large mounds of paper (documents) which were on fire. Fire fighters arrived on scene within an hour of the fire beginning. They were able to contain the fire to one of 3 warehouses on the site.

the past a ‘supposed’ fire (undocumented and unreported?) in the Gauteng area has been quoted as the reason why many banks are unable to produce original documents relating to consumers debts. This has meant that they are unable to prove they actually are owed money by certain consumers. This has become increasingly raised as consumers and Debt Counsellors begin to investigate reckless lending and securitisation matters. MetroFIRE This is seemingly the second fire at the facility in the last 6 years. It has been said that this fire has all the hallmarks of arson. Experts are pointing to several factors such as the timing of the fire and the fact that the building has an extensive fire extinguishing and fire retardant system in place. They say an accidental fire is ‘unlikely’.

All is not lost Not all documents at the facility are scanned and kept in a digital format as well but fortunately many are. Normally most vital bank documents are now backed up and copied electronically. For example, SA Homeloans who use the facility say they have electronic copies of those documents that were kept at Second fire in 6 years The Metrofile facility in Westmead contained the facility. Michelle Bovet ( SAHL marketing millions of documents from various Metrofile manager ) has said that all their “ title deeds and clients. Some of the clients who use the branch other critical documents are stored elsewhere”. are SAPS, SASSA, Banks, the Department of Agriculture and insurance companies. In


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NEWS CONT.

African Bank’s R280 million discount settlement

eventually settle the matter, after fighting over the proposed fine for quite some time at the NCT. The Settlement called for African Bank to Recently the National Credit Regulator ( NCR ) pay a R20 million fine and to to ‘write off’ the asked the National Credit Tribunal (NCT) to fine reckless loans, refund consumers and rescind African Bank (ABIL) R300 million for granting any judgments that had subsequently been reckless credit to numerous consumers. This taken against consumers. They also have to followed after an in depth investigation by the remove judgment and adverse information NCR. The investigation followed shortly after listings from the credit records of the effected the unfortunate events at Marikana . The NCR consumers. raided the various creditors in the Marikana area. Soon afterward it was alleged that the Why did ABIL only end up paying R20 million? NCR were investigating African Bank as well as Capitec in regard to illegal credit agreements So if the NCR called for a R300 million fine and reckless credit granting. At first the NCR why did they end up only paying R20 million? had denied it was investigating African Bank, Well first off R20 million is not to be sneezed Capitec and FNB. They later revealed that it at. True in terms of the banks revenue it is less was in fact true. Even the mention of such than a hiccup but it is still a fine which sends investigations hit Capitec and ABIL’s share an important message to others. It seems that the R300 million fine suggestion related to prices. accounts amounting to around R15.5 million. Also the fine is not the end of the matter. As All is not fine Next, in February the NCR called for the NCT mentioned the Bank had to write off loans and to issue a fine of R300 million against African refund consumers (so that is another +- R15 Bank. This related to, at least, 700 cases where million ). They also have to lose out on all the credit was recklessly granted. They also wanted legal fees and cost of rescinding the judgments to see the branch in KZN closed for 12 months. taken and collection costs etc. No doubt that all Some called the amount proposed to the NCT adds up (not to R300 million though). Keeping unfair or extreme. What is clear is that the the KZN branch open also keeps other non NCR wanted to make a clear point that such involved staff members employed. matters were indeed extremely important and Interestingly it seems to be that the African that such behaviour would see bigger credit Bank irregularities at their Dundee branch were reported on by African Bank themselves. providers taken to task as well. In May 2013 the NCR next called for Capitec This and the amounts involved may have to be fined in regard to initiation fees being been mitigating factors in the NCR relenting. Consideration also needs to be given to charged more than once on individual loans. the hidden cost of the plummet in share prices that the investigation influenced (in Settlement African Bank and the NCR were able to conjunction with the recent increase on bad debt repayments on unsecured credit that


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ABIL are facing). Reckless Lending This is not the first time one of the larger banks has been taken to court over reckless lending. Debt Counsellors are assisting the courts and consumers look into these matters country wide. Recently Octogen Debt Counsellors also had a reckless lending matter against African Bank in KZN which also went in favour of the consumers. The credit agreements added up to R575 000 – no small matter. When a creditor grants a consumer credit that they realistically can see the consumer cannot afford to repay this is called Reckless Lending. This is an illegal practice. Even where consumers say they can afford it but a simple investigation reveals that this is not the case if a creditor grants credit this is reckless and can end up being written off.

were different departments within some large creditors are at logger heads about how to collect their debts. Often well paying clients are harassed unfairly and their Debt Counsellor or even attorneys have to take action to protect them and their assets. Sadly however in the case of Mr. Bornman’s clients it seems that many payments had not got to creditors for a while due to infrastructure and logistical and not to mention reference number difficulties. Even though these payments later got to the creditors the damage was done and the creditors were unhappy.

NCR investigates After investigating the NCR also found that most clients matters had not been set down at court though they had been with Mr Bornman for some time. The NCR also found that Mr. Bornman had been charging a 10% collection fee. This is not an uncommon practice in some Supreme Court of Appeal other similar industries however is not one of the guidelines as set out by the NCR (and uphold NCT decision before that the Debt Counsellors Association to deregister Debt of South Africa). Though the Fee guidelines are Counsellor Christo not set out in law and the authority of the NCR Bornman to dictate these is still a hotly debated subject The SCA recently confirmed the decision taken the NCR took Mr. bornman to the National a long time ago by the National Credit Tribunal Credit Tribunal to have his registration as a regarding Christo Bornman. This is the latest Debt Counsellor revoked and to try get the blow for Mr Bornman who has been fighting 10% collection fee returned to consumers. his deregistration. A long time ago the National Credit regulator The NCT – 2010 acted against Mr Bornman due to a number The NCT agreed with the NCR and ordered of complaints by his debt review clients. They the return of the 10% and Mr Bornman’s were saying that they were paying Mr Bornman deregistration. This despite Mr Bornman and were still being harassed by creditors fighting tooth and nail along the way. and in some cases having legal action taken against them. Ironically this is actually not The High Court – 2012 such an uncommon thing under debt review Next it was off to the High Court in an effort


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to get the NCT decision over turned. This was work out what a consumers basic living costs not successful. The High Court agreed with the are and how much they can afford (how much NCT. So it was then off to the Supreme Court credit they can afford to repay). of Appeal. The NCR have recently released the attached guidelines for comment. The SCA – 2013 Now the SCA has agreed with both the High AFFORDABILITY ASSESSMENT GUIDELINES DOWNLOAD Court and the NCT. You can read the judgment NCR http://debtfreedigi.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/NCR-AffordabilityAssessmentGuidelines.pdf here: Christopher Bornman SCA ruling 2013 Has it been worth it? The NCR originally wanted Mr Bornman to return all the money paid in fees as well as the 10% collection fee. Along the way that has changed to simply the 10% collection fee so Yes it has been worth it for Mr Bornman to fight, as far as money is concerned. What now remains to be seen is how this might effect his legal practice. The SCA judgement confirms that he can no longer practice as a Debt Counsellor. The NCR hope to see their powers expanded under the amended Credit Act next year to include authority to publish fee rules etc. Most Debt Counsellors already adhere to the NCR fee guidelines.

NCR Guidelines for granting credit When a creditor wants to give a consumer credit, they need to figure out if the consumer can afford to repay that credit. If the consumer cant make the repayments and still cover their needs each month the creditor is granting “reckless credit”. The creditor could then lose out on that money of even be fined by the NCR. The NCR have been pushing for a published set of guidelines that creditors should use to

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The worlds oldest debt review? Debt review has been around for a few years A 260 year old Debt review?... well then if that now since the passing of the National credit is the case ; Yes 60 days have passed :) Act. Remember even large creditors can make In their day to day dealings with various mistakes. If you get such a letter be sure to talk Creditors Debt Counsellors get to see some to your Debt Counsellor so they can see what amusing things. Take for instance this strange is going on. Notice of Default letter from a Large Bank which seems to contain an obvious typo. A creditor The consumers and banks details have been can issue a notice to say they don’t want to hidden for confidentiality reasons. help the consumer through debt review and rather intend to sue them (called a Section 86(10) notice) but they can only do so at least 60 days after a debt review has started. See if you can spot the date that the Bank says the consumer applied for debt review on.


DRAC is dead long live the CIF!


• National Motor Financing Association (NMFA) • National Clothing Retail Federation of South Africa (NCRFSA) • Large Non- Bank Lender Association (LNBLA) • Debt Counselling Association of South Africa (DCASA) • Black Debt Counsellors’ Forum (BDCF) • Alliance of Professional Debt Counsellors (All Pro DC) • Credit Bureaus’ Association (CBA) • Payment Distribution Agencies’ Association The benefit of such a forum was recognised (PDASA) by the NCR, even as they pulled the plug on • National Consumer Forum (NCF) the process and so it came as no surprise when recently they NCR issued a circular saying that From the viewpoint of many Debt Counsellors a new committee called the Credit Industry this is a major improvement over the Forum (CIF) was being put in place to consider composition of the former DRAC as there is and propose matters regarding debt review to now representation by 3 Debt Counsellor bodies rather than only 1. There is also some the NCR. representation for consumers through the NCF. The Credit Industry Forum While many people had heard rumblings of such Comments on the online industry web forum a forum being put in place it was announced www.thedci.co.za by many Debt Counsellors quite shortly before it’s first meeting. The who do not belong to an association were not announcement via email on a Thursday late in complimentary about the seemingly secretive September preceded the forums first meeting set up of the CIF and the possible agendas 5 days later on the following Tuesday. For those behind not inviting more DCs to have their say Debt Counsellors and consumer bodies who in matters the CIF will consider. The various had not been invited to attend the timing was Debt Counselling Associations encourage a bit of a slap in the face. It brought to mind the these Debt Counsellors to have their say formation of DRAC and some of the issues that by joining an association and sharing their had been raised previously about inclusion concerns through these channels. and slanted representation. The NCR have tried to appease these Debt Counsellors by promising to share information Who is on the CIF? with them and allow them to email comments • NCR representatives to the NCR before they ratify CIF proposals. It is • Micro Finance of South Africa (MFSA) unclear if these comments will ever go back to • Banking Association of South Africa (BASA) • Consumer Goods Council of South Africa the CIF or only be considered by the NCR. (CGCSA) With the demise of the previous Codes of Conduct for debt review (a product of the old 2010 NCR Task Team recommendations) the Debt Review Advisory Committee came to an end. DRAC was a body of Credit Providers and the Debt Counsellors association of South Africa who made suggestions to the NCR about how to improve the debt review process in areas where the NCA was not clear or did not go into everyday operational details.


For example: the NCR Takes Team suggested So what happened at the first meeting? The CIF met on 1 Oct 2013. The NCR chaired that not everyone be allowed to have their debts reviewed only those who were working the meeting. and had a chance of repaying their debt over The meeting was very much focused on certain prescribed time periods. The NCR Task agreeing on the mandate and purpose of the Team also said that certain percentages of a persons income must be set aside for paying CIF. debt. It was said that the purpose of CIF is to continue the work of DRAC in the identification of Various courts have looked to the Task Team operational difficulties that come with the report as “rules” that the industry have agreed implementation of the National Credit Act (the on and see them as binding. Where consumers can’t meet these rules this has often meant day to day stuff). that they have unfortunately lost homes and The CIF is also going to focus on coming up vehicles. with industry agreements to these sort out The NCR Task Team also suggested content, these operational issues. layout and design of the various forms used It was suggested that the CIF follow the pattern by industry role players in sharing information of DRAC in suggesting to the NCR that the Task such as account balances and restructuring Team report be adopted as guidelines or rules. proposals. These have largely been adopted by One Debt Counsellor in the know told Debtfree the industry over the last few years. that soon the NCR will make the NCR Task Team Copies of the NCR Task Team report and DRAC suggestions into “rules” that will be binding on backed documentation was later sent to all every Debt Counsellor and consumer. They are who had attended for comment. Comments confident that this will happen without a doubt were to be submitted before the end of and that the NCR will even make it part of a October so they could be considered at the Debt Counsellors Conditions of Registration. following meeting. The NCR have said that they will rather be Written submissions about the NCR Task Team issuing these as “guidelines”. Report and “rules” must be sent to Maryke Moore at mmoore@ncr.org. za on or before 31 NCR TASK TEAM In the past DRAC had promoted much of the October 2013. proposed measures as set out back in 2010 by the NCR Task Team such as guidelines or rules The meeting ended with a lot of handshakes, for debt review and how much certain types of congratulations to the NCR and back slapping consumers must live on and pay, who can and over a job well done. cant make use of debt review and the setting up of codes of conduct which would make all Coming soon industry players do debt review in certain ways. At an upcoming meeting the Banking


dominated decisions in the industry. Be it codes of conduct or projects like VDMS there has even been legal action brought to stop some of these developments. Part of the issue has been limited consultation and information sharing. It is hoped that the NCR will not allow these obstacles to prevent the CIF from accomplishing it’s task. Sadly the late announcement and limited consultation What is a data switch? The data switch is a program which will help process in regard to the very first meeting has Creditors and Debt Counsellors to send not set a good tone thus far. confidential information to each other. This would presumably plug into the computer Download the NCR Task Team documents here: programs of the 3 Payment Distribution http://debtfreedigi.co.za/cif-submissions-more-info/ Agencies as well. It would really be a way for industry parties to send each other emails to the right addresses. The system does not store any information and could be handed over to the NCR to oversee. Association of South Africa (BASA) have been told that they will get to make a presentation in regard to the proposed “data switch” that the NDMA were working on before they stopped representing credit providers. A lot of money has been invested into the program by BASA via the NDMA and their contractors.

It was agreed that over the next while it would be best for the CIF to meet each month but that eventually this would go down to once every 3 months. Making the same old mistakes? In the past, though many helpful DRAC submissions were adopted by the industry there was a growing resistance to its proposals by Debt Counsellors. For instance: the proposal that not all South Africans should be allowed access to the debt review process is a sore point for many who point to the fact that the National Credit Act does not allow for this. While practically, it might be the case they feel that the law does not allow for this type of discrimination. Recently there has been a big backlash from Debt Counsellors, in particular, who felt sidelined by what they see as credit provider

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DEBT COUNSELLOR INTERVIEW


Debt Counsellor PROFILE

Darran Manikam Inkosinathi Debt Counselling Services 031 301 4810 debt@mailbox.co.za


How long have you been a DC? 5 Years. I was registered at the end of 2008 and Started Practice in 2009. What did you do before becoming a DC? I was a Conveyancing Paralegal at Livingston Leandy Incorporated. A Group of Attorneys Based in Umhlanga, Durban. What area (of SA) do you practice in? Kwa-Zulu Natal, Based in Central Durban Do you have a small/med/large DC company? I would say it is a Medium Practice, compromising of 7 Staff Members and 2 Debt Counsellors What makes your business a success? A vast knowledge of the Act and the ability to use the Act to better assist our clients. Our strong administration team and excellent staff make the work load easier and the process smoother. Our knowledgeable group of attorneys that assist with the court work and their willingness for our offices to pick at them when we need any advice or direction. Our willingness to assist the client even in some cases beyond our fee. We also have an excellent communication stream with our clients. Every staff member is adequately equipped to assist any client who walks into the office.

Who are your most co-operative and least cooperative credit provider at the moment? In general, the smaller Loan institutes and your mirco-lenders to some degree will never really accept the Debt Counselling process. I personally believe their co-operation to much extent is minimal and is only driven by the need to comply with the NCA. With respect to the bigger guys, African Bank has really come to the Party, except assisting our clients with Debit Orders (a tedious process) . Standard bank, First National Bank, Capitec and Nedbank are also trying to make the process work. ABSA on the other hand is by far the WORST managed debt review processing centre, they are extremely difficult to work with. The chain of command in my opinion is not even clear, within the bank. What is the biggest challenge facing your consumers at the moment? Access to information about debt counselling and Debt Counsellors. The negative picture that the creditors paint about the debt counselling process is what drives the client to the point of an impaired credit profile. Consumers are afraid of accessing this process due to the negativity related to Debt Counselling which is unfounded.

What advice do you have for consumers under debt review? Constantly check up with your Debt Counsellor. Where do you find new business? We do a bit of advertising in your local papers. Try to budget monthly and live within your However the vast influx of work would be via means. Always use the extra money that you “Word of mouth�. Many of my current clients might have to settle your debt faster. Even refer work to our offices. I also have a great though it might be extremely difficult, try to network of attorneys and companies that refer save at least a minimal amount monthly. work to my offices.


Debt Counsellors Associations Announcement Board

DCU

Please note the date of the AGM has changed. The AGM will now be held on the 12th of November. Venue: Kempton Park Golf Course. Time: 11 Contact dcasa@dcasa.co.za for more details/ directions. Meetings: DCASA Western Cape - 8th November 2013 - Year end meeting. Can alternative methods be combined with statutory debt review to rehabilitate consumers. DCASA Gauteng - 22 October - venue TBA

Download the recent 702 interview soon at

www.dcasa.co.za

www.newera.org.za

The Black Debt Counsellors Forum attended the new Credit Industry Forum meeting at the beginning of October and have disseminated a report to all our members. Members are encouraged to comment on the documents we have distributed regarding CIF.

www.bdcf.co.za

http://downloads.newera.org.za/TheNews/

Watch our Youtube videos: Debt Review http://youtu.be/olyHcjd4tB0 Reckless Lending 1 http://youtu.be/dhHdndTbWe8 Reckless Lending 2 http://youtu.be/xZz6IYcW3yU Terminating the Debt Review Process http://youtu.be/At_JkBFzlZQ

National Credit Act Part 2 (Section 82+) http://youtu.be/oo42SsSyJFg

For more information contact: chairman@newera.org.za

AGM: Our AGM has been moved to the first week in November. See our newsletter in this issue for more details. We look forward to a 3rd successful year representing our members. CIF: The Alliance of Professional Debt Counsellors got to represent the interest of our members and consumers at the recent CIF meeting in October. We will be attending the November meeting with comments from our members. www.allprodc.org


INDUSTRY

NCR Workshop for Debt Counsellors The National Credit Regulator recently hosted a workshop for Debt Counsellors. Workshops are being held across the country in an effort to reach Creditors and Debt Counsellors in all areas. Here is a summary of the workshop:

the inclusion of non association affiliated DCs. Kedi said that anything which is discussed at the forum will be disseminated to all parties. The NCR will perhaps even call for written submissions on certain subjects.

Morris Maluleke served as programme director for the day at the recent NCR Workshop for Debt Counsellors. He opened the workshop with a few brief words before handing over to Kedilatile Malakalaka. Kedilatile discussed the goals of day’s workshop. The NCR are not holding a single annual conference as they have done in the past but rather are trying to do workshops across the country. They hope this will help them reach more of the DC community who perhaps were otherwise unable to travel up to Gauteng each year. Kedi briefly discussed the NCR’s purpose in pulling the industry codes of conduct. Which boiled down to the fact the NCR wish to keep close control on the complaints and regulatory responsibilities. She pointed to the fact that there is still a gap in consumer education. The NCR are trying to help in this area. Debt Counsellors can be part of educational training as well by supporting local financial wellness programs. In other news she spoke of how the Credit Industry Forum or CIF will meet on the 1st of Oct. Concerns have been raised about

The Second Speaker of the day was Senior Magistrate Henro Du Plessis (Gauteng) He went into detail regarding the recent 2 Judge ruling on MFC v Jan Joubert (DC) Marais (consumers) in the North Gauteng High Court. In this matter the Debt Counsellor (Joubert) had brought a court application for the debt review which had been granted. The matter was later taken for a rescission by MFC who later realised they wanted to sell the consumers car. The ruling in this case discusses rule 55 of the MCA and how the founding affidavit needs to be comprehensive. The case went the way of MFC who attacked the original courts ruling based on the fact that the founding affidavit was too brief and did not have lots of documentation backing up the statements made. In the original Court Order the vehicle repayment was rescheduled over 12 years. The Judges and MFC did not like that. The Judges said the founding affidavit must contain ALL the facts and evidence. One part of this lacking back in the original application for debt restructuring was that the consumers salary slip was not


attached to original affidavit ( it was later provided in a supplementary affidavit). Even though it was later provided the Judges agreed with MFC that this was slack on the DCs part and should have been there from the start. MFC said the initial application to the court did not really prove the consumers were over indebted. (It was later shown that they were) The Judges stress the need for good faith by all parties incl. the DC and consumer. The Judges say that sale of assets is where possible the best course. ( DCs point out that this is normally not possible in the 60 day window in which the matter needs to be finalised and brought to court). A Founding affidavit would have to explain keeping an asset such as a vehicle. The Judges also want all types of debt included or an explanation of why excluded (as happened with 2 smaller debts in this case). In their judgement the Judges quote some sort of ” industry agreed consensual arrangement” Which has to do with old Task Team guidelines which many Credit Providers contributed towards. In those guidelines a period of 84 months was mentioned for car repayments not 12 years as was ordered by the Magistrate. In a surprise move the Court not only over turned the ruling and sent the matter back to the Magistrates court but also ordered punitive costs against the DC. It seems that applications for Debt review will now have to become more lengthy affairs in order to prevent this sort of rescission application which might come up later.

official letterheads and must be signed by the DC. It is interesting to note that arrears accounts need a clearance certificate or will remain on the system even though the ‘debt counselling’ flag is removed from the consumers profile. If DC notifies them via the ncrdebthelp system that the debt review has ended that flag is removed but any adverse payment info will remain and can prejudice consumers. This will always then be the case when a consumer withdraws before the process is concluded since the DC cannot then issue such a certificate. Jolindie Ferreira from the NCT discussed how tribunal operates. She ran through the various phases of an application to the NCT. The NCT try to be quick, accessible, fair. At present the NCT are aiming for a 3 month turn around on consent orders. Practice notes are available on the NCT’s website. They will help DCs prepare their applications in a step by step manner. http://www.thenct.org.za/practice-notes Janie Van Wyk of the University of Pretoria Law Clinic who are very involved in assisting the NCR with regard to research into the NCA and debt review presented in regard to EAO (commonly called Garnishee orders). It was highlighted that many Garnishee orders are unfortunately fake. One simple method to check the veracity of an order is to see whether it was stamped by a clerk of the court. It was later pointed out that such an order is in fact illegal or invalid.

Then began the NCR portion of the workshop: Mr. Craig Sassman spoke on behalf of the Credit Maryke Moore discussed issues that have been Bureau Association. He spoke about the need noted in NCR monitoring visits. For example for all Debt Counsellors to use credit bureau the use of the NCR logo and display of NCR reports to evaluate levels of indebtedness. He stickers and certificates. Loading consumers stressed that Clearance Certificates must be on onto the ncrdebthelp system before they sign


a form 16. Another common issue is the lack of annual reviews by DC. In an amusing tale she told how some DCs fail to add a date to the form 17.1. Some DCs are also not submitting their Form 42 quarterly statistical report either on time or at all.

Joseph Selolo senior legal advisor of the NCR Investigations and Enforcement department discussed how their department is based firmly on the NCA Section 15. They have the authority to enter and investigate matters by accessing computers and files. Recently the NCR have been swooping in on credit providers countrywide investigating illegal credit agreements and practice’s. His presentation had a somewhat threatening tone to it and many attendees stated afterward that they felt they were being warned or threatened. Some said that the threat of fines that were made during the presentation could discourage the newer DCs and those recently qualified from pursuing a career as DCs.

Takalani Macau spoke about the NCR’s complaints department. Their focus is clearly on the consumer. If a Consumer has an issue and the DC wants to let the NCR know the Form 29s should come from the consumer rather than the DC. If it does come from the DC then it is necessary for the DC to include documents from the client giving them permission to do so. So rather get the consumer to send the complaint in. If you have an urgent matter relating to the sale of an asset let the NCR know After a shortened lunch and some important in your email header and call them to follow networking as well as a chance to talk to DC Partner, Hyphen and NPDA at their stands Ms up. Melanie Padayachee of Standard Bank was Ronald Sabelo discussed the registration and the first speaker of the afternoon session. She compliance department. After 5 years the NCR considered how the Standard Bank Debt Review can review the conditions of registration of a DC department has progresses from a paper ( as per the NCA). This has been done and new a based system to a fancy computer system. She set of conditions are soon to be sent out to older discussed how Standard Bank are working on DCs. If the DC is not happy they can comment old issues like changing account numbers and and even approach the NCT to see if they have several different attorneys handling a matter. to comply with the new conditions. He got a They are also trying to ensure that statements few nervous looks from the audience as he on all products are regularly provided. If these considered a recent NCT judgement regarding are not being received they can be requested. payment of the DC annual registration renewal fee. In the judgment the NCT says that if you Selby Mokgotho of ABSA began his haven’t paid the renewal fee by the due date presentation with thanks to all parties from then your registration has actually ended and the DCs to the NCR. He says that ABSA are you would have to apply all over again should committed to the rehabilitation of consumers you wish to continue practicing. They did not and the debt review process. He noted that mention anything about the long application from some comments he has heard today times. Often new DCs wait for around 6 months it may not seem that way but assured the audience that it is the case. ABSA have been to be vetted and have a certificate issued.


struggling to meet the required time lines for orders. These will shortly be sent to DCs. She certain information supplying and responding also discussed some of the issues that might to matters promptly. They have also had a be tabled at the upcoming CIF meeting. recent run of collection agent woes. Q&A African Bank’s Muhammed Laher spoke briefly A short question and answer session followed (so as not to “bore” us – his words) about how with one or two comments on the presentations there are many consumers who still need debt from the audience as well as some suggestions review. One issue that African Bank face is on how DCs would like recommend some account number issues with payments from matters be handled. The panel took notes and the PDAs. This has made allocation of funds answered a few other questions. an issue. They are also like the NCR concerned that consumer info is not being updated At this point the meeting was concluded and on the ncrdebthelp system. They ask that the audience went their various ways. Many consumers themselves cancel debit orders DCs said that they would have enjoyed even when beginning debt review or that a Power more chance to pose questions to the panel of Attorneys be sent by DCs who are asking and NCR but had been able to approach the for debit orders to be cancelled. African Bank speakers informally at lunch and after the often see 2 or even 4 missed payments when event. The NCR then handed out certificates consumers first enter debt review and this of attendance. If attendees filled in the register effects the account balances they have on their Morris promised to send them some of the system before court orders are granted. The presentation material for their later use. PDAs also track interest from the date of the CoB but not all additional fees which might get Mixed reviews added due to late payments etc. This means Some DCs said they did not learn anything that later there definitely will be a difference new from the event or felt threatened by some between their figures and the PD A reports of the presentations. Others said that they which are based on the original CoB. He also enjoyed the chance to meet other industry took some time to promote their LegalWeb players and had a great time. system. If the NCR workshop comes to your area why Mpho Lekala of FNB was the final speaker of not attend? You may not get to ask all your the day. She went through a list of common questions in view of the limited time but you problems that the he NCR had gathered from will get a chance to meet those who later will local Debt Counsellors before the event. Even if be able to do so. she was unable to give resolution or total clarity on each point she did make brief comments on most issues. For instance she revealed that BASA have created some new standard forms such as a PoA for use for cancellation of debit


OCTOBER

NEWSLETTER The Alliance of Professional has entered our 3rd year of hard work representing our industry. We want to thank those who have served on the NEC and who have done so much hard work this last year, namely: Simon Barkenhuizen, Alan Manshon, Marie Kruger, Adri De Bruyn, John Steyn, Hennie Vermaas, Karin Augustyn. The Annual General Meeting Members all received an email notifying them of the change in date for the AGM. The meeting has been moved from October to the first week in November rather as it suits our members best and allows for the nominations for next years NEC to be submitted in advance. We will notify all members via email of the exact date. The venue will now be in Stellenbosch. Please contact secretary@allprodc.org if you need copies of the Constitution, proxy or nomination forms. Credit Industry Forum - update We attended the first CIF meeting in October. The first meeting was mostly what you would expect of a kickoff or launch meeting. Procedures and responsibilities were covered and a discussion was held about the CIF will run.

For the moment the CIF will be meeting once a month and will be discussing operational issues relating to the review process. The first item to be discussed next month is the NCR Task Team findings. We have been asked for our views and have prepared comments. If individual members also wish to submit their own comments they are welcome to do so and can send them to secretary@allprodc.org . We will then add them to the official Alliance comment. The Alliance will also have the chance to raise specific issues to be discussed at the forum in the future. With this in mind the NEC met to discuss what topics our members would like to see raised as we know there are several common issues we are all facing. We will submit these at the next CIF meeting. CONTACT DETAILS secretary@allprodc.org FORUM: www.debtconcern.webs.com WEBSITE: www.allprodc.org FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/AllProDC TWITTER: www.twitter.com/AllProDC


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The best angle to approach debt is the Triangle Caledon - Western Cape Contact Person: Yolande 8 Hoop Street, 7230 Caledon caledon@triangletrust.co.za Tel: 028 212 2537 Ceres - Western Cape Leyll str 61, 683 Ceres andre@triangletrust.co.za Tel: 023 312 1292 Fax: 023 312 2119 Worcester - Western Cape 71 Porter Street 6850 Longitude: 19.44305 Latitude: -33.64942 worcester@triangletrust.co.za Tel: 0233420576 Fax: 086656801 Bloemfontein - Free State 94 Zastron, 9301 Bloemfontein Contact Person: Yolande bloemfontein@triangletrust.co.za Tel: +27 51 448 2828 Fax: +27 51 447 9481 Viljoenskroon - Free State 35 Denyssen Street, 7230 Contact Person: Johann Olivier viljoenskroon@triangletrust.co.za Phone: +27 56 343 0352 Fax: +27 56 343 035 Welkom – Free State 329 Stateway, 9460 Welkom Contact Person: Susan Roux Email: welkom@triangletrust.co.za Tel: +27 57 352 6117 Fax: +27 57-352 2355


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TRAINING

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Steyn Coetzee Attorneys / Prokureurs Adri de Bruyn 11 Market Street / Markstraat 11, Paarl, 7646 Tel: 021 872 1968 Fax: 021 872 2678 adri@steyncoetzee.Co.Za

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Debt counselling explained DTI Minister Rob Davies interview

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Debtfree DIGI October 2013