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Debtfree South Africa’s debt counselling magazine

SEPTEMBER 2010 www.debtcounsellingsa.co.za


Editor

Contents 02

Editors notes

03

Decoding the jargon

06

Bad Client

08

Derry vs Golliath continued

10

NCR Task Team Presentation

14

FNB and form 17.4’s

16

Uncertainty

18

News Flash

21

Service directory

With over 7000 new applications a month for debt review most DC’s were very busy this month. In fact this month should see the number of applications for debt review finally pass the 200 000 mark. However, most DC’s will tell you there is still room for increased growth in the industry. The largest debt counselling firm in the UK received an average of about 30 000 applications for debt review EACH MONTH, last year. WOW that’s a lot of applications. With over 8 million consumers in serious credit trouble in SA there should be a lot of applications pouring in. This month saw some interesting developments within the NCR and the beginning of the new BASA backed advertising campaign being conducted about the industry. We all know that there are lots of good people under review trying to sort out their debt problems but…there are some bad ones too. If you are a consumer have a look at the article entitled “Bad Client” and avoid any of the naughty things mentioned there. Remember Derry? Well we caught up with her to find out all the latest news about her ongoing battle. Keep going strong Derry! Your clients need you. We hope you enjoy this issue and wish you financial freedom and hope one day soon you will be DEBT FREE.

Editor


CONSUMER

Decoding the jargon Get your matter “set down” If you entered the debt review process before September 2009 the chances are that you have not had your debt review application heard at your local Magistrates court. Last year, the NCR approached the courts to try get a declaratory order given to help get some clarity on the debt review process. In the judgement that was handed down it was stated that ALL debt review matters had to be referred to court. Previously it seemed according to the phrasing of the National Credit Act (NCA) that only some matters had to be referred to court. Indeed it seemed that the law makers had envisioned all creditors cooperating with the process and had not foreseen that so many of the large creditors would try to terminate consumers debt reviews and pursue legal action against them instead of making a realistic plan to settle the debt over time.

When an application is handed in at the courts, a date is given on which the matter will be heard. In some parts of the country this is within a month, while in other areas it might only be after a whole year has passed. The important detail is that an appointment to hear the matter in court has been made. This is what the term “set down” means.

After the declaratory order was made (and in When an application is handed in at the courts, many cases before) all debt counselling matters a date is given on which the matter will be are now being heard by the courts. heard. In some parts of the country this is within a month, while in other areas it might only be You may receive a call from a collection agency after a whole year has passed. The important acting for a creditor (they shouldn’t be calling detail is that an appointment to hear the matter you but lets be honest they do) asking about in court has been made. This is what the term your debt. When you mention that you are “set down” means. So your debt counsellor or under debt review they may ask you if your the attorney acting on your behalf may contact matter has been “set down”. What exactly does you with an affidavit about your debt review that mean? and a notice of application showing the date


on which the matter will be heard in court. Normally you will have advanced warning of the date as your DC or the attorney helping you will send you an affidavit by the debt counsellor about your matter and ask you to sign an affidavit confirming that you agree with what the debt counsellor has said.

As you will no doubt be aware, during an application for debt review, no new legal action can be taken against a consumer during the first 60 days but after that time creditors who may be out to hurt rather than help you can terminate the debt review.

review process (a section 86(11) application).

So why not call you DC and ask him if your matter has already been “set down” and if so, what is the date? Alternatively if it has not yet been set down, don’t berate your DC, no doubt they are working their way through all their existing clients, and will inform you when they begin to work on your court documents. If you are a new debt counselling client then your matter should be set down somewhere in the first 60 days of your application. If it is not, you One of the good things to come out of the may be exposed to unnecessary legal pressure declaratory order of last year was that notice and risk, so check with your DC. of these matters may be sent to all parties involved electronically if everyone is happy Either way you want your matter “set down”. with that arrangement and gives written consent to that. This has really helped to speed up the process. As you will no doubt be aware, during an application for debt review, no new legal action can be taken against a consumer during the first 60 days but after that time creditors who may be out to hurt rather than help you can terminate the debt review. By having your case “set down” however, you receive further protection from the law and should the creditors now try to send you summonses etc you can ask your attorney or DC to help you make an emergency application to the court to make the creditor co-operate with the debt


So Debt Counsellors want specialised ATTORNEYS who can sort out all their DEBT COUNSELLING needs...

RM Brown & associates

www.rmbrown.co.za


CONSUMER

BAD CLIENT When a client walks into a Debt Counsellor’s office, the counsellor has no idea what kind of client they will be. All DC’s hope that the consumer will take advantage of the process to help get themselves out of financial pressure and head to financial freedom. However this is not always the case. Sometimes the consumer is just a “Bad Client”. What is a bad client you ask? Well, there are many types of Bad Clients out there. There are the hoppers, the skippers, the wasters and the vanishing acts’ to name a few. The Hoppers are people who do not really qualify for debt review but have heard about it and think that this is what they want to do, that this is a way for them to pay less or not have to pay their debts. They then approach a DC providing only part of the necessary documents and pleading for help. The DC then registers them with the NCR as applying for Debt review. Later when the DC has made enquiries with credit bureaus and creditors and informed them that they do not really qualify, instead of accepting the fact, they go hopping off to another DC to do it all over again. Why? Do they think the first DC was incorrect? Are they trying to abuse the system? There are variations of hoppers out there as well. There is also within this group the type who simply dont pay when the time comes and when the DC then removes them from the process due to non-payment, they run to another DC begging

for another chance. They are also part of the “wasters” group below. The Skippers are clients who enter debt review and do well for a short period. However after a while they simply do not make a payment one month. This could be for various reasons, however they all have one thing in common… they don’t forewarn their DC about any problems they are having. In fact the first the DC normally hears about the matter is when a creditor calls asking about a missed payment or perhaps sends out a letter Terminating the debt review due to non payment. When this happens, the DC will no doubt contact the client and ask what is going on. The truth is however, often by then it’s too late to do anything about the problem. Some DC’s will even then try helping a client remain under review, but please remember, they are not obligated to do so and are doing so from the goodness of their hearts. Missed payments mean the end of a debt review unless prior arrangements are put in place with the creditors. Foolishly Skippers often try to keep quiet hoping that the DC will not notice… and he might not, but the creditors definitely will and they are not as willing to give second chances. Remember that the DC is operating within the guidelines of the National Credit Act and the NCR guidelines for debt counselling. It is not up to your DC if you can skip a month or not. The current NCR


statistic for people in default of their debt it is too expensive or difficult for them to reach review arrangement is almost 45% of all people their DC you say. Well most DC’s are happy to under review. call a client back if they can’t afford to make a long call. Friends will often let you use their The Wasters are clients who approach a DC phone briefly. Maybe they lost the number you for help and seem to be cooperating with say. Maybe they should use a phone book like the process untill it comes time to pay. One they did when they first called for help. consumer who approached a DC when he experienced problems repaying his car. He The list of strange things clients do is too was accepted into the Debt Review process extensive for this article, but take the example and was declared over-indebted. A plan was of one client who, after several months under made up which the vehicle finance company review, contacted one of their creditors in were happy to accept. The client agreed to the writing to ask for all the funds that had been new, much reduced proposal. However when paid over via the debt review process back it came time to pay he simply did not. After a as they needed some money for something. month, despite requests from his counsellor, Sadly clients like this make life difficult for good he did not pay, the DC terminated his debt clients who are trying hard to get out of debt review, since obviously it was not working for and honour their obligations. Fortunately the him. The DC then informed the creditor that majority of clients who are under debt review unfortunately the client had decided not to are good, honest, hard working clients. DC’s pay. Later, when the vehicle creditor began have been tasked by the NCR to help weed out to send collection agents to collect the car to the good from the bad and to terminate the auction it off to recover some of their funds, debt review of clients who are not sticking to the consumer began calling his previous DC the debt restructuring proposals. making promises that he would now pay. Too late Bad Client! If you are a DC maybe you have seen some Another DC spent days putting together a plan clients like this and sadly if you are a consumer with the client and the creditors and then when maybe you are one of these naughty clients. If it came time for the client to pay they turned so, debt review is not for you. Instead there are to the DC in horror and said: “you mean I have other things for consumers like you. Things like to pay?” Maybe they thought that the DC had summonses, judgements, garnishing orders been working on their own budget and their and repossession / auction of goods. These own debts all that time. things are not fun and they are a lot worse than sticking to your debt review repayments. The Vanishers are clients who do simply Repayments which, due to all the hard work what the name implies and disappear. Now of your DC and kindness of your creditors, are sometimes a client will die and it is hard to hold no doubt a lot less than what was previously this against them. However often when things asked of you. go wrong at home and the client realises they won’t be able to pay, they simply stop So please: Don’t be a Bad Client! answering all attempts at contact from their DC. They may move or change work and for some reason decide they don’t want to talk to the very people who are helping them. Maybe


INDUSTRY

CONSUMER

Derry vs Goliath contINUED A few months back Debtfree focused on one DC’s fight against a large South African taxi financing company. Debtfree chatted to Derry again recently to see how things were progressing. It now seems as if Derry has made some progress in the matter (besides having now received 7 death threats) The CEO of the company, Mr. Martin Bezuidenhout, was “let go”. Derry has also lodged a revealing affidavit with the NCR from a DC who was recruited by the taxi finance company to conduct what was internally dubbed “operation shut down”. The purported purpose of the operation was to close down and pressurize DC’s who were dealing with the taxi financing companies matters. In the Affidavit the DC alleges that certain named individuals from the NCR were colluding with the taxi finance company to stop the process working. The NCR have outsourced the investigation to Peter Dixon. To date none of the parties concerned have been suspended and the matter has been brought to the attention of the “Hawks” for further investigation. Recently resigned CEO of the NCR Mr. Davel has urged Derry to once again take the matter to the courts and to append the NCR’s own summons against the company to her matters. Recently the NCR have investigated the company twice. However despite this investigation and the summons in question from the NCR over 2000 former clients of the taxi financing company

have lost their vehicles (and thus their means of earning a living) while under debt review. Undoubtedly such a huge battle against a large establishment which does not want to “play fair”- to the point where they might be recruiting DC’s to help them find all the loop holes in the Act - is taking it’s emotional and financial strain. Derry jokingly states that if the NCR don’t come to the party it may be Debt Counsellors like herself who need debt counselling one day. Derry’s fellow DC’s are urging her on to keep on battling against companies who take advantage of vulnerable clients and who act contrary to the precepts of the NCA.


Limited Cover Plan

DrivePlan

When you are under debt review, you enjoy protection from your creditors, to the extent that the bank cannot repossess your vehicle. The only instance where you are not protected, though, is when that vehicle is not insured. The bank is then legally entitled to repossess the vehicle, as you are in breach of contract. The problem is that normal insurance is expensive. Our solution is motor vehicle insurance with limited cover. The outstanding balance owed on the vehicle is covers for total loss only (through theft and accident). This means that you are not covered for smaller accidents where the car is not written off. Because of the limited cover, the premium is considerably less than comprehensive insurance, in fact, about a third of normal insurance. You might ask whether such insurance will be acceptable to the bank? The answer is a definite yes, since all the banks are selling a similar product to their clients. Remember, if your car is not insured, it is nót protected under debt review.

DrivePlan is an affordable car rental pool for people who have lost possession of their cars. Once you are under debt review, you are not allowed to finance another vehicle. In the event that you lose your vehicle due to an accident or theft, your insurance will only settle your account with the bank, still leaving you without transport. DrivePlan will rent a car or motorcycle to you, subject to availablity. A huge advantage of a rental vehicle is that your instalment includes insurance plus 3500 km free per month.

DrivePlan Deposit Cover A long term rental as explained above require a substantial deposit initially. For a car this might be up to R5000. Our Deposit Cover allows you to plan ahead for such an event. If you take our DrivePlan Deposit Cover at the time when you go under debt review, this policy will pay your deposit in the event that you lose your transport. This will only cost you R49-50 per month. if you don’t have this cover, you will have to pay the deposit from your living expenses.


INDUSTRY

NCR Task Team Presentation

The recent NCR task Team recently made its presentation of findings to the industry. Debtfree attended the presentation in Cape Town. The Presentation began with a speech from Mr Gabriel Davel the recently resigned CEO of the NCR. He promised not to Bull$h1t the audience and to cut to the chase. He began by comparing what has happened during the economic crisis in both the US and UK. He mentioned that in the USA there have been over 1.1 million foreclosures on bonds and that in 2009, the

largest debt Counselling firm in the UK was inundated with 360 000 applications for debt review. Mr Davel pointed to how far the Debt Counselling industry has come in only 3 years. He mentioned that when the Act came into effect, there had been only 7 Debt Counsellors


as opposed to the nearly 1800 DC’s at present. Also he pointed to how the NCR has assisted creditors to become compliant, such as Standard Bank who in 2008 had one of the worst records in the industry and now in 2010 has one of the best reputations in regard to debt review.

DC’s and have identified a number of “crooks”. He said that the NCR was currently going after these crooks some of whom were well versed in the law and had over 5000 clients. The NCR are particularly looking for those DC’s who are illegally making distributions of funds and not using a registered PDA.

He acknowledged the weaknesses in the act and likened the NCA and South Africa’s credit industry to the Titanic. He was not inferring that it was heading for disaster but rather that any changes in direction that need to be made will have to happen slowly, as sudden change made incorrectly could sink the industry. He even went so far as to say that if Debt counselling became too popular with consumers, who could look to it as a way to reduce obligations, the NCR would have no choice but to get rid of Debt Counselling. He did not elaborate. Currently only 2% of seriously over indebted consumers are making use of Debt Counselling so there is huge room for growth in the industry and this would result in a definite increase in revenue for creditors.

He pointed to one DC in Cape Town, who had convinced clients to pay funds into their own account and had made off with over R145 000.00. These DC’s could begin to give the industry a bad name and the NCR would prosecute such counsellors. When discussing problem creditors he pointed to the current legal action that the NCR and other DC’s have taken against SA Taxi Finance. He pointed out that it takes between 6 – 12 months to get such matters to court but that it was being done to help set precedents at that level. He did not make mention of the recent accusations regarding collusion within the NCR in regard to this credit provider.

After he had concluded his self labelled When referring to the NDMA he made the frank “rambling speech” he handed over to Johan comment that “it did not work” and that the de Ridder (of the BASA) who mentioned that NCR had “lost two years of work”. He described of the nearly 200 000 applications for debt it as a failure. While this may be true in that review currently in existence only 57% of it has not been of any assistance to the debt these consumers under review were currently review industry, it has now seemingly taken paying as per the restructuring proposal or at its place firmly as the representative body for all. This means that 43% of Debt review clients credit providers in the debt review process. This will soon be terminated for debt review by was highlighted throughout the presentation. credit providers or their DC’s. He indicated that The NDMA is now seen (for creditors) in the the NCR Task Team support removing these same role as DCASA is for DC’s and PDASA for ones from debt review and urged DC’s to be the PDA’s. proactive in assisting the credit providers in identifying these ones. While this would seem The NCR have done over 600 onsite reviews of callous, the process is one that depends on


clients cooperating with their DC’s restructuring proposal and making regular payments. It is not designed to protect bad payers. Mr de Ridder pointed out that the Task Team was not looking “to change the NCA” but was rather “looking to the areas outside the direct wording of the Act to try speed up and streamline the process”. At this point the proposed new National Debt Review Committee (NDRC) was discussed. The committee which will address several issues trying to gain consent from all involved parties will have representatives from the Credit providers via the NDMA, DC’s Via DCASA and PDA’s represented by PDASA. This firmly positions the NDMA not as an alternative to Debt Counselling but rather as a representative body for credit providers. The NDMA should now also be viewed as a means for DC’s to get credit providers to play ball. DC’s should now lodge complaints against credit providers who do not cooperate with the restructuring process with the NDMA before approaching the soon to be established Ombud which will probably spring from the current Credit Ombudsman.

Rob Eastonberry spoke last and elaborated briefly on the new rule set and the projected go live date of 2 November at 3 of the 5 PDA’s. Live testing will apparently commence in October 2010. He also touched on the proposed codes of conduct for all the relevant associations. What was not mentioned was what this would mean for DC’s as currently only an approximate 300 out of the 1800 qualified DC’s are members of DCASA. However with the new proposal from the Task Team it looks like DC’s might now be obliged to join DCASA and that DCASA will need to employ several permanent staff. Paul slot later told Debtfree DIGI that this could mean perhaps lowering the membership fees to make it more accessible and affordable to all DC’s. At present there is no other representative body for DC’s in South Africa.

Once again the lack of sufficient “after care” by DC’s for their clients was mentioned. (We urge you, if your clients are not reading Debtfree DIGI let us assist you in helping them do so as part of your “after care”- ED) It was pointed out that a lack of after care relates directly to Paul Slot, who spoke next, mentioned that the failure to keep up payments according to a major weakness in the process was that the restructuring plan. In the USA only 27% of at present, less than 5% of reviews result in consumers were still sticking to their planned consent from all parties. Obviously this means repayment amounts after only 2 years of their that all parties are not working together and voluntary Debt mediation plan (which equates that the credit providers have no confidence to Debt review here in SA). in DC’s and their calculations. It is hoped that the new rules engine will increase consent to After a pointed question and answer session approximately 50%. This will cut the work load chaired by Peter Setou, the meeting was for all parties concerned. He mentioned the brought to a close. Thereafter (without anyone current issue of credit providers not changing having thrown stones or rotten tomatoes), client statements and said the new agreements the task team members mingled freely with with major role players should see this now the attendees, chatting and answering further change. This will no doubt bring relief and informal questions. clarity to many concerned clients.


INDUSTRY

FNB and 17.4’s A consumer who was experiencing some financial difficulty entered the debt review process and made arrangements to pay towards his debts. After some months he managed to sell his flat which was financed through FNB. He was very happy and voluntarily withdrew from the debt review process. His DC sent out 17.4s to among other creditors, FNB. The consumer later wanted to invest some of his profits from the sale in a new FNB account. However FNB refused to offer him an account due to the fact he was under debt review. Of course he phoned his previous DC about the matter and was most confused. You may find that some of your past clients begin to have this same problem. A 17.4 could be issued for one of several reasons. For example: the Client may have died, the client may have missed payments resulting in the DC terminating the debt review or most commonly a client may simply have withdrawn from the review process for various reasons. When receiving a 17.4, rather than remove the person from being under debt review, FNB makes a note on the system and does not amend the client’s status. If a client then tries to open a new account with FNB at any point after this, they are told they are under Debt Review and cannot be helped. A source inside FNB has informed Debtfree DIGI that since June 2010 it has been the internal policy of the FNB Debt Review Department to store any 17.4’s received but not “act upon them”. If a client then asks what they need to do they are told the debt review department need a 17.2 (letter which shows they have been accepted for debt review) and a clearance

certificate (a clearance certificate is produced by a DC when the client has paid up their debt). This is of course a silly request as all FNB need do is look on their system and they will see if the account is paid off or not. Many people withdraw long before all their accounts are paid up. Imagine, this means that anyone with a bond, will remain under debt review status at FNB until the bond is paid up (somewhere in the next 20 years) even if this is their only remaining debt. This will be difficult for the client to get as they have withdrawn from the process and their previous DC (who no longer gets monthly after care fees from them) may not wish to help. If the DC does decide to help and contacts the call centre they are informed they need to supply a Clearance Certificate and 17.2 document (why a Form 17.2…who knows?) Since the DC may not be able to do this due to the client not having settled the account it then becomes impossible to provide this and thus the client is stuck in the doldrums of FNB debt review... This, of course, is resulting in many problems and is making a joke of the 17.4 process. It also seems to be a clever way for FNB to get around not keeping a record of a person’s past debt review status and allowing debt review to prejudice the client in future dealings with the bank. This results in a lot of extra work for the DC. The question is: if FNB can see the client’s accounts are paid up and have received a 17.4 notice, why do they not simply remove the debt review status of the client? When approached for further details or comments, FNB declined to respond.


INDUSTRY

Uncertainty

Section 86(10) terminations, the saga continues...

Not for the first time in a judgement of the High Court have I seen a learned judge comment that “the draftmanship of section 86 leaves much to be desired”. This view was once again expressed by the learned Judge JW Eksteen in the case of FIRST RAND BANK v EVANS handed down on the 31st August 2010 in the High Court of South Africa, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape Division. What is also of material interest is the fact that the learned judge Eksteen enters the fray of the cases which I reported on last month, namely the disagreement of Kemp J and of KathreeSetiloane AJ in respect of the interpretation of section 86(10) and comes to a conclusion which differs from these two learned judges. How us mere mortals (‘attorneys and debt counsellors’) are expected to have applied the National Credit Act properly in the first instance, when judges of the High Court cannot even agree on the correct interpretation of the National Credit Act 34 of 2005, beggars belief. It seems to me that credit providers are taking advantage of this confusion by terminating the debt review process in terms of section 86(10) even where the application has been referred to the magistrates court timeously (contra Kathree-Setiloane’s view). Having terminated the debt review process the Credit Providers then proceed to outmuscle the

consumers in the Courts by forcing consumers to pay more money (which they can ill afford) to oppose summary judgments instituted in the High Court. This to me is not in the spirit of the purported intention of the Act, namely to protect consumers by promoting equity in the credit market by balancing the respective rights and responsibilities of credit providers and consumers (section 3(d) of the Act). While Judge Eksteen finds that a credit provider can terminate the debt review process at any time, even if the debt review application has been properly placed before the magistrates court ‘hearing the matter’, he does offer the consumer some relief. The debt counsellor will also feel some relief as it is he or she who is often on the receiving end of calls from irate clients complaining that legal proceedings have been instituted against them, despite their debt counsellor having initially promised that they would benefit from a moratorium from legal proceedings. Judge Eksteen finds that the credit provider should not be prejudiced by consumers


who hide behind the debt review process to unfairly obtain an advantage in repaying their debt simply by referring the matter to the magistrates court hearing the matter and then unreasonably delaying this process to the detriment of the credit provider. The learned judge finds therefore that the debt review process can be terminated at any stage in the process, but he does say that the terminations must be reasonable. I extract from his judgment at pg 15[30]: “the credit provider, in my view, does not have carte blanche to terminate the process without good reason. Where a referral to the Magistrates Court is being prosecuted with due efficacy it would appear to me that, more often than not, it would be inappropriate for the credit provider to serve notice to terminate in terms of section 86(10)�. He also bases his judgment on an interpretation of section 86(11) where he finds that a termination in terms of section 86(10) does not prejudice the consumer as the consumer is entitled to approach the magistrates court hearing the matter to re-instate the debt review process. He provides significant guidance to the interpretation of section 86(11) by finding that the section 86(11) application must be heard in the magistrates court hearing the matter i.e. the magistrates court to which the debt review process has been referred. This is contrary to judge Kemp who found that the section 86(11) application had to be heard by the court which had instituted the recovery of

legal proceedings (often the High Court). The FIRST RAND BANK v EVANS case supra was an application for summary judgement instituted in the High Court for the recovery of the mortgage loan in respect of immovable property being Mr Evans’s primary residence. The learned judge also once again recognised the right of the consumer in terms of Section 26 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, namely every person has the right to adequate housing. Having done so, the learned judge then proceeded to postpone the summary judgement application to afford the consumer time to urgently bring an application to the magistrates court hearing the debt review matter in terms of section 86(11) to reinstate the debt review process. All is therefore not lost when legal proceedings are instituted against the consumer. The Debt counsellor is therefore well advised to warn his or her clients of the potential for the credit provider to institute legal proceedings despite the matter having been properly placed before debt review. The best approach would be to initially attempt through negotiations to have the section 86(10) notice withdrawn and thereafter, failing this approach, proceed with an application to re-instate the debt review process in the magistrates court to which the debt review was initially referred.


INDUSTRY

CONSUMER

NEWS FLASH NCR CEO MR Gabriel Davel resigns his position. The National Credit Regulator (NCR) announced this month that CEO Gabriel Davel will be stepping down from his position with effect from 01 January 2011. Davel has been with the NCR since its inception in 2006 and was a key contributor in the development of the National Credit Act (NCA) He has been quoted as saying: “While it’s been an exciting journey, I now look forward to new challenges.” With many new opportunities out there in the industry from consulting to heading up new committees that are being formed or helping with ombuds who knows there is probably an exciting option waiting for Mr. Davel. In regard to who will step in to take his place there is much speculation from internal options to external ones. Tshediso Matona, Director General at the Department of Trade and Industry has said that: “The Board of the NCR will make every effort to ensure a smooth transition so that the National Credit Regulator is able to continue playing its important role in protecting consumers and regulating the credit industry during these challenging times”.

cost order against a DC) will seldom happen as the DC has to bring matters to the court (according to the Declaratory Order of 2009), where applications are brought in “bad faith” the court may decide to award costs against the DC.

In the Wynberg Magistrates Court a costs order was recently awarded against a Debt Counsellor. Among the reasons contributing to the Magistrates decision was a lack of supporting evidence that the debt counselling process had been stuck to. The DC was apparently unable to produce evidence showing that 17.1 and 2’s had been sent to the creditors. So while this (a

The NCR have handled 1 internal case this year where a NCR call centre operator was accused of referring all debt counselling enquiries from consumers to a particular DC. Allegations were made in regard to “kick backs”. The matter has been resolved internally and the employee was moved out of the call centre department.

It seems that DCASA’s petition to the NCR and DTI for a fee increase is being taken seriously. Mr Davel, the NCR CEO, has stated that the NCR has hired an independent external consultant to look at the matter and the matter was set to be discussed on the 13th of September 2010. No announcement has been made to date as to the findings of the investigation.

The DCASA Conference will take place on the 9th November 2010 at Emperor’s Palace in Kempton Park combined with this event which non members can attend will be the annual general meeting for DCASA members. To obtain registration forms for the event please email: dcasa@dcasa.co.za


Recently DCASA along with the NCR began to look at terminations done by FNB. The initial reported number of terminations received from FNB after a Court date has been obtained and where the client is making payments as per proposed payment plan came to over 1400 cases. A shocking 468 terminations were issued by FNB even after a Court Order has been obtained and where the client is making payments as per the Court Order: the problems do not end there as a further 1000 plus terminations have been received by the 300 DCASA members from FNB within 60 business days of the consumer applying for debt review: The NCR continue to gather data from non DCASA members.

Advertising campaign. The Banking Association of South Africa (BASA) and the National Credit Regulator (NCR), together with the Debt Counselling Association of South Africa (DCASA), initiated a consumer education campaign that is to be launched on 8 September 2010. The campaign is aimed at addressing certain adverse consumer behaviour trends and to promote better understanding of debt counselling. While the campaign will not advise people to apply for Debt Counselling but to rather look to options like the NDMA it will warn those who are under review to continue to make regular payments with adverts such as: Debt Counselling - Make this lifeline work for you. In debt counselling and making payments through a payment distribution agent? Make

sure you are protected! When last did you visit your debt counsellor? It’s time for a check-up. Make sure that you have a debt repayment plan in place that will enable you to settle your debts within a reasonable period of time as required by the National Credit Act so that you can restore your credit worthiness. Remember, you should continue to make your monthly debt review payments through your payment distribution agent or you run the risk of facing termination of the debt counselling process and of legal action being taken against you. In Debt Counselling and you’re not paying? Not paying your scheduled payments will cost you for life and will result in termination of your debt counselling arrangement. You will lose the protection afforded by the National Credit Regulator and the National Credit Act. You will face legal action. You will lose your house, your car and every asset you value. Debt Counsellors will no doubt feel “left out” of the Campaign as they are all looking for new clients and are not really looking to warn existing clients about things they have already warned their clients of. However that being said the BASA are going to foot most of the bill for the campaign so they may as well get the biggest benefit by driving people to the NDMA rather than to Debt Counsellors. The Campaign will run until December 19th this year.


INDUSTRY

Fuel costs down. Motorists welcomed the announcement by the Department of Energy last month that the retail price of all grades of petrol would decrease by 10 cents a litre from the beginning of this month.

Drop in Repo Rate. The South African Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee lowered the key monetary policy interest rate – the repo rate – by 50 basis points to 6%. SARB governor Gill Marcus made the announcement of the cut in the Reserve Bank rate during a media conference in Pretoria. She pointed to increased unemployment and moderate growth in the manufacturing sector and inflation at a lower rate as well as a reduced GDP growth rate of 2.6% which had been driven down by a large contraction in mining (which

dropped over 20%) influencing the decission to drop the repo rate by 50 basis points. As a result, the Major Banks have also announced that their lending rates to the public, (i.e. prime and variable mortgage rates) will be cut by the same magnitude to 9,5%, effective from 10 September 2010. The rate was last cut in March ‘10 but was kept on hold at the May and July meetings of the Reserve Bank’s monetary policy committee. Interest rates have been cut by a cumulative 600 basis points since December 2008, meaning that the mortgage rate will now be at its lowest level since mid-1974, and the prime rate will be at a 30-year low. Based on the latest cut in interest rates, mortgage repayments will now be about 31% lower compared with late 2008, when the mortgage rate was at a level of 15,5%

Statistics There are currently 1787 registered Debt Counsellors in South Africa. 198 000 consumers have applied for debt counselling. Average of 7000 new debt counselling applications are made each month. Average of 700 matters are successfully resolved each month in the courts throughout SA.


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 alan@active-debt-counselling.co.za www.active-debt-counselling.co.za Central SA Debt Counsellors 082 950 7806 Fax: 086 563 1621 Consumer Assist Andre Snyman Tel: 0861 628 628 Darran Manikam NCRDC704 debt@mailbox.co.za DebtSafe 0861 100 999 Durban Debt Counselling Services Suite 112, 1st floor Union Club Building 353 Smith Street Durban, 4001 Tel: 031 301-7893 Fax: 031 301-5809 phumla.ngema@telkomsa.net Debt Counselling South Africa Cape Town Branch Tel: 021 919 66 94 Rod De Witt NCRDC831 Visit: www.debtcounsellingsa.co.za

Debt Knowledge Debt Counselling 082 379 2337

gary@ndad.co.za www.ndad.co.za

Debtonators 041 585 0276

Think Green Debt Counselling Sandi Pauw sandipauw@mweb.co.za Tel : 012 991 6638 Cell : 082 460 7800 Fax : 086 219 2615

Fincorp debt Counsellors cc Cecilia Zwarts fincorpdc@yahoo.com 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 For your Debt Counselling Service M.C. Cambouris NCRDC1403 Telephone: 021 919 4618 082 450 7459 082 782 0595 Fax: 086 622 0690 Bellville NDA Debt Counsellors Your Trusted Debt Counsellors Gary Williams (NCRDC 143) Tel: 034 315 3880 Fax: 086 612 4112

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 indigodc@iburst.co.za Ramonti Debt Counselling Jacob Ramonti - NCR DC 932 Cell : 082 962 4537 Fax: 086 658 7627 Email:ditsamai@yahoo.co.uk Soweto Rihanyo Debt Counselling (012) 804 50 57 U-Win Debt Counsellors Coreli Roos NCRDC509 Aliwal North, Burgersdorp, Bethulie, GariepDam, Smithfield, Springfontein Cell:079 626 66241 croos@global.co.za


BORDER REGION: DRS BEACON BAY Office: 043 748 5644 DRS EAST LONDON Office: 043 7212 656 DRS KING WILLIAMS TOWN Harry Light Cell: 082 573 5803 Office: 043 643 3024 Email: harry@drssa.co.za DRS MTHATHA Office: 047-5323356 DRS QUEENSTOWN Office: 045 838 9764 EASTERN CAPE: DRS ALBANY Office: 041 365 5857 DRS ALGOA Craig Wheetman Cell: 083 299 0311 Office: 041 364 1888 Email david@drssa.co.za DRS BOND CHOICE P.E. Office: 041 393 7000 DRS CENTRAL 041 586 2020 Email leon@lynxsa.com DRS DESPATCH Office: 041 933 1189

DRS HUMANSDORP Office: 042 291 0135

DRS ROODEPOORT EXPRESS Office: 011 472 4171

DRS KIRKWOOD EXPRESS Office: 087 8080 500

DRS RUSTENBURG 083 740 4620

DRS PORT ELIZABETH Office: 041 453 8961

DRS ZAMBESI EXPRESS Office: 012 7555 225

DRS SIDWELL EXPRESS Office: 041 451 0474

KWA ZULU NATAL:

DRS SOMMERSET EAST Luther De Bruyn Office: 042 243 1107 FREESTATE: MANGAUNG Zune Coetzer Office: 051 436 4515 Email zune@drssa.co.za SOUTH FREESTATE Office: 053 591 0734 GARDEN ROUTE: DRS GEORGE Office: 044 874 2820 Email francoisv@drssa.co.za GAUTENG: DRS CENTURION EXPRESS Office: 012 653 0127

DRS DURBAN NORTH EXPRESS Office: 031 584 6305 DRS GREYVILLE Office: 031 309 8716 DRS KOKSTAD Office: 039 727 1430 DRS PHOENIX 082 374 7040 WESTERN CAPE: DRS BELLVILLE Office: 021 948 8523 / 4 DRS DIAMOND Office: 021 421 8563 DRS TYGERBERG Office: 021 945 4062

DRS HARTEBEESPOORT Office: 012 253 1231

DRS WEST COAST Marius Coetzee Cell: 082 978 4407 Office: 022 713 3766 Email mariusc@drssa.co.za

DRS LIMPOPO CENTRAL Office: 015 297 1387

Debt DRS SALDANHA Office: 022 714 3939

DRS PRETORIA NOORD Office: 012 546 2187

DRS SOLUTIONS 084 586 5600


Support services Staff Line Ndizani Executive Recruitment Cell no: 083 3028163 Direct Line: (011) 468 - 2150 E- Mail: saki@staffline.co.za

Blank Design For all design and marketing needs including websites, brochures, business cards etc. Steve Rosenberg steve@blankds.com 083 700 2020 www.blankds.com Designtimes South Africa’s creative resource www.designtimes.co.za

Financial ABSA Customer Debt Repair Line 0860 356 356 Credit Ombudsman 0861 662837 Experian 011 799-3400 debtcounsel@experian.co.za Eric Streso Financial Planner B Juris LL B CFP MBA Tel: 0833273358 Fax: 086 612 7912

Fair Debt 0829019788 or 012-3772558 ray@fairdebt.co.za PACFIN Financial Solutions Head Office Tel: +27 11 9757445 Fax: 0865368783 36 Van Riebeeck road Kempton Park 1619 pieter@pacfin.co.za Monte Carlo Building No 8 Voortrekkerstreet Kempton Park 1619 Kempton Park Contact: Reyno Coetzee Tel: +27 11 3945363 Fax: 0866048002 Cell: +27 73 3690884 kemptonpark@pacfin.co.za Boksburg / Germiston Contact: Armand Posthumus Tel: +27 11 8921911 Fax: 0865620378 Nelspruit Contact: Ann Baker Tel: +27 13 7415559 Fax: 0880 1374 15559 Cell: +27 82 9024236 jeleroux@telkomsa.net Springs Contact: Wynand Mclachlan Tel: +27 11 8113728 Fax: +27 11 8113728 Cell: +27 83 2754014/5 wynmc@telkomsa.net Gooseberry Business Advisory Tel: 012 644 0589

Nedbank Debt Rehabilitation & Recoveries Services 0860 109 279 STD Bank Debt review Helpline Telephone: 0861 111 402 TransUnion 0861 482 482 Thinkmoney Financial comparison website Contact: Gareth Mountain Tel: 079 0996 798 www.thinkmoney.co.za WIZARD Vereeniging Making Mortgage Magic Wanine Smit Tel:+27 16 454 1132 Fax:+27 86 686 3678 Cell:+27 82 445 3967 www.wizard.za.com

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


Legal Brett Carnegie Attorneys Tel: +27 (21) 4470332 Fax: +27 (21) 4470338 Mobile: +27 (0)82 320 6099 www.carnegielaw.co.za Physical Address: Suite 23(B) Unit 8 Waverley Business Park Mowbray 7700 Ludick Attorneys bev.ludickattorneys@gmail.com 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 nanika@vodamail.co.za www.empowerlaw.co.za

Micro Lenders Credit Bureau 0861 28 7328 www.mlcb.co.za TransUnion 0861 886 466 www.transunion.co.za XDS 0860 937 000 www.xds.co.za

Other Association of Debt Recovery Agents: 011 781 3337 www.adraonline.co.za Banking Ombud 0860 800 900 www.obssa.co.za Credit Bureau Association 011 886 8519 www.cba.co.za

Credit Bureaus

Credit Providers Association 011 789 6825 www.cpa.org.za

Compuscan 0861 514 131 www.compuscan.co.za

Department of Trade and Industry 0861 843 384 www.thedti.gov.za

Computer Profile Bureau 0861 28 7328 www.c-p-b.co.za

Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Ombud 012 470 9080 www.faisombud.co.za

Experian www.experian.co.za Business- 0861 63 60 70 Consumer- 0861 10 5665

Financial Services Board 012 428 8000 www.fsb.co.za

Furniture Traders Association 011 789 6770 Legal Resources Centre 011 836 9831 www.lrc.org.za Long Term Insurance Ombud 021 657 5000 www.ombud.co.za Micro Finance South Africa 012 345 0809 www.mfsa.net Motor Industry Ombud 012 841 2945 www.miosa.co.za National Credit Regulator 0860 627 627 www.ncr.org.za Ombud for Short term Insurance 011 726 8900 www.osti.co.za Pension Funds Adjudicator 021 674 0209 www.pfa.org.za South African Fraud Prevention 0860 101 248 www.safps.org.za The Banking Association 011 370 3500 www.banking.org.za SA fraud protection service (free service) www.safps.org.za 0860 101 248


EVENT National Debt Counselling Conference and Exhibition The National Credit Regulator is hosting the 2nd National Debt Counselling Conference and Exhibition at Saint George Hotel and Convention Centre during October this year. The conference will address pertinent issues impacting on the implementation of Debt Counselling including current initiatives to improve the effectiveness of Debt Counselling. The conference also presents an opportunity for industry players to interact amongst themselves and share best practices.

WORKSHOPS ON CONSUMER RIGHTS & INSOLVENCY Prinsloo & Associates ATTORNEYS AND CONVEYANCERS DATE: To be advised Cost: Free Contact: Nanika Prinsloo Cell: 072-8558-106 email: nanika@vodamail.co.za Fax: 086-623-5986 www.empowerlaw.co.za

The conference will take place as follows: Date: Tuesday, 05 October 2010 Time: 08:30 for 09:00 – 16:00 Venue: Saint George Hotel and Convention Centre, Irene Pretoria Should you wish to attend please confirm your attendance on or before Friday, 23 September 2010 via fax 011 554 2737 or email to dsebothoma@ncr.org.za or tqinga@ ncr.org.za. Should you seek more information, please do not hesitate to contact Mr Didi Sebothoma at 011 554 2727 during business hours.

If you want to subscribe, advertise or be listed in our directory please contact us! magazine@debtcounsellingsa.co.za Would you like your after care clients to recieve Debtfree each month? All you need to do is forward us their email address to magazine@debtcounsellingsa.co.za



September 2010 Debtfree DIGI