Debt Review / Debt Counselling
Debt Review is a specialised statutory process of working with a registered debt counsellor to restructure monthly debt repayments to an amount that is reasonable for both the Consumer/s and Credit Provider/s.
The National Credit Act makes provision for the process of Debt Counselling/Debt Restructuring or the more descriptive Debt Review, which was implemented to assist consumers like you in tough economic times, as experienced at present.
The process of Debt Review starts by an evaluation of your current financial state to establish if you are over-indebted.
Coincidently, the evaluation is based on the same process that was used by the Credit Providers to establish whether you qualified for credit facilities, the same credit facilities that you are currently unable to service.
If your total monthly expenses combined with your debt obligations exceed your monthly income, you are considered to be over-indebted and will not qualify for any further credit facilities.
When evaluating your financial state, your registered Debt Counsellor will take your income, expenses and total debt obligations into consideration and negotiate a new repayment structure with your Creditors so that you are able to cover your monthly living expenses and pay your current credit facilities/accounts.
1. Do Your Homework
Before consulting with a Debt Counsellor, visit the National Credit Regulator’s website via https://ncr.org.za/register_of_registrants/registered_dc.php to confirm the registration status of the Debt Counsellor and search the internet for reviews.
2. Contact a Registered Debt Counsellor
During your first telephonic enquiry with a registered Debt Counsellor, he/she will provide you with a brief outline of the process, to be explained fully during the consultation, obtain your contact details and arrange a consultation with you.
The Debt Counsellor may require that you provide him/her with certain information or send you the application form to complete prior to the consultation.
3. Consult with a registered Debt Counsellor and complete the Application Forms
The Debt Counsellor will obtain all information required for the application during the consultation and explain the process and fees to you fully. If you are happy to proceed, both you and the Debt Counsellor will sign the completed Application Forms.
Your Debt Counsellor will calculate your financial state and degree of over-indebtedness with the information completed on your Application Form.
4. Your Debt Counsellor notifies your Creditors
By sending a formal request for all accounts held by your Credit Providers, known as a Form 17.1 (As prescribed by the National Credit Act) we inform all your creditors of the start of the process. The request further obligates the Credit Provider to supply our office with the current balance, contractual instalment, interest rate and clear communication channel to be used for future communication.
All correspondence and/or queries should now be negotiated through your Debt Counsellor.
We will also supply you with a formal letter which can be shown to any creditor and has the full contact details of your personal Debt Counsellor. No more contact from creditors means no more stress!
5. Confirmation of over-indebtedness & repayment proposal
The next formal step takes effect no more than 30 days later when we send the Form 17.2 (confirmation of over-indebtedness) and proposal to your Creditors. The negotiations commence via correspondence if they are unsatisfied with the Proposed repayment plan.
At this stage, they have 10 days to respond to the Proposal by either accepting the payment plan or providing our office with a repayment proposal that will be acceptable to them. Once a response has been received on all accounts, we revisit your Budget and consult with you to see whether there are any further adjustments that can be made to accept their counter offers, if any counter offers are received.
6. Application to Court
The Debt Counselling Application must be referred to either the Magistrates' Court or the National Consumer Tribunal within 60 days after application for Debt Review for an Order to be Granted confirming the Repayment Plan.
Once we have agreed on a repayment structure that addresses both your own needs and that of your Creditors, it will be made an order of court and are you off to financial stability once again.
7. Clearance Certificate
Once your debts have been paid up in terms of the Order, or all debt has been paid up except for a mortgage agreement, the mortgage agreement has no arrears and you are able to afford the original contractual instalment on said mortgage, we issue a Clearance Certificate (Form 19) in terms of Section 71 of the National Credit Act which removes you from Debt Review.
We offer a full service from the beginning of the process, progress reports during the process and aftercare with direct access to your Debt Counsellor.
Please feel free to contact us for any further enquiries or to enter stress free repayments today.