Garden Route Debt Counsellors
It is so easy to get credit, whether it is a clothing account, buying a cell phone, car, or even a house. The problem comes in when you cannot afford to make the full monthly repayments. This normally occurs when one’s monthly expenses are greater than the income. To make things more difficult, credit providers are often quick to take legal action and are not willing to understand or listen to your situation. However, they will negotiate with registered Debt Counsellors.
Lee Lombard won the Debt Review Award for the 2021 Boutique Debt Counselling Practice. Giving you peace of mind that your debt will be handled with the utmost professional service.
What is debt review?
A Debt Review is not a crime, it is one of life’s obstacles that you can overcome with the assistance of a debt counsellor. It is a legal process to solve over-indebtedness in the most cost-effective way. Debt review may only be provided by an NCR Registered Debt Counsellor.
How will I know that I need a debt review?
You will need the assistance of debt review if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Live from payday to payday and still not have enough to meet your financial needs
- Have to make use of credit to buy the necessities such as food and petrol
- Don’t sleep because of worries about your finances, continuously searching for solutions to
cover your expenses;
- Receive phone calls for overdue payments;
- Only make partial payments towards your debt to afford basic living essentials.
What happens once I apply for debt review?
The debt counsellor will negotiate with your creditors to lower your monthly instalments and to extend your debt repayment period accordingly. Your creditors will also consent to lower interest rates and writing off of service fees if the debt counselor negotiates following the industry agreed Debt Counselling Rules System (DCRS). A Court Order or Consent Order is a written repayment plan accepted by all parties.
A Payment Distribution Agent (PDA) -registered with the NCR – distributes the monthly instalments according to the Court Order. When a debt account is settled, that instalment is divided between the remaining creditors until all of the debt is paid off.
Once all the debt is settled, your Debt Counsellor will issue a clearance certificate to show that you are debt-free. Furthermore, remove the debt review status on your credit record and you will once again be able to access credit.
What are the costs involved when you are under debt review?
The National Credit Regulator regulates all costs. Thus, the monthly instalment covers all costs.
How long will I remain under debt review?
It is not the same for everybody. Your repayment period will depend on the amount of money available for debt settlement and negotiations with your credit providers. Debt Counsellors strive to abide by the industry agreed terms, which should always be reasonable.
The industry agreed terms are:
- 5 years for unsecured debt (eg, loans, credit cards, overdrafts, retail store accounts),
- 7 years for vehicle finance and
- 20 years for home loans.
However, once all unsecured debt and vehicle finance are settled, you can apply to exit the debt review process. You will be able to increase your monthly payment if your financial situation improves in order to shorten the period you remain under debt review.
The period you remain under debt review will depend on your current financial situation and your willingness to adjust your payments over time.
Would I have to appear in court in order to make my debt review an order of the court?
This depends on the requirements of the Magistrates Court where the application is lodged. In the case of a consent order obtained by the National Consumer Tribunal, the debt counsellor will obtain the order without you being present.
Can I apply for more credit or use my credit cards while I am under debt review?
No, you will not be allowed any further credit while under debt review
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