Debtfree Magazine Issue 3 of 2021

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SA's free debt counselling & debt review magazine. This month we look at ways to better cope with your stress. We also dive into the NCR's plan to review their guideline on fees for debt review.

STRESSED?

WAYS TO COPE

Issue 3 of 2021


EXCELLENCE IS DOING

ORDINARY THINGS

EXTRAORDINARILY

WELL

– John W. Gardner


WHAT MAKES US

EXCELLENT?

/ Unimpaired and automated PDA systems

/ Integration with top-ranked Debt Counsellor systems

/ Enhancing Debt Counsellor efficiency and sustainability

/ Best customer support in the country – queries are resolved within 24 hours

/ Strong compliance and best-industry-practice implementation is at our centre

Call Chris van der Straaten

Head of Hyphen PDA | 082 557 0437

Or call our friendly support centre on 011 303 0060 - Option 2

or visit our website www.hyphenpda.co.za


POPI-PROOF

your PROCESSES

WITH DREX

Secure system-to-system data transfer

(no human contact)

Elimination of data exposure from the

use of email

Data specification is fit for purpose

^

DID YOU KNOW?

The President of South Africa has proclaimed the POPIA commencement date to be 1 July 2021.

POPIA applies to any company or organization processing personal information in South Africa.

Fines for non-compliance with POPIA can range up to 10 million ZAR (South African rands).

POPIA defines personal information broadly as any information relating to not only a living person,

but also a company or legal entity.

^ ^ ^


FROM THE EDITOR

This month, we get to celebrate the 1 year anniversary

of the short, but essential, 14 day lockdown due to

Covid-19.

A whole year…Wow! Can you believe it?

A year ago, if you saw people wearing masks, you ran away from

them thinking they were crooks. Now, we run away from people not

wearing masks, in case they make us sick, how times have changed.

Will we celebrate a year of lockdown, or will we cry into our cups

bitterly thinking of all we have lost? It hardly seems like something to

celebrate.

It has been a really tough 12 months, that’s for sure. Last year 2.2

million people lost their jobs (and even though many got them back

as time went by and restrictions lifted) there are now 17.9 Million

people in SA who are unemployed. That’s one out of every 3 people

in the country. Tough times indeed.


Over 50 000 people have lost their lives and more than 1,500,000

are dealing with the after-effects of the virus. Even though vaccines

are becoming available, many have valid concerns; how effective and

safe are they, and how they are rolling out worldwide. It is all very

stressful.

That’s a topic we have a look at this issue: how you can deal with your

stress. Now, admittedly you are never going to escape stress entirely,

but we discuss how to get it under control. You might even pick up

some practical ways to reduce your stress levels.

We also discuss something that stresses a lot of people out: a review

of the fees for debt counselling. We look at what was done in the

past, and challenges with this process moving forward. It is a complex

riddle that faces those in the industry - finding a balance between

the costs of offering extremely professional help, and still not

overcharging the credit providers and consumers for the process.

We also look at local and international news impacting our finances.

It’s good to keep your finger on the pulse. Add to that the usual mix of

advice, tips, reviews and more.

It is funny how a full year of the Pandemic seems both long and short.

Time has dragged on, painfully slow and yet it has also flown by. It is

a lot like being in debt review, the process seems to take forever. You

feel like you are not making any progress and then suddenly, boom,

you have paid up all your debt. Wouldn’t that be something worth

celebrating? Imagine finally becoming completely debt free.


ONLINE

12 April 21

National Credit Regulator

Debt Counselling Training Course

CLICK HERE TO ENROL

Contact us for more info: 012 434 2500

www.enterprises.up.ac.za


PROFESSIONAL DEBT

COUNSELLING ATTORNEYS

Assisting With Debt Review Matters Nationwide

WESSEL SYMINGTON TEL: 021 872 1968

wessel@steyncoetzee.co.za www.steyncoetzee.co.za


CHEAPER OR MORE

EXPENSIVE?

Stats SA tracks many things including the rate of

inflation in SA. They can also look ahead and predict

what things will soon cost more or less based on

current trends.

Here are a few things that we can expect to cost more over the next

few months due to things like rising fuel costs and the Rand losing

strength to the Dollar.

Food

Fuel

Electricity

Alcoholic & Non Alcoholic Beverages

Tobacco

New Vehicles

By comparison here are the things where prices are staying the same

or possibly even dropping:

Education

Medical Insurance

Clothing

Rent


South Africa’s

Leading Debt

Solutions Provider

Wessel Symington

Steyn Coetzee

Attorneys

‘‘The reason Zero Debt are industry leaders is that they get 80%

acceptances on their initial proposals to credit providers, right away. They

also make excellent use of the DCRS proposal system in negotiations

with credit providers.

Zero Debt regularly succeeds in convincing credit providers to reduce

their high interest rates down to less than 5% on their client’s debts.

This means that Zero Debt clients obtain their court orders and can pay

off their debts quickly. They ensure dedicated clients get their clearance

certificates and are soon able to start their debt free life.

Zero Debt’s team are very experienced and highly professional. They

work hard to ensure clients are totally debt free at the end of the debt

review process.’’

087 701 9665

help@zerodebt.co.za

www.zerodebt.co.za


COPING WITH STRESS

C

NEWS

DEBT

COUNSELLING

FEES

O

NTENTS

DC NOTICE

BOARD

SERVICE

DIRECTORY

DISCLAIMER

Debtfree Magazine considers its sources reliable

and verifies as much information as possible.

However, reporting inaccuracies can occur,

consequently readers using this information do

so at their own risk. Debtfree Magazine makes

content available with the understanding that

the publisher is not rendering legal services or

financial advice. Although persons and companies

mentioned herein are believed to be reputable,

neither Debtfree Magazine nor any of its

employees, sales executives or contributors accept

any responsibility whatsoever for their activities.

Debtfree Magazine contains material supplied to

us by advertisers which does not necessarily reflect

the views and opinions of the Debtfree Magazine

team. No person, organization or party can copy

or re-produce the content on this site and/or

magazine or any part of this publication without

a written consent from the editors’ panel and the

author of the content, as applicable. Debtfree

Magazine, authors and contributors reserve their

rights with regards to copyright of their work.


CONSUMER FRIEND

USES

SOFTWARE TO ENSURE

POPIA COMPLIANCE!

- Secure system-to-system data transfer (no human contact)

- Elimination of data exposure from the use of email

- Data specification is fit for purpose

POPIA COMPLIANCE IS

CRUCIAL THIS YEAR!


BREAKING

NEWS


1 IN 3 PEOPLE UNEMPLOYED

In South Africa, as the lockdown began (between April and

June – the initial Lockdown Period) 2.2 million people lost

their jobs. Over time, as lockdown restrictions eased, +-

900 000 unemployed people were slowly able to get old

jobs back or find new jobs.

By the end of the year however, 1.3 million people, out of

those roughly 2.2 million, were still unemployed. They joined

the 16.6 million other already unemployed people in SA.

SA now has it’s highest unemployment rate, sitting at 32.5%.

This puts SA’s unemployment rate in the Top 3 of countries

around the world (among countries that report on such

stats). Although different countries report in different ways

and figures vary over time the reality does not change that

SA is one of the most unemployed places in the world.

In further bad news a recent business survey of over 4377

SA businesses revealed that these companies have plans to

retrench another 1.3 million members of staff in the next 6

months.


We are the champion

in your corner!

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consumers through effective debt relief solutions.

Over 1 million South Africans who are facing tight

budgets and are struggling with debt, have come to

DebtBusters looking for a financial solution.

086 999 0606

info@debtbusters.co.za

www.debtbusters.co.za


MAN CAUGHT WITH

70 SASSA CARDS

A 47-year-old Durban man has been caught by the SAPS

at an ATM with over 70 SASSA cards in his possession. The

man had been drawing cash from the various accounts

when he was arrested. The man was acting as an illegal

credit provider and has illegally been taking the SASSA cards

from those who receive grants to repay loans. When the

man was arrested he had over R7500 in cash on him. His

fancy Mercedes-Benz was also seized by the police as part

of the arrest.

REPO RATE UNCHANGED

After this week’s SA Reserve Bank Monetary Policy

Committee meeting South Africans can let out a small sigh

of relief. The Repo Rate, which currently sits at a record low

of 3.5%, is not going to change for a little longer. This means

no immediate increase in debt repayments for those who

have credit. Repo Rate: 3.5%



8 MORE VBS LOOTING

ARRESTS MADE

Millions of Rand was looted from VBS Mutual Bank in one

of the most shocking South African Banking scandals of all

time. In the wake of the story breaking and reports into what

happened at the bank 7 people were arrested for their role

in the looting and fraudulent activity at the bank.

The case against these 7 has already been postponed as

more and more charges get added to the rap sheet of illegal

activity they were part of.

Now an additional 8 people have been rounded up in a

new wave of arrests. The new arrests also relate to fraud,

corruption, money laundering and racketeering at the bank

and related municipalities who were involved.

The investigators are planning even more arrests as the

evidence mounts against those involved.


South Africa’s

leading Debt Counsellors

since 2007

Start getting out

of debt today!

www.creditmatters.co.za

Just got out

of Call debt! our national

call centre on

086 111 6197

Call our national call centre on 086 111 6197

www.creditmatters.co.za



DEBT REVIEW

EXPECTATIONS

VS REALITY

STRESSED?

WAYS TO COPE



COPING WITH STRESS

INTRODUCTION

We all face stress; work stress, debt stress, stress over

our health, the pandemic and more. To cope with

stress we need to think about how we think about

stress.

Let’s consider some ways we can adjust our thinking about stress, and

find better ways to cope and perhaps even reduce our stress levels.


COPING WITH STRESS

DEBT STRESS

Stress about money, money problems and debt is

extremely common. Concerns about money often lead

to the break-up of families, poor performance at work

and sleeping problems.

One thing that we can do to adjust how we think about debt stress is

to consider who really has the problem. If you loan your friend R1000

and they cannot pay you back when you really need the money, who

has the bigger problem?

You, who gave the money and now needs it back; or Them, who

spent the money and now really cannot pay you back, at this time?

The person who loaned the money, but now needs it back, has the

real problem. This is true in most creditor/debtor situations. If you

have borrowed money from the bank, and made use of those funds

to buy things, but now cannot repay them, the bank is the one with

the real problem, not you. This is why collections agents and the

courts are used, to attempt to shift the problem from them onto you.

Repeated calls and pestering is an effective way to get you to think

the problem is primarily yours, when in fact, it is mostly the credit

provider’s problem.

Thinking about things in this way can help you adjust your view

of your situation, and lower your stress levels, while you make

reasonable plans to repay the debt.




COPING WITH STRESS

STOP STRESSING

OVER THINGS YOU

CANNOT CONTROL

Each day we are confronted by things (small or

large) that stress us out. It is best to focus on these

immediate stressors, and not go about adding to these

things by worrying about future things that may never

actually happen.

Sure, you can somewhat influence the future by making wise

decisions now, but you cannot control how others will act. You

cannot control what the Corona Virus might do or how governments

might adjust legislation or how credit providers might behave.

Rather, it is best to deal with the actual issues in front of you today.

Do not weigh your brain down by worrying over things that you

cannot control and might never actually happen.


COPING WITH STRESS

BE REASONABLE

We often have high standards for ourselves and others.

Sometimes, however, these standards can be too high

and unrealistic. These high expectations could cause

us to become unhappy with ourselves or with others

when they always fall short of our expectations.

It is better to set reasonable standards for yourself. Know your

limitations and live up to them, only then try to see if you can go a

little beyond them. You would not ask a baby to do backflips at the

Olympics would you? That would be unrealistic.

Over time, as you slowly learn and grow, you can adjust and set new

realistic goals and standards for yourself and others.

Try to keep a positive, forgiving attitude and maintain a sense of

humour about things, especially when times are tough.




COPING WITH STRESS

LEARN TO IDENTIFY

YOUR STRESS

One key in learning to cope with your stress is to learn

to identify what it is that is stressing you.

Some of the main causes of stress may seem obvious to you: debt,

work, family. But that’s actually very vague. There are many people

who have debt and are not stressed about it. There are many people

who work a lot, but love their jobs. There are many people who have

big families but do not get stressed by them.

So, it helps to be more specific, what exactly at work is stressful,

which part of the workday? What specific behaviour by family

members causes you to feel stressed out?

It is also important to note that what stresses one person may not be

stressful to the next. You are an individual and your stress is unique.

So, you can’t rely on others to identify your causes of stress, you need

to take some time and actually think about it.

Once you know exactly what it is that stresses you out (in the

different parts of your life) then you can start to make plans to reduce

your exposure to these sources of stress.


COPING WITH STRESS

GET ORGANISED

Our brains secretly like things to be organized. We

find it pleasing to be in a neat and tidy house or room.

We even like people whose faces are balanced and

symmetrical.

Our brains also like things not only start but get finished. Disorder, in

our surroundings or our daily routine can be a big background source

of stress.

Try to get organized, make a schedule, stick to it. Make a list of all the

many things you need to get done and when you finish something,

tick it off. This will help you better manage your stress and avoid

being overwhelmed by too many things going on at once.

Having a list will also help you to choose which things are most

urgent and most important and which things you can leave to

another time. This is especially helpful if you tend to procrastinate.

Once you know exactly what it is that stresses you out (in the

different parts of your life) then you can start to make plans to reduce

your exposure to these sources of stress.




COPING WITH STRESS

FINDING BALANCE

If you work all the time, your family life will suffer. If

you play all the time your finances will suffer. So, try to

find a balance between work and relaxation.

People who eat healthy, sleep well and have good relationships with

others, they tend to be more productive and effective at their jobs

(even in shorter time periods).

Doctors will tell you that a little exercise goes a long way to having

good mental health. Eating and living healthy can help you avoid

many common traps, like returning to bad habits to try deal with

stress.

If you find your mental health is very poor, and you are having

negative thoughts all the time, then speak to a friend and to a medical

professional. Don’t delay getting help, seeking help is a smart move

and not a failure.


COPING WITH STRESS

PRIORITISE

As mentioned earlier there are benefits to making lists,

they can help you to quickly set priorities.

We often make lists and priorities in the back of our minds. Which

is more important to pay? Your home loan or your short term loan?

Your brain will quickly compare the two, as well as, the consequences

of not paying and tell you to protect the place where you live.

Making a list on paper (or digitally) will help you see all the things you

need to accomplish and decide which ones need to be done today,

tomorrow, next week or never. Cross off the ones you complete, and

then make a fresh list in a day or two and reorganize the items left

over. Some people do this daily and it helps them a lot!

Be sure to schedule time to relax, taking short breaks can energise

you and reduce stress.




COPING WITH STRESS

GET HELP

If you are very stressed, then your family and friends

can be a great comfort. Finding someone you can trust

and who is a good listener is very helpful in reducing

stress.

Why not ask people to help you with some of your many tasks or with

your workload? Even your kids can help around the house with small

things, which will make life easier.

If one of your work colleagues is a source of stress, can you have a

calm conversation with them in a relaxed environment and talk about

the exact reasons why they cause stress, and ask them if you are

stressing them out? If you can’t get that right, you can always try to

adjust things so you deal with them less often.

As mentioned previously, if you are too stressed out and cannot deal

with things on your own, get professional assistance. For example

if your debt is stressing you out, why not talk to a professional Debt

Counsellor. Having relationship problems? Have you spoken to a

counsellor? Do you need medical assistance to deal with your stress?

Ask for help if you need it.


COPING WITH STRESS

YOU CAN COPE

When you feel overwhelmed by too many things it can

be very stressful.

If however you can sit down and make a list of things you need to get

done, can take time to identify exactly what things are stressing you

out, and can then adjust your day-to-day routine to deal with those

issues, you will feel a lot more in control.

Talking to a friend or professional can also help you see things from

a different perspective. If you need help and get the assistance you

need, it will also greatly reduce your stress levels.

We can’t totally avoid all forms of stress, but by taking a few practical

steps, you can reduce and manage the things in your life that cause

you stress.



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NCR FEE

GUIDELINE TO

BE REVIEWED



INTRODUCTION

The National Credit Act (NCA) came into effect all the

way back in 2007. The Act and regulations mention

fees that might be charged for debt counselling but

remained silent on what these fees might specifically

be.

Since there is no official (or legislated) fee structure, the industry itself

had to come up with figures that the majority felt were reasonable,

and would cover the associated costs.

Over time, various parties have come up with their own fee structure

and guidelines. For example, the Debt Counsellors Association of

South Africa (DCASA) issued a very popular fee structure which its

members and many others followed for some time.

The National Credit Regulator (NCR), who regulate the credit industry,

has also weighed in on the topic by producing guidelines on what

they feel is a reasonable fee structure. These NCR issued guidelines

have been the most popular (including among credit providers and

their DCRS software) and are currently followed by major industry

role players.


NCR FEE GUIDELINE TO BE REVIEWD

DCASA & THE NCR

FEE GUIDELINE

When the industry first started in 2007, the Debt

Counsellors Association of South Africa (DCASA)

fee guideline was perhaps the widest accepted fee

structure.

This changed however when, after a few years, the Competition

Commission said it was unfair for Debt Counsellors who did not

belong to the association, to have to stick to association specific fees.

This led to the NCR stepping in and issuing a very similar guideline

for Debt Counsellors (with some increases in the fee amounts). They

also asked Debt Counsellors to voluntarily accept these fees, as part

of their conditions of registration, and as part of the industry code of

conduct.

The NCR made their view on the voluntary nature of their guideline

clear when they said: ‘It is therefore the considered view of the NCR,

as the custodian of the credit industry, that all debt counsellors are

required to comply with the Fee Guidelines for Debt Counsellors,

which were issued by the NCR in 2011 so as to ensure that the

industry-agreed payment process is implemented uniformly

throughout the debt counselling industry.’




NCR FEE GUIDELINE TO BE REVIEWD

HOW DO DEBT

COUNSELLING FEES

WORK?

MONTH 1

A simple way to think about debt counselling fees is, that for most

consumers, half of all fees they ever pay for the process are paid to

the Debt Counsellor in Month 1 of the process (not upfront but when

the consumer starts to pay the new, reduced amount for all their

debts).

This has lead to a natural focus by Debt Counsellors on getting

consumers through Month 1 of the process.

EACH MONTH

The rest of the fees then come in small monthly payments during the

process. This small monthly retainer (which fund ongoing work and

reviews in the future) is known as an ‘after-care’ fee.

Over the years, the industry average has shifted up and down, with

each consumer’s situation being unique, but as an industry average

most consumers pay around R125 a month in after-care fees.


NCR FEE GUIDELINE TO BE REVIEWD

WHY WOULD FEES

NEED TO INCREASE?

The process that was at first expected to be simple,

where all parties would voluntarily cooperate has, over

the years, proved to be quite complicated.

In fact, due to push back from credit providers initially, the process

became very complicated and many additional steps had to be

introduced to account for their resistance.

Since 2009, the Courts have been included in every debt review (as

opposed to only being needed where one credit provider isn’t happy).

This meant that the initial fee guideline for debt counselling had to be

adjusted.

The inclusion of the courts and the legal side of things introduced

another snag. Attorneys do not fall under the authority of the NCR,

and because the Act and Regulations do not set out fees, it was left

up to Debt Counsellors and Attorneys to negotiate with consumers

about how much would be needed to cover legal fees.




NCR FEE GUIDELINE TO BE REVIEWD

THE CHALLENGE

WITH LEGAL COSTS

It is a hard thing to know up front if all credit providers

in a matter will or won’t agree with the proposals.

They may want to fight about things in court, or the

majority of the credit providers might like a proposal

but one may decide to fight.

Different courts have different requirements, which also complicate

things and Attorneys may end up going back to court over and over

about the same case (pushing up the amount they will bill). It is not a

simple thing to know what the costs will be.

To try to simplify things, many Debt Counsellors tried to make deals

with Attorneys to provide a set ‘standard fee’ which consumer’s (and

credit providers) could budget for in advance. This led to further

problems, as some consumer’s cases were simple while others were

complex. Did this mean that the Attorney was using some funds from

the simple cases to cover the costs for the complicated ones? The

consumer and Debt Counsellor were not privy to that information,

allowing each Attorney to run their billing differently.

Still, for a time, having a set standard amount for legal fees helped

give clients quotations and helped the Debt Counsellors and Courts

make debt restructuring calculations.


NCR FEE GUIDELINE TO BE REVIEWD

DCASA RESEARCH

IDENTIFIED A HUGE

PROBLEM

DCASA Research, presented back in 2014, revealed

a growing problem in the industry. It was becoming

more expensive for Debt Counsellor to help people

and the fees had not increased in several years.

To stay in business, Debt Counsellors were progressively paying their

staff less and less money. Debt Counsellors themselves were also

drawing smaller and smaller monthly salaries (an average of +- R11

000 in 2014). It also revealed that the process was now taking more

than twice as long as it had back in 2009.

This critical research revealed that reckless credit investigations would

extend the amount of work Debt Counsellors did, by at least 100% if

even a single case of reckless credit was possibly involved.




NCR FEE GUIDELINE TO BE REVIEWD

2016 CHANGES

In 2016 the NCR made some adjustments in their

guideline to the top end limit that could be charged of

the very small number of clients who ended up being

able to pay a lot of money each month toward their

debt.

Some other caps were also increased.

The guideline also solidified the idea that consumers who started,

but don’t carry on with the process, should pay for work already

completed by the DC (75% of the restructuring fees).

In that year, they also introduced what they rather controversially

labeled a ‘Legal Fee’. While the fee was indeed used towards legal

costs, the various legal bodies and entities already had official legal

fee rules, and the term in the guideline was seen by some as stepping

on their toes (or worse). It also highlighted the problem of a Regulator

trying to regulate an industry they had no direct authority over.


NCR FEE GUIDELINE TO BE REVIEWD

PROMOTING

RECKLESS CREDIT

INVESTIGATIONS

The NCA aims to reduce credit providers giving

consumers credit that they cannot actually afford. The

Act introduced big fines to the credit providers who

continued this practice known as reckless credit.

The Act also required that consumers be give documents they could

properly understand, that consumers be told exactly what they will

pay in advance and that credit providers would take proper steps to

do the math and ensure that consumers could afford the credit. To

fail to do so is also called ‘reckless credit’.

The threat of a credit provider being caught out for reckless credit

scares investors and shareholders. The NCR has been able to take

action against various credit providers who break these rules. This is

also something that scares investors. A famous case was where (old)

African Bank themselves reported that they had a small number of

reckless credit cases, originating at one of their KZN branches. Soon

afterwards the entire bank collapsed as shareholders ran for the hills

and stock prices fell through the floor*.

*There were other factors like a big book of bad paying debtors and company leadership jumping ship.




NCR FEE GUIDELINE TO BE REVIEWD

RECKLESS CREDIT

CASES IN COURT

Because of the need to keep investors happy and avoid

big fines, credit providers are quick to bring in big legal

teams to fight about any mention of possible reckless

credit.

This results in big legal battles at court, where the legal fees can

quickly exceed the actual amount owed. It makes sense to fight over

possible reckless lending for a R3000 loan and bring in a legal team

that will cost R50 000 to avoid receiving a fine of R1 million and

having your share holders get scared off, costing big credit providers

millions of rand in value.

Unfortunately there is no provision in current guidelines about where

these big additional legal fees should come from.

Some credit provider’s attorneys are unfortunately quick to ask for

costs against a Debt Counsellor who does their legally obliged job

if they mention possible reckless credit. Such fees could quickly put

smaller Debt Counsellor practices out of business.




NCR FEE GUIDELINE TO BE REVIEWD

AMENDING THE

ACT TO INCLUDE

COMPULSORY

RECKLESS CREDIT

INVESTIGATION

The current wording of the NCA only calls for such

investigations if the consumer expressly asks about it.

This has resulted in reckless credit not being a major part of debt

review. New provisions were included in amendments to the National

Credit Act a few years back. The changes require all Debt Counsellors

to investigate all accounts, and report to the court in each matter

whether asked to do so or not.

It also makes it a punishable offence for Debt Counsellors not to do

so. This was seen by many as the last step in getting rid of smaller

Debt Counsellors in favour of larger practices who could afford to do

this. Regardless, these amendments have never actually come into

effect, for some reason.




NCR FEE GUIDELINE TO BE REVIEWD

FEES TO

INCENTIVIZE

RECKLESS CREDIT

INVESTIGATIONS

In an effort to help promote reckless lending

investigations, the NCR pushed for a small fee to be

included in their 2018 fee guideline in the amount of

up to R1500.

Though this fee is a drop from the bucket towards the real cost, if

reckless credit is found, it was hoped that it would motivate Debt

Counsellors to more actively investigate reckless credit. Since the fee

was introduced, some firms began to charge the fee suggested by the

NCR. This, in many cases, meant that credit providers had to wait a bit

longer to get paid (since these fees were prioritized). Credit providers

immediately began to push back against this fee. They really like to

get paid as soon as possible so the consumers debts don’t grow, due

to the interest rates they add to consumer’s debts, during this time.

The NCR themselves later said they also wanted to take back this fee,

since Debt Counsellors had started to charge it so regularly.


NCR FEE GUIDELINE TO BE REVIEWD

THE COURTS

DON’T ALWAYS

LIKE GUIDELINES

One of the challenges that the NCR, as well as

Debt Counsellors, face is that since the NCA and

Regulations are still silent on the topic of fees for debt

counselling, some Courts have taken the stance that

the NCR’s very popular fee structure guidelines are not

legal and should not be followed.

Some courts even feel it prejudices credit providers or causes default

problems for consumers.

So far this stance has affected only a small number of courts, but has

proved rather difficult for Debt Counsellors who have followed the

NCR’s guideline on fees and been caught in the middle of the issue.

Some of the cases referred to in this article are Case No.A801/2014 Gauteng Division,

Pretoria FNB 7 Nedbank V Barnard & Coetzee. The NCR has however issued a circular saying

that the court probably didn’t mean what it said in its FNB ruling. Also see MFC v Joubert -

A629/2013




NCR FEE GUIDELINE TO BE REVIEWD

REVIEWING THE

NCR FEE GUIDELINE

AGAIN IN 2021

It was decided back in 2020 that a review of the fees

by the NCR’s Credit Industry Forum (CIF) should be

organized. At the start of 2021 this process kicked off

(just the first, baby steps for now) with the committee

beginning to talk about what is needed and agreeing

to certain goals.

What Seems To Be The Problem?

The NCR’s current concerns do not seem to be linked to inflation of

costs or labour. While the entire fee guideline will be up for review,

the NCR, in their CIF document, mention 3 sections of the current fee

guideline in particular that they would like to focus on:

1. The Restructuring Fee (paid in month 1),

2. The Reckless Lending Fee of up to R1500 paid in Month 2,

3. Attorneys Fees (meant to be paid when work is finished),


NCR FEE GUIDELINE TO BE REVIEWD

JUST LIKE IN 2018

The CIF have said that they will follow a process similar

to what was done when the fees were reviewed in

2018.

In that case, a smaller group of people made suggestions that were

converted into an official proposal. That proposal was then nicely

laid out in a document and sent out to the industry (for a few days)

for feedback, and then ended up being published as the new official

guideline.

It was unfortunate that in 2018 there was no upfront consultation at

the beginning of the process. Smaller Debt Counsellors and credit

providers only got to make rushed comments, towards the very end

of the process, on what was seen as a “done deal”.

It is hoped that this time, some attorneys (or legal societies) are

brought in to provide insight into their industry, and that more time

is allowed, earlier in the process, for meaningful proposals and

comments by more people.


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NCR FEE GUIDELINE TO BE REVIEWD

A REVIEW IS A GREAT

OPPORTUNITY

Over the years these various guidelines have really

accomplished their goal of creating uniformity, and

have contributed toward stability in the industry.

Though often a bit too complicated, they have also greatly helped

consumers anticipate what to expect to pay, when entering the debt

review process. People want to know what it will cost, this is often

their first questions about debt review.

The current review provides the industry with an important

opportunity to make things both affordable and very easy to

understand for consumers, as well as sustainable for Debt

Counsellors.


CONSUMERS WHO

ENTER DEBT REVIEW

BUT THEN DON’T

FOLLOW THROUGH

In research from DCASA, some years ago, it was

revealed that just short of 20% of clients who enter

debt review never make any payments whatsoever

even though a lot of work is done on their behalf when

they start the process.

This problem still exists today.

This means that 1 in 5 clients never pay a cent for all the time and

effort spent on their behalf.

Imagine how your business would do if one out of every five clients

never paid you for what they bought. It is a scary statistic.

To further add pressure to Debt Counsellors, around another +- 20%

of clients drop out of the process in the following 2 or 3 months and

never complete debt review.


CREDIT

CREDIT

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Have you applied to go under debt review? Are you restructuring your monthly expenses? Would you like to insure your debt?

PROTECTION

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BENEFITS Why not insure OFFERED: all your outstanding accounts in a single ONE Credit Protection Policy?

Have you applied to go under debt review? Are you restructuring your monthly expenses? Would you like to insure your debt?

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for At a less. rate of R2.95 per R1000 unsecured/short-term credit and R2.00 per R1000 on mortgages and you can now insure your debt

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At a rate of R2.95 per R1000 unsecured/short-term credit and R2.00 per R1000 on mortgages and you can now insure your debt

The following financial obligations for less. or debt can be covered on the ONE Credit Protection Policy:

The following financial obligations or debt can be covered on the ONE Credit Protection Policy:

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Credit Cards

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The following financial obligations or debt can be covered on the ONE Credit Protection Policy:

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• Home Loans

Home Loans

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• Retail Accounts

• Rental Agreement

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• Maintenance Orders

• Maintenance Orders

For further information please please speak

For further speak to your

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Terms and Conditions Apply Terms and Conditions Apply

Terms and Conditions Apply

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DEBT REVIEW

LESSON #1

Even if under debt review credit

providers may have their collections

people call you. You can simply refer

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DEBT REVIEW

LESSON #2

If you receive a summons while

under debt review you must not

ignore it thinking you don’t need to

do anything. Immediately call your

Debt Counsellor.


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Paying your credit providers

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credit bureaus and NCR.


What if...

YOUR CLIENT’S VEHICLE IS STOLEN OR WRITTEN OFF?

Is he really insured, and if so, properly?

Could the insurer repudiate the claim

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Some debt counsellors are also registered Financial Services

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Visit our Facebook page

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Debt Counsellors Collective

The iDDC would like to hear

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What issues need to be escalated

to the NCR?

We are lo

new NEC m

2021. Would

volun


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www.dcasa.co.za

oking for

embers in

you like to

teer?

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www.embattorneys.co.za

Liddles & Associates

“It always seems impossible until it

is done” N. Mandela

(T) 021 930 5790

(F) 0866070940

(E) frontdesk@liddles.co.za

www.liddles.co.za

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

RM Brown and Associates

16th Floor, The Pinnacle

Cnr Strand & Burg St

Cape Town

Tel: 021 202 1111, f: 021 425 0875

Email: roger@rmbrown.co.za


082 974 0866

We are a Port Elizabeth based law firm

capable of assisting Debt Counsellor’s

throughout South Africa with matters

within the following

carla@cvlaw.co.za

areas of jurisdiction:

Port Elizabeth;

New Brighton;

Motherwell;

Uitenhage;

Hankey;

Jeffreys Bay; and

Humansdorp

Your Debt Counselling Attorneys

Johannesburg | Cape Town

Andre Van Zyl

021 494 4862

info@bassonvanzyl.com

082

www.cvlaw.co.za

974 0866

carla@cvlaw.co.za

www.cvlaw.co.za

www.bassonvanzyl.com

EMAIL

yolande@ydeattorneys.co.za

CELL

071 870 9535

TEL

061 250 4080


PAYMENT

DISTRIBUTION

AGENCIES

COLLECTNET

+27 12 140 0602

DC Partner

044 873 4530

Hyphen PDA

011 303 0060

intuitive

0861 628 628


SYSTEM PROVIDERS

FINWISE - INNOVATIVE DEBT M

Tel: 011 451 0041

Tel: 0860 072 768

www.maxpayments.co.za

Debt Review Software

Tel: 016 004 0031

South Africa’s premier

debt management solution

www.finwise.biz

‘’ I was pleasantly surprised by our experien

new system is intuitive and e

Debt counsellor Eas


Mrs. Cindy Mauritz will be heading up the debt review department and will be supported by Miss

Meghan Bruiners and Mrs. Fika Snyders in their capacity as Team Leaders.

We have updated our communication and escalation channels in this regard.

Please refer to the communication channels listed in tables 1 and 2 below. It is important that

documentation be send to the correct communication channels to ensure timeous feedback.

CAPITEC CONTACT DETAILS

Table 1: Debt Review communication channels

Channel Description E-mail address

1 Form 17’s All Forms 17’s / ccsforms17@capitecbank.co.za

Clearance Certificates

2 Proposals All Proposals ccsproposals@capitecbank.co.za

3 Court documents All Court documents ccsdebtrevieworders@capitecbank.co.za

(Notice of Motion’s /

NCT applications /

Orders)

4 Terminations Termination queries debtreviewterminations@capitecbank.co.za

5 General enquiries General Debt Review ccsdebtreviewqueries@capitecbank.co.za

Enquiries

6 Refund / Cancellation

requests

Debt Review Refund

Requests and

Cancellation of Debit

Orders

ccsrefundrequests@capitecbank.co.za

7 Insurance Certificates Replacement Insurance

Policies

8 Reckless Lending Allegation of reckless

Queries

lending and document

requests

9 Credit Insurance Claims All credit insurance

claims

10 Payment allocations Payment Allocations

11 Share Call Contact

number

queries

insurancepolicies@capitecbank.co.za

Rmcontrol@capitecbank.co.za

CreditInsuranceClaims@capitecbank.co.za

ccsdebtreviewpaymentqueries@capitecbank.co.za

086 066 7783 Option 2







DC QUERY PROCESS

NEDBANK DRRS

Debt Counselling Query Resolution Contact Points and Escalation Options

Fax or Email submissions (Level1)

Email: DebtCounsellingQueries@nedbank.co.za

Fax: 010 251 0055

To be used as a first point of contact for all

written communication

Call centre (Level 1: Alternative)

Tel: 0860 109 279

To be used as a first point of contact for

all telephonic communication

Attended to by Queries Team Leader

(Level 2: First Escalation)

Dcescalation1@nedbank.co.za

To be used only where no resolution is

found from first point of contact after

5 business days

Attended to by Senior Manager

(Level 3: Final escalation)

Dcescalation2@nedbank.co.za

To be used only where no resolution

is found from the first escalation after

2 Business days

www.nedbank.co.za


17.1, 17.2, Proposals, General

correspondence:

debtcounselling@africanbank.co.za

To register for Legal Web Access:

lwac@africanbank.co.za

Reckless Lending investigations:

RLA@africanbank.co.za

ESCALATION PROCESS

DETAILS COMING SOON


ESCALATION PROCEDURE

*Please do not CC multiple email addresses*

STEP

01

FIRST POINT OF CONTACT

Applications, COBs, Notice of Rejections/17W

Proposals

Court Applications & Orders

Terminations, Re-instatements, Settlements,

General Queries, Refunds

applications@consumerfriend.co.za

proposals@consumerfriend.co.za

courts@consumerfriend.co.za

customeraccounts@consumerfriend.co.za

STEP

02

General Queries,

Terminations and Account

Enquiries, Court

ESCALATION DAY 5

COBs & 17.7s

ESCALATION DAY 7

Proposals

ESCALATION DAY

FIRST ESCALATION

Applications, Notice of Rejections/17Ws

charmainer@consumerfriend.co.za

COBs Woolworths woolworthscob@consumerfriend.co.za

Truworths

truworthscob@consumerfriend.co.za

RCS

rcscob@consumerfriend.co.za

Foschini

tfgcob@consumerfriend.co.za

Sanlam

sanlamcob@consumerfriend.co.za

Mr Price Group

mrpcob@consumerfriend.co.za

JD Group

jdgcob@consumerfriend.co.za

Capfin

capfincob@consumerfriend.co.za

ConnectFin

connectfincob@consumerfriend.co.za

Full House Retail fhcob@consumerfriend.co.za

Proposals

tracey@consumerfriend.co.za

Court Applications & Orders

tusani@consumerfriend.co.za

Terminations (Proof of Payment)

suspense@consumerfriend.co.za

Updated Balances, Settlements, General Queries candicec@consumerfriend.co.za

STEP

03

DReX CONTACT DETAILS

DReX Related Queries

DReX Escalation

SECOND ESCALATION

Should you not receive a response within two business days after the first escalation, please email

complaints@consumerfriend.co.za

drexsupport@consumerfriend.co.za

justin@consumerfriend.co.za

OFFICE CONTACT DETAILS

Telephone: +27(0)31 251 4151

Email: info@consumerfriend.co.za

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