Visit the home of Debtfree DIGI -S.A's Debt Counselling Industry Magazine: www.debtfreedigi.co.za

Debtfree DIGI is South Africa's Premier Resource for Debt Counselling information and news.

Debtfree Magazine is produced digitally each month and is distributed to Debt Counsellors, Credit Providers and subscribers country-wide. If you would like to stay current with developments in the world of Debt Counselling then this is the publication for you.

Visit : www.debtfreedigi.co.za for more info.

Mail the word :"Subscribe" to magazine@debtfreedigi.co.za to receive Debtfree DIGI free each month.

The Latest Debtfree DIGI

Debtfree DIGI

...
Click on the picture of the magazine above to read all the latest news about debt review and it will zoom in to full page. (Which makes it easy to read) You can then click on the edge of each page to turn the pages or on the page itself to zoom in even more. To zoom out simply click anywhere on the page again or push the x button at the top of the screen to close the magazine.
Not seeing it ? Try Here Please give the magazine a moment to load up. (this will depend on your internet connection speed) All the latest Debt Counselling Industry News and articles about Debt Review

Friday, December 24, 2010

December Holidays

Debt Counselling South Africa will close their offices from Dec 24th till Jan 9 2011

Thursday, December 23, 2010

SDC Charter released

The SDC Charter has been completed.
To download the finished product visit: http://www.sdc-sa.co.za/

Monday, December 13, 2010

SDC Charter awaiting your comments.

Recently the SDC website (http://www.sdc-sa.co.za/) has been acting up. Many visitors have not been able to get onto the site. We doubt this is the work of anonymous web hackers. Probably it is just a hosting issue.

However if you do manage to get on feel free to have a look at the SDC Charter, which is open for comment.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Industry Code of Conduct signed on 6 December 2010


On the 6th of December a milestone was achieved with the signing of the document above by all parties involved in Debt Counselling to indicate acceptance of the Task Team Agreement as well as the Code of Conduct for Credit Providers, Debt Counsellors and PDA’s.

The acceptance of the Task Team Agreement and the Code of Conduct by all parties enables the implementation of voluntary process enhancements and restructuring rules in 2011. Non compliance to the voluntary agreement can be reported to the Credit Ombud.


The Task Team Agreement represents a voluntary agreement to standardise forms, enhance the debt review process and to implement a set of restructuring rules. This agreement is not in conflict with the requirements of the NCA but a voluntary agreement to unlock the bottlenecks in the debt review process and to facilitate automatic acceptance of repayment plans that conforms to the restructuring rules. This agreement was the result of 257 hours of work by the Task Team over a 12 months period.


The enhanced process and restructuring rules should have a positive impact to the work of Debt Counsellors but Consumers stand to benefit most from the voluntary Task Team Agreement. The process will be streamlined to expedite completion of the debt review and in addition the Consumers will benefit greatly from the fee and rate reduction agreed in the restructuring rules.

Friday, December 3, 2010

DCASA's new Membership fee structure

DCASA has approved a new Membership fee structure . Registered Debt Counsellors can now elect to join as an Associated Member (R65/mthn) or as a Full Member (R300/mnth) of DCASA.

A great deal of work has been done by DCASA. Over the last four years DCASA has built up it's membership to 230 members. They have tackled the issues of the Debt Counselling Fees, a Code of Conduct and the appointment of an Ombud who will deal with Debt Review matters. Why is such an Ombud so important? Well while the NCR will continue to perform it's statutory role, the Credit Ombud will be able to rule on industry debt review matters where voluntary agreements (beyond the NCA requirements)have been reached. This is a great leap forward, as DC's can now for the first time ensure that all parties keep to the signed NCR Task Team guidelines.

DCASA has established branches in most Provinces and we will shortly be providing you with the details of the planned meetings for 2011.

During February 2011 all DCASA Provincial Branch Committees will be re-elected and in March a Special General Meeting will be held and the NEC will be re-elected.It is therefore necessary that any DC who wishes to join DCASA does so prior to the end of Jan 2011 to be eligible to vote and be elected to any of the structures within DCASA.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A break in the 86(10) storm ?

The major banks have agreed to a moratorium on 86(10) notices from December 1st 2010 till 1 April 2011. This "gap" should allow the industry time to breath and collect it's breath.

The recent deluge of notices issued may have been an effort by some of these banks to get those terminations in before the moratorium hits. Ironically this may mean that DC's will be dealing with the issued notices well into next year.

This of course will tie in with the result of the wesbank vs Pappier from the Cape Town High Court which the industry is eagerly awaiting.

Should the court rule that matters that are set down cannot recieve 86(10)s then many of the issued 86(10)s will not be valid anyway.However the industry will only benefit from a reduction in these termiantion letters which frighten clients and creat e huge amounts of time consuming work for all parties.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Octogen/NCR to host practical training

Octogen/NCR will be hosting practical training on the following dates:



29 November-Cape Town at Old Oak Bowling Club, Tygervalley RD Kenridge ext 3 Bellville

30 November-Johannesburg at 1 modderfontein rd

6 December-Klerksdorp at 9 Radloff str Wilkoppies Klerksdorp

7 December-Pretoria, to be advised



The training will cover practical issues such as terminations, withdrawals, recent developments in the industry, changes to the Magistrate Court Act and Rules and how this impacts you as a debt counsellor (amongst other things)



Places are limited, as it is a workshop and we need smaller groups in order to achieve the outcomes. Training will however be held on a regular basis and should you not be able to attend this training, Octogen will place you on a waiting list for the next session. It is therefore imperative that you book as soon as possible.



To reserve your place, please email jennyd@octogen.co.za



Kind Regards



Ange Walker
Monitoring Officer
National Credit Regulator

Tel 011 554 2890 | Fax 011 554 2884 | Call Centre 0860 627 627 | Email awalker@ncr.org.za | Web www.ncr.org.za

Standard Banks refund policy

Standard Bank have made the following announcement regarding payments of salaries into Cheque accounts that are included under debt review.

24 November 2010
______________________________________________________________________
REFUNDING OF CREDIT PAYMENTS INTO THE CHEQUE ACCOUNT
Please note that in line with the spirit of the NCA and our commitment to the debt review process we (STD Bank) will, upon request, refund credits/payment made into cheque/ current accounts where these credits/payments are in respect of salaries or wages.

All refund requests can be sent to:
debtreviewservices@standardbank.co.za

We will also, upon request, affect refunds where, despite having received a valid debit order cancellation request, same has not been affected.
All debit order cancellation requests can be sent to:
DebtReviewDebitOrder@standardbank.co.za

To avoid all situations that are likely to result in the account going into excess, increasing the customer’s over indebtedness all other requests for refunds will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Let’s Work Together!
Janet Hofman
Manager, Debt Review
Standard Bank

Debtfree DIGI is sure these details will be of great assistance to all DC's and applaud STD Banks proactive attitude in this regard.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Free Workshop in Cape Town re: NCR

You are invited to attend a workshop where the following topics will be up for discussion:

Update on industry developments
Relationships with stake holders
Terminations, After Care and collecting your money

There is no charge for this workshop which is for registered Debt Counsellors Only.

Where:
Old Oak Bowling Club
Tygervalley RD Kenridge ext 3 Bellville

When:
29th November 2010

Time:
8:00 for 9:00

RSVP:
By 26th November 2010 to
E-Mail: jennyd@octogen.co.za

First come first serve - seats are limited

Monday, November 15, 2010

NCR Quarterly Report due today

DC's need to submit their Quarterly Reports to the NCR today. (3rd Quarter)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Quarterly Report Due

A reminder to all DC's your quarterly reports are due on Monday next week.

ABSA- reasons for the slow down in turn around

ABSA have communicated with DC's to say that they are experiencing extremely high volumes of queries and requests coming through incorrect email and personal email addresses. This has severely impacted there turnaround targets and operational excellence.

They stated in their communique: "Our Debt Review Call Centre is the frontline to our business and ultimately the first entry point for your queries and requests. You are encouraged to make use of these channels to ensure that your query can be tracked as it will be logged onto our systems. Queries and requests that are logged enable us to conduct trend analysis that will indicate areas of our business that need more focus and improvement. When in contact with the Call Centre, please make certain that you are issued with a reference number. You will need the reference number to follow up on your query."


ABSA are also concerned that court notices are not always received on time. Rule 55 of the Magistrates’ Court Act requires that papers be served 10 days prior to the date of the hearing. They ask DC's and attorneys to notify them as far in advance as possible.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Statement by the National Executive Committee of DCASA

DCASA and some DC's country wide recently received an undated letter written by Beatrice de Beer acting on behalf of unnamed concerned DCASA members and unnamed non members during October 2010.


The NEC of DCASA wish to comment as follows:


DCASA has, since inception, adopted and implemented a Corporate Governance Policy
and all NEC members have disclosed their interests and we remain a transparent
organisation.

The aim of DCASA is to be the body of choice for debt counsellors is South Africa. DCASA is a voluntary association and in terms of its Constitution all registered Debt Counsellors can apply for membership and are eligible for election on any of the DCASA structures or committees. Currently DCASA has over 230 active members. DCASA has over the last 3 years put in a huge effort to improve the profession and to increase its membership. DCASA has and will continue to engage will all role players to improve the profession. This is an ongoing process that the NEC and ranch Committees have been involved in but despite this some Debt Counsellors have elected to stay on the sideline. This has not deterred DCASA to involve members and not members in its negotiations and discussions to date. DCASA has set up monthly meetings where members and non members are welcome.

This year the 2nd DCASA conference will take place and is again open for members and non members. This year, as in 2009, all available seats at the conference have been booked.

In pursuance of this goal DCASA has been involved in a number of activities since 2007.

This included the Work Stream agreements of 2007/2008, The Declarator, DC Fee structure, proposed amendments to the ACT and Regulations, Changes to the MCA and
Rules, The improvement of the NCR Debt Help system, Bank accounts for Debt review clients, Credit Provider interactions, monthly DCASA feedback meetings, the NDMA(work groups and board representation), University of Pretoria Report, Numerous
submissions to DTI and NCR regarding the fee structure review, Annual conferences, NCR Task Team, PDA’s, engagement with other organisations and many other initiatives. The most recent is to support an appeal of a DCASA member’s client on the stance most bank’s have taken with regard to section 86(10) and the publishing of a Reckless Credit Guideline for Debt Counsellors. The NEC of DCASA acts on behalf of its members and its aim has always been to improve the Debt Counselling industry and to grow its membership base.

DCASA has also actively participated and is represented on the NCR Task Team. Many, many hours were devoted by DCASA, NEC members and ordinary members in attending meetings, negotiations with stake holders, setting up the DC System Forum, writing ofdocuments, and proposals and system specs over a 10 month period which culminated in the acceptance of the NCR Task Team proposals in September 2010. During the ten months period regular feedback was provided by DCASA in a transparent, open and responsible manner to both members and non members. The approval of the Task Team report will play an important role in improving the Debt Counselling process and to structure acceptable proposals which are all aimed to improve the profession.

The abovementioned agreement will fundamentally change and improve the debt
counselling industry by introducing standards, processes, forms and restructure rules. To implement this requires a Code of Conduct and a Complaints Resolution and Mediation process. DCASA has invested hundreds of hours in this project and whilst some criticism can expected in a process that required compromise agreements to move the process forward, DCASA was overwhelmed by the positive feedback received from members and non members. This was further endorsed during the recent NCR Task Team road show (600 to 700 Debt Counsellors) and the NCR Debt Counselling Conference (500 Debt Counsellors). Most of the criticism received was from Debt Counsellors who were not members of DCASA and who during this process elected to stay uninvolved.

In tandem with this initiative DCASA engaged with DTI and the NCR regarding the Debt Counsellors fee structure.

Since 2008 seven proposals and numerous presentations were submitted and made to the NCR and DTI and this culminated in an independent investigation commissioned by the NCR. The findings were presented to a number of Debt Counsellors on the 3rd November 2010 will also be presented at the DCASA conference by the NCR Consultant in order to inform more Debt Counsellors and to solicit feedback. One of the main reasons that some Debt Counsellors selected not to join DCASA is the fee structure.

DCASA is an independent organisation and proudly sponsored by its members. It was always envisaged that the fees will be reduced over time and this has indeed happened. In addition the NEC launched a project in October 2010 to investigate the possibility of introducing an Associated Member and Affiliated Member fee Structure to accommodate Debt Counsellors who cannot afford the current membership fee. Our
thanks go out to all our members who have contributed to getting the Association off the ground and who have paid the membership fees. A new fee structure has been approved will be distributed to all Debt Counsellors.
The issue of obtaining additional funding was discussed at the NEC in March 2010 and Mrs. De Beer was mandated to engage with organisations on this matter and if successful to present terms and conditions to the NEC. It is envisaged that the funds would be utilised to appoint a CEO and related staff who would then relieve the NEC appointed members and ordinary members of many of the tasks they are currently performing at no cost to the Association. As stated above any registered Debt Counsellor is eligible to become a DCASA member.

In terms of DCASA’s Constitution members can be elected to the NEC directly or through a DCASA Branch Committee. This practice was followed to date and at the DCASA AGM of 2009 the current NEC members were elected. This process will be repeated at the DCASA AGM of 2010. All NEC members are required to sign a declaration of interest and in terms of standard practice cannot be involved in any decision where a potential conflict of interest is present. To date the NEC of DCASA is not aware of any transgression of this policy.

At the NEC meeting it was further agreed that to encourage and to provide every Debt Counsellor with an opportunity to be actively involved in shaping and protecting the Debt Counselling profession the following process would be introduced:

1. The appointment of members to the NEC would, as scheduled, take place at the AGM on Tuesday, 9th November 2010 in line with DCASA’s Constitution.

2. We will give every registered debt counsellor the opportunity once again to join DCASA and to become a member in good standing during the months of November, December and January.

3. In February 2011 we will hold a meeting in each of the Provinces and members can then be elected to the respective Branch Committees.

4. In March 2011 we will call a Special General Meeting and we will then appoint members to the NEC utilising the same nomination and voting procedure used at the AGM in 2010. In addition to this we will agree and ratify on any of the changes required to the Constitution which will include the Code of Conduct and the Complaints Resolution and Mediation process.

One of the requirements of the NCR Task Team is a setting up of a Code of Conduct for all the role players. This Code of Conduct requires NCR approval. The existing Code of Conduct was already under review and B de Beer and L Hurst jointly submitted proposals in this regard. This was then developed further to be in line with the NCR Task Teams requirements and was then submitted to NEC Members for comment. The comments received were then taken into account and a draft Code of Conduct was then submitted to the NCR Task Team for consideration. The Task Team’s changes to the Code of Conduct was received on the morning of the NEC meeting (12th October 2010) and for this reason three hours were devoted to study and comment on the proposed Code of Conduct. The draft Code of Conduct was updated to include the NEC comments and recommendations and returned to the NCR and Task Team Chairman. We are expecting to receive the draft Code of Conduct back from the NEC within the next few days. Once we are in receipt of the draft we will be in a position to obtain approval in line with DCASA’s Constitution which requires that this be brought to the AGM or a Special General Meeting with 24 days prior notice. This will also entail submitting the draft Code of Conduct to all members for comment. It is clear that no decisions can be taken at the AGM this year as we do not have the final comments of the NCR Task Team. Any interaction prior to receipt of the proposed Code of Conduct is therefore premature and of little value. The final code of conduct will also require NCR approval.

Our membership continues to grow and we have over 230 members who participate in
the activities in our Industry. We encourage all Debt Counsellors to join DCASA in order to build on the sound foundations laid by DCASA over the last three and a half years. It is crucial that members participate actively at Provincial Branch Committee level and we once again encourage all members to become active participants on the Provincial Branch Committees.

Debt Counselling is a still a relatively new profession and DCASA is proud in the part that it has played to date to improve and protect our profession. Much still needs to be done but DCASA is encouraged by the progress made to date and believes that the implementation of Task Team Agreements will play a huge role to lift the profession to the next level which will require professionalism, transparency, dedication and trust by all Debt Counsellors.

These comments submitted by:AJ RICHARDS
President of DCASA

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Struggling to find work?

Gerard le Roux of the Job Search Clinic – who has appeared on 702, Cape Talk 567, SAfm, and in Financial Mail, The Star and Cape Argus has made available a Limited time discount to join for less.We thought we would highlight it as this is a chance for a good saving and usefull info for job hunters.

His offer:



Break Yourself Out in 2011!
Are you “desperate” for change at work and life? Are you wondering ...

How can I get motivated and perform better?
How do I advance, get paid more and get promoted at work?
I can’t find a job, I’m frustrated. What can I do differently?
I hate my job, but how do I change, to what and to where?

One of the publications available to members of the Job search Clinic is:


An 11 step “Get a Job Fast: 2011_ strategy. Based on my
internationally published e-book “Job Search FAST TRACK –
Dynamite for Job Hunters” I’ll coach you through my ‘fast start’
strategy. If you need a job and nothing’s working for you, then this
is what you need.

[Available from November 15.]


INNER CIRCLE Launch Special Offer

The all new Career & Success INNER CIRCLE launches on November 15. The membership fee will be R500 for the year. However over the launch period you can join for less.

Until 12 midnight on November 15 you can join just for R125.

Then the price goes up to R250 until December 31.

On January 1 the price rises to R500.

If you do decide to join up Gerard even offers the following:

You'll receive my weekly "3 Step" e-mail. You ask the questions
and I answer them drawing from real world experience, the best
authors on the topic, and delivering to you a 3 step strategy for
dealing with it.

For more info email: gerard@jobsearching.co.za

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

SDC Rates

You may be wondering what the SDC are going to charge for membership fees.
Please find the Fees information from the SDC website below:

SDC MEMBERSHIP FEES

A once-off registration fee of R200.00 is payable to the SDC whereafter a monthly fee of R150.00 per member is due.

Payment of membership fees to be effected to the following account:
Account Name : Society for Debt Counsellors
Bank : First National Bank
Account Number : 622 821 63999
Branch Code : 261050
Kindly use your DC No. as reference.



At present DCASA charges R300/month and has monthly meetings in most provences.

Monday, November 1, 2010

SDC show their teeth re: DC Code of Conduct

The Society for Debt COunsellors has taken a stance against the NCR approving of a DC Code of Conduct formulated by a minority of DC's. In a recent email to members and other DC's the SDC stated:


"It has come to our attention that a code of conduct was formulated by The Debt Counsellors Association of South Africa (DCASA), which was endorsed by the NCR.

We have received information that the above mentioned code of conduct will be signed off by Gabriel Davel (Regulator) on or about the 2nd of November 2010. The result being that all Debt Counsellors will be forced to adopt a code of conduct formulated and consented to by a mere 43 debt counsellors, without the approval of the greater debt counsellor community.

The Society for Debt Counsellors (SDC) does not approve this practice and hereby demands that the NCR recognizes all debt counsellors in this regard.

Our demands are as follows:

· The code of conduct should be presented to all debt counsellors for their perusal and opinion and finally their approval;

· The NCR should recognize and respect the role of all debt counsellors in the industry; and

· All decisions affecting debt counselling must be conducted in a transparent and democratic manner.


The SDC intends to stop the signing of the Code of Conduct and we need the help of all debt counsellors to do this. We urge you to read the code of conduct formulated by DCASA, which is posted on our website (www.sdc-sa.co.za), and if it is not in line with your views then help us to stop this document from being passed and becoming law.

The petition will be forwarded to all stakeholders involved in the Code of Conduct, to stop the implementation of this document.

We urge all debt counsellors to sign the petition and assist in the implementation of a Code of Conduct which represents the combined input of the whole debt counseling community.

Please note that you do not need to be a member of the SDC.

Visit www.sdc-sa.co.za to sign the petition.

Regards,

The SDC Team

Email: society4dcs@gmail.com

Fax: 086 617 1453
"

Should you feel this is something you would like to become involved in please feel free to visit the SDC website (www.sdc-sa.co.za) for more information.

New SDC website

The Society for Debt Counsellors new website is up and running at: http://www.sdc-sa.co.za/

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New representitive body for Debt Counsellors ?

At the recent Annual Debt Counselling Conference in Pretoria it was lamented by some that the only representitive body for DC's was DCASA. However a recent email reveals the birth of a new representitive body called the Society for Debt Counsellors (SDC)

See their email below:

To all Debt Counsellors.

We are proud to announce that we have founded the SOCIETY FOR DEBT COUNSELLORS (SDC).

The SDC is a professional body of experts that aim to empower debt counsellors in South Africa. We strive to assist DC’s in their complex work environments, and play an instrumental role in taking Debt Counselling matters forward. A founding committee of debt counsellors has been established to oversee the process.



The establishment of the Society is due to the demand of a number of DC’s who have identified that issues of major importance, pertaining to Debt Counselling and the role of debt counsellors, are not being addressed, e.g. DC fees have not been increased since 2008 – we want to know why. The SDC will provide a platform for these issues to be raised AND acted upon. At present, each DC stands alone and faces challenges and issues which are common to all debt counsellors.

It is time for us to stand together and fight together to get the answers we need!
...

We need to have a body that speaks for us. The objective of the SDC is to give DC’s in South Africa a voice that must be heard and acted upon.


If you are interested in joining the Society for Debt Counsellors we would like to hear from you.


Yours sincerely,





The SCE Team


Society for Debt Counsellors

Email: society@sdc-sa.co.za

Fax: 086 617 1453


We look forward to seeing how this new body will influence the industry and wish them all the best.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Free Workshop in Cape Town 20 Oct '10

Prinsloo & Associates are presenting their second workshop specifically designed for debt counsellors:

Date: Wednesday 20 October 2010
Time: From 10h00 to 13h00
Venue: The Bellville Library
(tea/coffee/juice and food will be provided)
Cost: FREE OF CHARGE

TOPICS:
• The collection procedure process - your client's rights at each step
• Which sections of the Consumer Act are in effect and which not
• Credit Bureaus - how long do listings stay and when/how removed
• Contracts - cancellation clauses, breach clauses and other detail thereof
• Insolvency - assets vs. no assets

Please confirm your attendance:

Nanika Prinsloo
Email: nanika@vodamail.co.za
Cell: 072-8558-106

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Credit Management Technology Conference in November (Jhb)

The Credit Management Technology Conference will be held on the 17th and 18th of November 2010, at the Indaba Hotel, Fourways, Johannesburg.

From risk assessment practices to credit control, scoring and collections and loan and debt management, the use of technology is inescapable when it comes to credit management and more specifically credit risk.

At the Credit Management Technology Conference delegates will be able to access different approaches to the use of software and applications and will afterwards be able to answer questions regarding user-friendliness, security, system integration, data usage and storage and many others.

Some of the topics that will be covered include the following:

Introduction to credit management technology

Global trends in credit management and payments technology

Role of information technology in credit management

Importance of credit risk management software for banking institutions

Overview of decision-making management software to negate credit risk across the credit life cycle

Advancing credit risk management through the application of credit bureau technology

Improving credit management through the use of loan management system

Features and benefits of choosing the right loan management solution

Using technology in loan origination to streamline and manage key functions

Technology and debt collection introducing debt management systems

The programme will also include credit technology case studies from Absa, Nedbank, Maravedi Financial Services and JD Group.

Members of the speaker panel include:

* Greg Brill, Managing Director, Octagon Credit Services
* Peter Rafferty, CEO, Futuresoft
* Hamish Houston, Commercial Director, ACET Processing
* Hans van Aardt, Managing Director, Microworks
* Frank Lenisa, Marketing Director, Compuscan
* Ben Pieters, Sales Director, Acczone
* Barry Leonard, CEO, Xpertek Group
* Miles Hern, Managing Director, CreditEase
* Francois Grobler, Head: Credit Risk, JD Group
* Tumi Machedi, Specialist: Credit Risk Personal Bank, ABSA
* Dalene Opperman, Managing Director, Maravedi Financial Solutions

Some advertised benefits of attending the conference:

* Learn more about global trends in credit management technology
* Examine the role of information technology in credit management
* Explore the use of decision-making software
* Increased knowledge of loan administration and debt management systems
* Case studies showcasing technology efforts by credit lending organisations
* Network with top speakers and fellow colleagues


Should you have any questions with regards to the conference, please feel free to contact TCI at Tel: 011 803-0009 or E-mail at info@tci-sa.co.za

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

DCASA W. Cape meeting Cancelled

Please take note that the meeting for DCASA W.Cape - wed 06 October (showing on DCASA'a website) will not be happening this week.

The meeting has been postponed till a future date (TBA)

NCR annual conference Today

The National Credit Regulator (NCR) is hosting a conference and exhabiton in Pretoria at the Saint George Hotel and Convention Centre today.This will be the second National Debt Counselling Conference and Exhibition hosted by the NCR thus far.

The conference is slated to address pertinent issues impacting on the implementation of Debt Counselling including current initiatives to improve the effectiveness of Debt Counselling such as the recomendations of the NCR Task Team on Debt Counselling.

The conference also presents an opportunity for industry players to interact amongst themselves and share experiences and advice.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

September issue of Debtfree DIGI now out.

The latest issue of Debtfree DIGI is now available.

FNB want some DC feedback

FNB recently approached DC's with a request for feed back.

they stated in their correspondence:

"The FirstRand Bank is currently evaluating the services it provides to debt counsellors and other stakeholders in the debt review industry. The main objective of the evaluation is to:

1. identify gaps in the service it provides;
2. provide an opportunity for debt counsellors to express their opinions about the service they received;
3. identify and resolve issues that debt counsellors are complaining/ concerned about; and
4. improve the quality of service it provides.

This is the first in the series of satisfaction evaluations that will be conducted among other stakeholders in the debt review industry. We request your assistance in improving our service by filling in the questionnaire that will be sent to you on 20 September 2010
"

It is good to see FNB looking to improve their service to the industry. I just hope they don't get too many emails just about point number 3...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Free Workshop in Cape Town

You are hereby invited to a workshop specifically designed for debt counsellors that Prinsloo & Associates are presenting on TUESDAY, 14 SEPTEMBER 2010 from 10h00 to 13h00 at the BELLVILLE LIBRARY

TOPICS:
*Legal information essential to your practise
*Hand-outs with court cases and articles to take home
*Insolvency as a solution
*Court cases
*The new Consumer Act and the impact on your business
*The new Companies Act and Business Rescue.

Members of your staff are also welcome.

Please inform Nanika if you would like to attend.


Nanika Prinsloo
Prinsloo & Associates
ATTORNEYS AND CONVEYANCERS

Cell: 072-8558-106
nanika@vodamail.co.za

www.empowerlaw.co.za

And remember it is FREE to attend.

Drop in the Repo Rate- Good news for consumers

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%

Interestingly though, many point to the fact that SA's interest rate vs. inflation rate comparison (nominal interest rate - inflation) reveals that SA is currently still rated as the second highest rate (nominal interest rate - inflation) in the world, second only to Brazil

Thursday, September 9, 2010

NDMA- interesting description in NCR Task Team Report

An interesting description of the NDMA's role can be found in the recent report:

It states:" The main role of the NDMA is to mediate cases where an affiliated credit provider unfairly withholds consent to a debt restructuring proposal from a consumer or their debt counsellor OR where an affiliated credit provider is not complying with its commitments in terms of the code. These commitments include complying with debt counselling operational and conduct related standards as well as making contributions to combating over indebtedness. "

Monday, September 6, 2010

Economic recovery...really?

Motorists welcomed the announcement by the Department of Energy on Friday 27 August that the retail price of all grades of petrol would decrease by 10 cents a litre on Wednesday 1 September. This provides at least a little relief for people being pressed on all sides by rising food prices and the on-going steady erosion of jobs.

“While the decrease in fuel prices is a positive development for motorists, consumers should still practise caution with their budgets, since there are conflicting signs about any economic recovery,” comments Paul Slot, Director: Debt Counselling at Octogen.

“There are hopes that there might be a cut in interest rates, since recent data shows that borrowing by companies fell again in July, indicating that there is still no real confidence in a strong economic recovery,” he continues.

There has been a slight increase in household borrowing and data appears to show that consumer spending, the economy’s main engine, is “somewhat better”. “However, consumers should note that this does not mean that the recession is over and that good economic times are about to dawn,” Slot cautions. “In developed countries in the West, there is still considerable concern about a ‘double-dip’ recession, with no clear signs that economies are strongly on the rebound. South Africa tends to lag behind these trends by several months, so it is unlikely that our own economy is going to recover dramatically any time soon. In fact, economic growth slowed by 1,4% in the second quarter.”

What does this mean for consumers? Slot recommends that consumers monitor their spending and keep a tight rein on their budgets. “Now more than ever, it is advisable to shop around for the good deals and make sure one doesn’t incur unnecessary debt. It is preferable, and also less expensive in the long run, to save for items rather than purchasing them on credit.”



Specail thanks to: Bullion PR & Communication

Friday, September 3, 2010

INVITATION TO NCR DEBT COUNSELLING TASK TEAM INFORMATION SESSION- CAPE TOWN

The NCR Task Team on debt counselling developed far reaching process changes, standards and rules of restructuring in order to improve the debt counselling system. You are invited to an information session where task team members will present how these changes will affect the work flow of debt counsellors, credit providers and payment distribution agents.


Date: Friday 10 September 2010

Time: 9h30 for 10h00

Venue: Belmont Square Conference Centre, Belmont Road in Rondebosch

Directions: http://www.belmontsquare.co.za/map.htm
press control and click on the link for directions)

RSVP:
Thandi Qinga - tqinga@ncr.org.za
OR
Thobile Makhubu - tmakhubu@ncr.org.za
by 09 September 2010



Kindly forward this invitation to interested parties within your association.

Advertising Campaign starting 8 Sept 2010

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.


and

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 there clients of. However that being said the BASA are probably 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.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Gabriel Davel to step down as CEO of the National Credit Regulator

The National Credit Regulator (NCR) announced 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), its implementation and in steering the NCR during its critical establishment phase.

“I’ve enjoyed the challenges at the NCR and believe that it has made an important contribution in establishing a more equitable, fair and transparent credit market which has an important role to play in improving the livelihoods of all South Africans,” said Davel. “While it’s been an exciting journey, I now look forward to new challenges.”

Davel was previously the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Micro Finance Regulatory Council (MFRC) and a partner with Deloitte & Touche before that. He has been engaged in broader financial sector and regulatory reform projects, including pioneering the Credit Law Review during 2002 to 2005 which resulted in the development of the new consumer credit policy and legislation.

“In his role as CEO, Davel brought extensive knowledge and experience of the consumer credit industry to the NCR,” said the regulator’s chairperson, Advocate Pansy Tlakula. “He not only helped to establish the regulator, but guided it through the recession, ensuring that it fulfilled its role of protecting consumers and regulating the market during this difficult time.”

• Under Davel’s tenure, the NCR has seen huge progress in implementing the NCA. Progress has been made in virtually all areas of the NCR’s mandate. From registration of credit providers, credit bureaus and debt counsellors, establishment of a broad education strategy and an effective complaints and investigations team through to the publication of credit industry statistics designed to improve the statistical basis to assess consumer credit market trends and levels of debt stress. The NCR received clean audit reports for every year since its establishment.

• It was during his term that the Task Team on debt counselling was appointed. The implementation of its recommendations will go a long way towards easing the challenges faced in debt counseling.

• Tshediso Matona, Director General at the Department of Trade and Industry (dti), commented that a solid base has been laid by the CEO and management team in regulating the industry and that the dti will continue to support the NCR to ensure regulatory certainty. “In setting up the NCR, Mr Davel inaugurated the path-breaking regulation represented by the National Credit Act, and did so with commitment, passion and rare expertise. As the dti, we thank him for his contribution, and wish him well in his future endeavours”. He confirmed that the dti, in conjunction with the NCR’s Board, has already commenced with a process to recruit a new CEO.
“We wish to thank Gabriel for his valuable contribution to the NCR and wish him all the best in his new endeavours,” said Tlakula. “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”.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Magistrates to be trained on the debt counselling process

Judicial Officers Association of South Africa (JOASA) in collaboration with the NCR and Justice College will host a conference to be attended by about 140 magistrates on Saturday, 28 August 2010.

The morning session of the conference is dedicated to the National Credit Act (NCA), with specific emphasis on the debt counselling provisions. This session will assist participants to understand the debt counselling process, challenges faced in taking matters to court including initiatives that have been put in place, such as the recommendations of the Task Team on debt counselling to address backlogs in the court system.

Magistrates play an important role in the debt review process as they interpret the National Credit Act, grant consent orders for consumers to enter the debt review process and also grant judgments against consumers who are unable to pay back their debt.

President of the Judicial Officers’ Association of South Africa, Dario Dosio says the session will help magistrates to better understand the NCA and the debt counselling process. “One of the challenges magistrates face is that debt counselling is just one area of specialisation in the civil courts,” says Dosio. “The training gives them an opportunity to understand the main role players, objectives that the National Credit Act is trying to achieve and to try and help indebted consumers where possible.”

Debt counselling applications make up an increasing proportion of magistrates’ work. As at the end of July 2010 over 190 000 consumers had applied for debt counselling with an average of 7500 new applications being received each month. A Task Team convened by the NCR recently found that a lack of capacity and delays in the Magistrates Court caused by uncertainty around the interpretation of the relevant sections of the National Credit Act were creating bottlenecks in the debt review process.

In August 2009, the NCR obtained a High Court Declaratory Order which gave clarity on the interpretation of a number of contentious sections of the Act. Since then, the volume of cases processed through the Magistrates Courts has increased significantly, but the backlogs remain high. “The quicker debt review cases can be dealt with in the Magistrates Court, the quicker over-indebted consumers can get back on their feet,” says Peter Setou, Senior Manager: Education & Strategy at the National Credit Regulator.



The courts are a critical element in the smooth functioning of the debt review process. When consumers are unable to pay back their debts, they can approach a debt counsellor who negotiates with credit providers to reschedule their debt repayments. Should all parties agree, then the debt counsellor can approach the courts for a consent order. However, if a credit provider does not agree to the new terms, the debt counsellor still needs to refer the matter to court for a hearing.

“Without the protection of the debt review process or the matter being before court, consumers face the risk of their assets being attached by credit providers who seek to recover their debt”, added Setou.

Setou says it is important to remember that credit providers cannot terminate the debt review process and recover an outstanding debt if the debt counsellor has referred the debt review case to a Magistrates Court for consideration.

“Magistrates do try to follow the spirit and intention of debt review as defined in the NCA and therefore do act in the best interest of over-indebted consumers,” says Dosio. “They will consider various aspects of each case, such as whether the proposed restructuring plan is reasonable.”

“The Conference is the culmination of separate workshops which have already been successfully held in the Free State, Western Cape, Gauteng and Kwa-Zulu Natal which reached in excess of 300 magistrates. The NCR plans to roll out the workshops to more of the country’s 1800 magistrates, concluded Setou”.

Thanks to Bullion PR & Communication

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

FNB & 17.4s

Are you experiencing any difficulty with FNB and 17.4's?

If so please let us know on:
magazine@debtcounsellingsa.co.za

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Quarterly Report Due

To all DC's:

Please remember that the NCR are waiting on your Quarterly report on Sunday the 15th August 2010


Please note that this is for the 2nd Quarter of 2010
(not third Quarter as indicated by mistake in this month Debtfree DIGI)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What rate will you get?

Rob Lawrence, national manager of Rawson Finance says that:"The position of the average bond applicant,is that 45% will still find their applications rejected and those that are approved can count themselves fortunate if their bonds are awarded at 0,5% or 0,75% below prime. High-risk applicants – those with a poor debt or employment record – may well find themselves paying 1% to 2% above prime."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lying about your income is Fraud

Wendy Zulu, head of Risk and Compliance at FNB Home Loans, says the bank has seen “a concerted effort in relation to mortgage crime”. “These take on various forms, but the main ones are inflation of income, identity theft, false employment records, failure to disclose other debt obligations, inflating the value of the property and/or price to be paid.”

Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group, warns:"never to be cajoled into making false statements on loan applications, including overstating your income, understating your debt, or lying about the source of your deposit or the nature and length of time of your employment. If the person helping you make an application insists that ‘everyone else does this’ or that it is ‘quite legal’, ask them to put that in writing. You can be sure it won’t happen!”

Mz. Zulu warns that such transgressions (inflation of income etc.) will be met with grave consequences. “We institute criminal charges against them, cancel the mortgage agreement (if applicable) and list the fraud on ITC.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

NCR wins case against reverse mortgage operator

In a boost for consumer rights, the Free State High Court has ruled in favour of the National Credit Regulator (NCR) in its case against Brusson Finance (Pty) Ltd, a company which used the so-called “reverse mortgage“ system of money lending which resulted in a number of consumers loosing their homes.


The NCR instituted proceedings in the Free State High Court, together with two borrowers, Mr and Ms Ditshego, who had lost their home to the scheme, against Brusson. This was as a result of receiving various complaints from consumers in respect of loans concluded with Brusson and an investigation into the company’s business activities.


Adv. Jan Augustyn, Manager for Investigation & Prosecution at the National Credit Regulator said that “the investigation revealed that Brusson was an unregistered credit provider that targeted blacklisted, cash strapped members of the public, who cannot obtain loans and/or financial assistance from reputable credit institutions due to bad credit records. Brusson granted loans on condition that the consumer owns immovable property with substantial equity available in the property”. The Brusson scheme operated as follows:

* Consumers react to Brusson’s advertisements and approach Brusson for a loan;
* Qualifying consumers then have to sign Brusson’s application form as well as blank property transfer documents simultaneously, which consisted of an Offer to Purchase (giving effect to the sale of the consumer’s property to the investor), Deed of Sale (giving effect to the “re-purchase” of the property by the consumer from the investor) and a Memorandum of Agreement (constitutes an agreement between Brusson, the investor and consumer);
* Brusson then source so called investors (this process can take several weeks), with clean credit records and a steady income;
* The investors then apply (with the assistance of Brusson) for a mortgage bond to be registered over the property in question from reputable credit institutions. The new bond amounts includes the following:
o cancellation amounts of existing bonds plus cost;
o loan amount required by member of the public;
o bond transfer and registration cost;
o arrear rates, taxes and utilities on the property;
o Generous fee to Brusson and an investor’s fee.
* The borrowers had to make payment of this “re-purchase” price within 24 months, over and above an amount payable as consideration for his occupation of the property at issue. It was always inevitable that the consumers would default in their payments as per the agreements concluded by them.


“When the borrowers inevitably failed in this agreement, a third agreement (Memorandum of Agreement) provided that the investor must proceed to cancel the “re-purchase” agreement with the borrower, and that the investor has to sell the property to Brusson for the original purchase price. Brusson invariably became the owner of the property, after “buying” the property for an amount far less than the actual market value, added Augustyn”.


The NCR sought declaratory relief that the Brusson scheme was contrary to the provisions of the National Credit Act (NCA), and offended the common law in South Africa. Brusson opposed the application and contended, amongst others, that it was permissible to enter into separate agreements, which were linked and interdependent and that it did not mean that an inference could necessarily be made to conclude a credit agreement. Brusson further contended that it was nothing more than a broker and could not be construed as a credit provider as envisaged by the National Credit Act.


However, Mr Justice Jordaan ruled in favour of the NCR and the Ditshego’s and found that:

1. Brusson, in partnership or association with so-called investors, lent money to borrowers;
2. The inter dependent agreements purports to be a valid agreement of sale, but it was clear to be not. The true nature of the agreements was indeed a simulated credit transaction;
3. Brusson therefore provided credit and as such, should have registered with the NCR;
4. The agreements concluded were illegal and void in terms of section 40(4) of the National Credit Act.

The court ordered Brusson to effect transfer of the property back to the Ditshego's.


“This judgment accords with the NCR’s view that the so called “reverse mortgage” system of money lending falls within the realm of the National Credit Act, and accordingly, consumers are entitled to the protection afforded by the Act when entering into such a transaction,” says Augustyn.


Augustyn said “the NCR applauds the judgment as it reiterates the fact that people or entities involved in these types of schemes do not only face possible criminal investigation and prosecution but also a court order declaring that the agreements concluded are illegal and void in terms of the National Credit Act”.


Subsequent to the court order granted in the Free State High Court the NCR further successfully intervened, as co-applicant, in the winding-up of Brusson. Both the applications were made on an urgent basis in the North Gauteng High Court. “The court granted an order that Brusson be provisionally wound up, calling upon interested parties to show cause on or before 16 September 2010 at 10h00 as to why Brusson should not be finally wound up”.


“The effect of the court order for consumers is that Brusson will not be able to alienate or deal with assets as the same will fall under control of the Master of the North Gauteng High Court. Provisional trustees will be appointed and they will be able to, amongst others, investigate the affairs of Brusson and deal with claims against Brussons’s estate, added Augustyn”.


“The NCR has now through its actions obtained legal clarity as to the validity of the agreements concluded by the consumers in the Brusson scheme. The Legal Recourses Centre graciously offered to provide further assistance to consumers prejudiced by the Brusson scheme”, concluded Augustyn.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Get More Wear Out of Your Clothing

We all know how expensive new clothes can be and when times are tight you will not have money to spare on new clothes every month.

Here are a few tips on how to preserve your clothing for longer.

1. Wash Less Often, and Only in Cold Water

Many of us are guilty of over laundering our clothes, which costs time and money and is usually unnecessary. Washing and drying is often actually harder on clothing fabric than wearing it! Consider wearing apparel items more than once between laundering, and wash most clothing in cold water only; cold water costs less, is gentler on fabrics, and will get most clothes just as clean. But remember if it smells...it's time to wash it.

2. to Bleach or not to Bleach...

Bleach can cause clothing to disintegrate more quickly. If you need to brighten white clothes, try using baking soda and hot water instead.

3. It Pays to Get Hung Out to Dry
Clothes dryers not only cost a lot to own and run, but they cook and beat the life out of your clothing too. Drying your clothes on a good old-fashioned clothesline can increase the lifespan of some garments by as much as fifty percent.

4. Catch them while they are small

Most rips and tears start out small, so check your clothes carefully after every washing to catch and mend snags while they're still small and easy to fix.


5. Zip Up Before You Wash up

Metal zippers on jeans, jackets and other apparel items are like tiny chainsaws in the washer and dryer, ripping away at other clothes the whole time unless you zip them up first.

6. Soggy Shoes

The lifespan of Shoes is often cut short by the effects of moisture, even more so than by pounding pavements. To make your shoes last longer, don't wear the same pair every day. Give each pair at least a day in between wears to dry out from the moisture they absorb from your body and the environment. Frequently shining or sealing shoe leather helps protect it from moisture as well.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Least Cooperative Creditor ?

Who would you say is the least cooperative Creditor (out of the big boys) when it comes to Debt Review?

Submit your answer to: magazine@debtcounsellingsa.co.za

Friday, July 30, 2010

Consumer Friend hand over to ABSA at midnight tonight

For the last year Consumer Friend have been assisting ABSA with their debt review matters.

Today (the last day of their mandate from ABSA) they comunicated with Debt Counsellors country wide telling them:

"Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As you are aware, our Debt Review Mandate on behalf of ABSA Bank has reached its date of completion and that the responsibilities associated with this portfolio will be returned to the ABSA team as of 1 August 2010...We wish ABSA all the best in their new Debt Review Department and wish to advise the debt counselling community that it was an absolute pleasure interacting with your offices. We also wish to advise that it is business as usual for our retails clients. Many thanks- Justin Van Der Linde,Consumer Friend"

Most Debt Counsellors will reply that it has been a pleasure for them in dealing with Consumer Friend in these ABSA matters. Here's hoping that things will run as smoothly at the new ABSA Debt Review Department.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Court Process

The recent Task Team on Debt Counselling stated that:"an average of 7,500 new applications being received per month" and that "Only about 10% of the new applications are being resolved through the courts"

The Task Team concluded that the backlogs in the debt review process at present are
being caused by a complex set of factors related to:
a) Severe capacity constraints in the judicial system.

We hope to see some improvement in this area as the Magestrates become more familiar with the process and the Creditors stop opposoing matters for no good reason.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Task Team finds lack of "follow-up support "

According to the Task team report that has been published this month Mr. Gabriel Davel says that "the report highlights that there are shortcomings on the part of both debt counsellors and credit providers. He notes that many Debt Counsellors do not ...provide follow-up support to consumers to ensure that they continued to meet their financial obligations under the new arrangements."

We suggest that you offer your clients a chance to receive Debtfree DIGI each month.This will help them to focus on their debt review and to learn more about the industry.

All you need to do is send your clients a link to the publication online for free or ask us to do it for you
(there is no charge to DC's for this service)

Please mail the email addresses of your clients who you would like to receive an invite to read Debtfree DIGI online to: magazine@debtcounsellingsa.co.za

These contact details will be treated as confidential and your clients will not receive any unsolicited material from anyone.

Friday, July 23, 2010

ABSA contact details as of August 1 2010

As of August 1st 2010 ABSA Debt Review Department will be using new contact details.From this date Consumer Friend will no longer be handling their Debt Counselling matters.

The new details are:

Debt Review Call centre: 0861 005 901

17.1s-
DRCOB@absa.co.za Fax: 0865 848 579
17.2s-
DRCOB@absa.co.za Fax: 0865 848 579
17.3s-
DRCOB@absa.co.za Fax: 0865 848 579
17.4s-
DRCOB@absa.co.za Fax: 0865 848 579
Proposals-
DRProposals@absa.co.za Fax: 0865 848 671
Court Documents-
CourtApp@absa.co.za Fax: 0865 848 662


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Are you a DRS member?





We are happy to anounce that as of August 2010 Debtfree DIGI will be featuring a Special DEBT RESTRUCURING SERVICES section in our Service Directory.

If you are a DRS member you would qualify to be listed under this section and we invite you to contact magazine@debtcounsellingsa.co.za for pricing details.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

July 2010 Issue of Debtfree DIGI

We hope you are enjoying the latest issue of Debtfree DIGI.

If you want to, please feel free to get your clients to read the magazine too.
Debtfree even offer a service of notifying your clients (on your behalf) that a new issue is out.

Many DC's find that this helps remind their clients of their obligation to pay or to inform their DC's if anything strange has come up.It also helps reduce the feeling of isolation from the debt review process which can arrise.

If you are a consumer under debt review have a look at the articles discussing the NCR and who they are as well as the articles on how to still have fun even though you may have limited funds available. Also check out the shopping tips article.

Happy reading and please feel free to comment/mail us your thoughts on articles you would like to see or contribute towards.

-ED

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

5th NCR Consumer Credit Report

Gabriel Davel, CEO of the National Credit Regulator (NCR), said that the latest NCR statistics indicate a significant recovery in consumer credit.

The NCR released its fifth ‘Consumer Credit Report’, which is based on data submitted to it by registered credit providers. This fifth edition covers credit market information from December 2008 up to December 2009.

The total value of new credit grantedincreased from R53,58 billion in the quarter ended September 2009 to R63.30 billion for the quarter ended December 2009 , an increase of 18.13% compared to the previous quarter, though still a decline of 3.75% compared to the previous year. This indicates that after a two year period of ongoing decline in the volume of credit granted, credit volumes may be recovering.

The number of consumers applying for credit increased by 11.03% when compared to the quarter ended September 2009.

The number of consumers whose applications for credit have been declined, remained at 44%.

The following were some of the most significant trends:


• The value of new mortgages granted increased by 18.33% from R17.82 billion in September 2009 to R21.08 billion in December 2009

• Secured credit which is dominated by vehicle finance, showed an increase from R20.17 billion in September 2009 to R23.67 billion in December 2009
(a quarter on quarter increase of 17.32%)

• Unsecured credit increased from R8.37 billion in September 2009 to R10.54 billion in December 2009 (a quarter on quarter increase of 25.83%)

• Individuals who earn gross monthly income of more than R15, 000 per month received on average 80% of the mortgages granted over the period December 2008 to December 2009.

The NCR pointed out that although this was the most significant increase in credit granted for two years, the gross value of credit granted for the quarter was still significantly lower than the amount granted prior to the period of contraction.

R63.3 billion of credit was extended in the December 2009 quarter, compared to R102.3 billion for the December 2007 quarter.

The position for mortgages is similar, with R21.08 billion in mortgages granted in this quarter compared to R53.14 billion in the quarter to December 2007.

Unsecured credit has grown most significantly, with a growth of 25.8% over the last quarter and an increase of 32.7% since the December 2007 quarter.

As at December 2009, the total outstanding consumer credit balances
(or gross debtors’book) was R1.13 trillion.

The breakdown was as follows:
Mortgages accounted for R740.95 billion (65.38%)
“Secured credit agreements” was R211.98 billion (18.70%)
Credit facilities were R125.14 billion (11.04%)
Unsecured credit was R54.60 billion (4.82%)
Short term credit was R692.93 million (0.06%).

The banks’ share of the total outstanding consumer credit as at December 2009 was R1,01 trillion (89.35%) with the retailers at R39,27 billion (3.46%), non-bank vehicle financiers at R36,74 billion (3.24%) and “Other credit providers” at R44,68 billion (3.94%)
(Other credit providers consist primarily of pension backed lenders, insurers, non-bank mortgage lenders and securitized debt)

Though these statistics lag behind where we stand today, they show a definite change in the consumer credit market.

Special thanks to:
Bullion PR & Communication
Lola Lazarus
On behalf of:
National Credit Regulator
Lebogang Selibi
Tel: (011) 554-2722

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Are things getting better?

Gabriel Davel, CEO of the National Credit Regulator, recently said that nearly half (45.3%) of the 18.07 million credit-active, consumers on record are struggling to meet their debt obligations.

Further analysis shows the growth in the number of accounts falling within the three plus months’ arrears category has risen by just over half a million accounts to 10.16 million in the quarter ended December 2009. It does appear that the rate at which consumers are falling into the impaired record category is slowing.

The number of consumers with impaired records is still increasing, with an increase of 90,000 over the previous quarter and an increase of 880,000 over the previous year. However, the percentage increase is the lowest that it has been for 2 years, indicating that the level of debt stress may be easing.

And with the prospect of possible rate cuts ahead this should encourage consumers

Thanks to:
Issued by:
Bullion PR & Communication
Lola Lazarus

On behalf of:
National Credit Regulator
Lebogang Selibi
Tel: (011) 554-2722

Sunday, July 11, 2010

What is ABSA up to?

ABSA have sent out a message to all DC's talking about changes in their Debt Review Department/ Practices. Pascal Sinclair the head of Business Partner Interaction, Debt Review said:" the Debt Review Team is very excited ... and it is hoped that once you know about it, you will be equally excited.
This development stands to bring positive changes to Absa’s Debt Review processes which you will also benefit from. This is just but a taste of what is to come and we will keep you posted on the big announcement."


Meetings with DC's to communicate the changes will be held on the following dates and venues:

JHB – 14th July at DCASA meeting in Krugersdorp

KZN – 19th July at DCASA meeting in Durban

WC – 21st July at DCASA meeting in Cape Town

You are welcome to attend these informative forums and interact with ABSA.
DCASA Members will attend for free.
At this point we are unsure if there will be any charge for non members.

All other regions will receive the detailed communication in the form of an email in due course.

Friday, July 9, 2010

DCASA Meetings for July (Western Cape)

If you are in the Western Cape and are interested in staying in touch with other DC's and whats going on with DCASA you are welcome to attend the DCASA meetings held in the Cape Town area.

Here is a list of the up coming DCASA meetings for the rest of the month and beginning of August.

14 July (10h00) DCASA Feedback Meeting.
21 July (12h00) ABSA Bank Talk to DCASA
4 August (TBA) Easton-Berry Attorneys Talk to DCASA

Cost
Members: Free
Non Members: R50.00

If you need to find out more about venues etc please call Kornel Steyn (Phone: 086 111 5695).

Thursday, July 1, 2010

25% Eskom hike from today

Eskoms 25% increase in tariff (the first of 3 that will see the cost of electricity increase 100% over 3 years) kicks in from today. So it may be time to turn off the heater and grab a jersey. Debt Counsellors will want to factor these increasing costs into there debt restructuring proposals.

Also from today the W Cape Municipalities charges for waste and water will be increasing by 10%.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Questionable Nedbank & FNB Terminations

Recently the NCR has called an investigation into questionable termination practices. They have called on all DC's to contribute information.

Please see the contact details below:

For Questionable Nedbank Terminations: Koketso Tlou at ktlou@ncr.org.za

For Questionable FNB Terminations: Mark Whale at MWhale@ncr.org.za


For all other general complaints to the NCR please use: dccomplaints@ncr.org.za

Monday, June 14, 2010

Debtfree DIGI June 2010 issue

A reminder that the June 2010 issue of Debtfree will be out this week.
Be sure to visit the website to read it or wait for the invite to arrive via email.
If you are not on the mailing list: Please email magazine@debtcounsellingsa.co.za to subscribe.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Soccer World Cup

SA went to sleep to the sound of vuvuzelas last night as parties country wide were held. Today will be more of the same with folks glued to the screen country-wide. People hate debt..and dealing with it. People love escapism however. So world Cup here we go.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

ABSA change their mind yet again...

So ABSA have made a retraction regarding the service of court documents they issued earlier. OOPS!
Ally Mafunzwaini General Manager of Customer Management has issued a statement as follows:

Quote:"With reference to the communication dated 03 June 2010, with the subject “Court Documents regarding Debt Counselling Matters and Reckless Lending Credit”, the communication is herewith retracted as it was sent out prematurely.

The process of serving Court Documents prior to the above-mentioned communication remains unchanged.

Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused.
Further communication in this regard will follow shortly."- end quote


So they take it back...but probably will issue that request again in the future...
hope nobody gets fired.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

ABSA change their mind regarding serving court documents

ABSA have changed their stance on serving of court documentation and will now only receive service of court documents by Sheriff to the following addresses:

Servicing of Debt Counselling Court Applications, Consent Orders and Court Orders:

8th Floor Marble Towers
208 Jeppe Street
Johannesburg
2000

Servicing of Reckless Credit Applications:


16th Floor Towers Main
160 Main Street
Johannesburg

Previously ABSA were prepared (like most creditors) to accept service via fax or email to a specific fax number and email address. This change will, of course, push up the cost on the legal side of things and will potentially slow the process.

This means Debt Counsellors will now have to take less time to "negotiate" with ABSA during the review process and will have to proceed with the legal side of things sooner in order not to miss their deadlines.

ABSA have requested that the Notice of Motion should be sent at least ten (10) days prior to date of hearing.

They have requested that Debt counsellors and attorneys specifically refrain from faxing or emailing any of the above mentioned court documentation even though they may previously have been granted permission to do so.

For further information:
ABSA Debt Review Call
Centre on 0861 005 901

Job Search Success | June 3 2010

If you're a frustrated job hunter - everything's taking too
long; you apply for jobs but all you get is a deathly silence;
everyone seems to be working fine except for you - then this is
the best and cheapest way I can help you. Go here:

www.jobsearchfasttrack.info

I really sympathize with your situation. But no matter who you
are there is only one answer to your problem. Action. Right
action. Tough action. Immediate action. Massive action.

Visit the link and you'll find a program that tells you
step-by-step what the right action is and explains in practical
detail how to take it.

I know that you just want a job. You don't want advice. I
understand. You just want to send off your CV, get called for an
interview, and get the job. Right?

But to you I put just one question:

How's that working for you?

If it's not, visit: www.jobsearchfasttrack.info

Job hunting is not a joke. It can take you to the edge. If you
believe in miracles, then perhaps staying with your current job
hunting strategy is fine.

I truly hope you never need any job hunting advice. I get tears
in my eyes just thinking about a Father who's unemployed, he has
3 kids, his wife works but doesn't earn nearly enough to cover
even the household expenses, never mind the bond, car payments,
insurances and medical aid.

It's desperately tough. And the best I can do to help is this:

www.jobsearchfasttrack.info.

And in conclusion: if you have a job, appreciate it. Do the best
job you can every day. Even if you hate it. Make it your personal
mission to do a great job. Today. Sure, look for another more
suitable job. You will find one.

But for now: do a brilliant job today. There are many that have
just given up looking for what you have; they've lost marriages,
they've lost self respect; they've lost hope; they feel desperate
and lost. Don't take your current 'luck' for granted.

The World Cup is great. But for those that are unemployed all
the hype just seems empty, hollow. If you're stuck in a bad job,
it'll distract you for a while, but you'll still have that
feeling of dread in your stomach come Sunday nights. Get help
with your job hunt. Go to:

www.jobsearchfasttrack.info

It's the best way I can help you.

All the best.

Gerard
CV Writer, Job Hunting Coach
Author or "Job Search FAST TRACK - DYNAMITE for Job Hunters"
www.wowcv.net
www.jobsearchfasttrack.info

Monday, May 31, 2010

Don't be stupid

Many people struggle with their finances for a long time before approaching a debt counsellor. Then after entering the debt review process they have a great feeling of relief. Their assets are protected and life is good.

However years of bad financial decision making is hard to put behind oneself even with the help of a Debt Counsellor working out a monthly budget that will allow for the consumer to make the required payments to their creditors all year round.

And so it is that Debt Counsellors sometimes look on in horror at the plain stupidity of decisions that their clients make.

It normally manifests itself in the client not paying the full amount that has been arranged/negotiated and submitted to the courts. The Debt Counsellor now sends an email or makes a call to ask if everything is alright.

Here is where the "stupidity" manifests itself.
Debt Counsellors here stories like:

Well, i had to throw my daughter a BIG 21 birthday party and we had to hire a pony...
or
Well, i decided to do a course through UNISA/Damelin
or
Well, i don't want to pay toward my debt with X creditor anymore
or
My house was looking really bad so i hired a company to come in and paint it

Now why do we call it "stupidity"?

Well, imagine if painting the house is what causes the creditor for the home loan to withdraw from the process and have the house auctioned of leaving hundreds of thousands of rands debt in shortfall. Maybe the consumer could have saved up for a few months and then painted the house themselves. Maybe they could have arranged a cake sale or garage sale to help come up with the funds to buy the paint.

A missed or reduced payment is not part of the agreement or the court order thus by paying (or not paying) this way the consumer has broken the agreement. Now while sometimes there are very legitimate reasons for short payments (such as medical emergencies or income issues) the DC has normally sat with the client and discussed up coming costs and helped the clients plan for the months ahead in their budget. Thus there should be no surprises.

Clients often know that they are being "silly" - that is why they do not call the DC in advance and discuss their plans to "head off to visit my family for a break" which will cause them to miss a payment.

However the DC's job is to help people make a plan..if the consumer does not wish to stick to the court order afterward (even though they said they would) well...that is the consumers decision. Debt counselling is not a process that takes all responsibility away from the consumer. Nor does it help consumers abuse or take advantage of creditors rather it presents workable plans for both sides of the debt equation. However it would be a great pity where a consumer to find themselves back in financial straits over a "stupid" choice.

So:

DON'T BE STUPID.

:-)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

ABSA Contact Centre

ABSA have introduced a team to attend to all Debt Counselling related calls within a contact centre setting. They hope this will allow for effective and efficient query management. The Contact Centre will officially go live on the 1st June 2010, and the following number 0861 005 901 will be activated.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Live within your means

Credit is a sometimes wonderful; sometimes terrible thing.
The major advantage of access to credit is the ability it gives us to achieve instant gratification. The major draw back is if poorly managed it allows us to extend ourselves beyond our means to repay.

Maybe the problem lies within the major advantage. Instant gratification - while...instantly...mmm... gratifying does not always mean the most sound financial decision.

When shopping ask yourself: do i need it?
One way to see if you need something when you go shopping is to make a list of all the items you need to buy before you get to the shops. This can help you avoid impulse buying. Impulse purchases may make us feel "nice" or give us a sense of temporary joy however they are often unnecessary things. Ever wonder why shops now make you queue between rows of sweets... because if you stand there long enough looking at them you will upon impulse just add one little snack for yourself.

Whether under debt review or debt pressure one key to success in dealing with your situation is to adopt a mental attitude of living within your means. Plan ahead financially and stick to it. Do a budget, monthly if necessary and stick to it. Budget in the snacks too if you must but then stick to your plan and live within your means.