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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”.