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.

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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/