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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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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

First Rand Bank set up dedicated Teams for individual DC's

FRB (basically FNB's Parent company) recently sent out a message to all DC's saying/implying that all correspondence from a particular DC will now be handled by one team within FRB. This should mean that a working relationship can be established as the two parties begin to deal with one another regularly. The message stated:

"Dear Debt Counsellor,

In our endeavour to improve our service offering to you, we are in the process of rolling out the Debt Counsellor Relationship Model.

Our systems are being enhanced to re-route your mail to dedicated teams. When sending any correspondence to us, please adopt the following procedure:

Please indicate your NCRDC number on the subject line as well as on the body of your e-mail in this format – (NCRDC123).

All communications must still be sent to the usual FRBDebtReviewCentre@firstrandbank.co.za or Fax 0860 117 532

The call centre number will remain the same 0860 362 002.

Thank you.

FirstRand Bank Debt Review Centre
26 Trump Street, Johannesburg, 2001
P.O. Box 1195, Johannesburg, 2000
Email: FRBdebtreviewcentre@firstrandbank.co.za
Tel: 0860 36 2002 and Fax: 0860-117-532
"

We look forward to seeing how this will improve understanding between both parties.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

DEBT WISE to remind clients of short or missed payments

DEBT WISE Have announced the following:

We would hereby like to introduce a new feature to the PDA system.


We believe that this new functionality will assist you greatly to ensure that your clients make regular and accurate payments for their Debt Review.


We will now be sending a text message to each client who has not made his Debt Review payment or who has made a short payment.


The sms will read as follows:


“Please note that we have not received the correct payment for your Debt review. Please contact your Debt Counsellor urgently to avoid termination. DC Partner”


We introduce this as an additional service to your office at NO EXTRA CHARGE!!


We will be sending these text messages as from Tuesday 26 April 2011


If however you do not want this service , please confirm this in writing to: pda25@dcpartner.co.za

Kind Regards


Herman Joubert

DC Partner

“Your PDA”

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Debt Wise sends it Direct

Debt Wise, the PDA calculation software used by many DC's, has announced the release of some new functionality that they have made available for large scale testing.

DEBT WISE have been in consultation with a vendor that is giving them the functionality to transfer Debt Review Process Related documentation, directly through to some of the creditors. They have been in a system level testing phase for the past few weeks and are opening up the test to their user base in order to get a better idea of whether it will work and they hope to then get approval from the credit provider participating in the test to make this feature permanent.

Currently only Standard Bank SA, is involved in the test and the function will only have an impact on clients with an SBSA credit agreement.


The following documents can currently be transmitted through the DEBT WISE automated system directly to Standard Bank in this test phase:

* 17.1
* 17.2 & Proposal
* 17.3
* 17.4



It is important to note that this is a test/pilot phase.
users MUST continue sending all of their correspondence through the regular channels, FAX/Email/Post


for more details :

Debt Wise Solutions (Pty) Ltd

T: +27 44 884 1698
E: support@debtwisesolutions.co.za
W: http://debtwisesolutions.co.za/
F: http://www.facebook.com/groups.php?ref=sb#/group.php?gid=54315267787
G: http://groups.google.com/group/debtwisesolutions

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Judge needs to decide if they can sell your house

In the case of Elsie Gundwana v Steko Development CC and Others
Case No: CCT 44/10 recently it was decided that a judge has to rule on whether your home can be sold not just the High Court Registrar.

The case relates to Elsie Gundwana, who lives in Thembalethu township outside George in the Western Cape. Nedcor bank sold her house to collect a paltry R5268 arrears on her bond. Ms Gundwana claims that after issuing her a summons claiming payment on her bond, Nedcor Bank compromised its claim against her, as it had continued to take payment from her for four years before seeking a default judgment and selling her property.

(see below for more info)


Case Summary: The Constitutional Court on Monday ruled that only a judge – and not a high court registrar – could decide if a bank could sell a person’s home in execution. In a unanimous judgment, the court ruled that “where execution against the homes of indigent debtors who run the risk of losing their security of tenure is sought after judgment on a money debt, further judicial oversight by a court of law of the execution process is a must”.

On Monday, 11 April 2011, the Constitutional Court delivered judgment in the application lodged by Ms Elsie Gundwana. Default judgment declaring her mortgaged property specially executable was granted in 2003, when she failed to enter an appearance to defend her case in the Magistrates’ Court. Pursuant to that judgment, her property was sold in execution to the first respondent, Steko Development CC in 2007. Subsequently, Steko sought and obtained an eviction order against the applicant.

Ms Gundwana unsuccessfully appealed against the eviction order in both the Western Cape High Court as well as the Supreme Court of Appeal. She also lodged an application in the Western Cape High Court for the rescission of the default judgment. This application was postponed to enable her to pursue her application in the Constitutional Court. She approached the Constitutional Court for leave to appeal the eviction order as well as direct access to argue that the execution order was not constitutionally valid.

The key question which arose out of the application for direct access is whether section 27A of the Supreme Court Act and rule 31(5) of the Uniform Rules of Court are unconstitutional in so far as they allow the Registrar of the High Court to grant an order declaring immovable property executable.


The Court found that the willingness of mortgagors to put their homes forward as security for the loans they acquire is not by itself sufficient to permit the Registrar to grant an order declaring immovable property executable. The Court also found that an evaluation of the facts of each case is necessary in order to determine whether a declaration that hypothecated property constituting a persons home is specially executable, may be made. This determination has to be made by a judicial officer and not a Registrar.

The Court accordingly granted direct access and declared rule 31(5) of the Uniform Rules of Court unconstitutional to the extent that it permits the sale in execution of the home of a person. The Court thus granted leave to appeal in the eviction application in order to remit the rescission application back to the High Court for determination in light of the declaration of unconstitutionality in this judgment.


It was declared that “it is unconstitutional for a registrar of a high court to declare immovable property specially executable when ordering default judgment,” states the ruling

The judgment means that banks that wish to execute on mortgage bonds must approach a judge and show why the sale of a person’s home would be justifiable in all the circumstances of a particular case.

One of the most important factors will always be the amount a bond holder is in arrears at the time the bank seeks to execute. It may not be justifiable to order a sale where the amount of the debt outstanding is very small and there are other ways to collect a debt. Ms Gundwana argued that it was for a Judge, not a Registrar, to consider that question

The Constitutional Court agreed with her and declared Rule 31(5) of the Uniform Rules of Court “constitutionally invalid to the extent that this permits the sale in execution of the home of a person”, according to the judgment.

Gundwana’s case was referred back to the Western Cape High Court for it to make a determination on Gundwana’s rescission application for the default judgment granted against her.

The Constitutional Court also set aside an eviction order against her and referred it back to the Magistrate’s Court in George for final determination, once the High Court had ruled on her rescission application.

The Constitutional Court ordered that Nedcor Bank Limited and the justice minister foot Gundwana’s legal bill.


Thanks to:

– Sapa
- DCASA

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

NCR NATIONAL RECORD OF REGISTRATION

Section 53 of the National Credit Act requires the NCR to establish and maintain a register of all registered Debt Counsellors on the NCR website.

The register is predominantly used by consumers seeking the assistance of either debt counsellors or credit providers and wishing to confirm registration details with the NCR.

The NCR is currently updating this database and are contacting all registtered DC's to try update their details.

Should you have any queries in this regard, please feel free to contact the National Credit Regulator on Telephone 011 554 2634, Fax 011 554 2628 or email codeofconduct@ncr.org.za

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

DCASA Complaints Resolution & Mediation

DCASA have advised that they have appointed Ancil van Heerden to assist on a part time basis handling complaint resolution as per the requirements of the Credit Ombud.

DC's and consumers (as well as CPs) are encouraged to contact her should they have a complaint that they have not been able to directly sort out with a DCASA member

Statistics provided by DCASA:
During March, DCASA has logged 30 complaints.
28 of theses complaints were received from consumers and 2 from DC’s.

FNB Down and out

Debtfree DIGI has been informed that First National Bank's main frame has crashed. FNB are working around the clock to try resolve the issue.

According to Nadeem Gaffoor- the FNB Online Regional Head- the Online Banking system unavailability this is due to "system maintenance of the mainframe".

Whatever the cause this has resulted in limited functionality on FNB's Online Banking Enterprise in the following areas:

1. Payments – all service types
2. Transaction History
3. Collections
4. Statements

FNB have apologized for the impact that this has had on business and ask for their customers patience while they try attend to this matter.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Eskoms rate increase

The next tariff hike of a further 25.8% by Eskom is in effect from today.

Ouch!

CPA from today- no joke!

The new Consumer Protection Act is in effect from today. So it is time to renew all those contracts :-)

Be sure to have all your paperwork in order from today to ensure your clients or customers are properly informed.

Debtfree DIGI for April will once again feature more info regarding the new Consumer Protection Act.