It is one of the conditions of registration of debt counsellors that they must regularly and timeously update the NCR Debt help system on the progress of the debt review applications. The monitoring reports show that not all debt counsellors are loading and updating the records on progress of application. Credit providers have indicated that many consumers who are under debt counselling are not flagged at the Credit Bureaus which place considerable risk to credit providers and consumers and impact on the entire credit industry. It is a requirement in terms of the NCA, that all debt counsellors notify the bureaus when a client has applied for debt review. We appeal to all debt counsellors to adhere to the process set out, by loading and updating the DHS system timeously so that consumer profiles are updated accordingly with the Credit Bureaus.
The NCR Debt help has been enhanced to make it more user-friendly and improve its functionality. An added purpose is to ensure that the NCR Debt Help system and credit bureaus` database are in synch as much as possible to ensure that the consumer information on the credit bureau is correct and that the complaints and manual interventions are eliminated.
It is incumbent upon all debt counsellors to therefore utilize the system effectively and timely in order to mitigate the risk of consumers obtaining credit whilst under debt counselling.
Failure of any debt counsellor to update consumer records on the debt help system constitutes a serious breach of conditions of registration and failure of a debt counsellor to notify the Bureaus when a customer has applied and goes under debt review is a direct contravention of the NCA Regulations. The NCR will take enforcement action against contravening debt counsellors, as this defeats the objectives of the Act insofar as promoting equity in the credit market is concerned, by balancing the respective rights and responsibilities of credit providers and consumers.
The NCR further recommends that debt counsellors who are employed by an entity should not load clients under their own profiles on NCR Debt Help, but instead load clients under the name of the principal member of the entity. This is because when debt counsellors leave their employment it creates a massive administration process on the NCR Debt Help system to transfer consumers into the profile of a new debt counsellor. Debt counsellors are advised to contact NCR if unsure of the transfer process to be followed.
Where clients voluntarily withdraw or are withdrawn from debt review by the debt counsellor, it is incumbent upon the debt counsellor to firstly update the system with the correct status code on the NCR Debt Help system. It also remains the debt counsellor’s responsibility to follow up should there be a query on the withdrawn record. The NCR is inundated with queries from consumers issued with 17.4 forms, but still active on the NCR Debt Help system.
For more information:
Please email The National Credit Regulator at firstname.lastname@example.org
This letter (above) may also help DC's where Magistrates request info on how the DC's are informing the Credit Bureaus as per the requirements of Sect 86 of the NCA when consumers apply for debt counselling .