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    Why Debt Counselling?

    With more than half of South Africa’s 25.1 million credit consumers falling behind on their debt payments, the legal process of Debt Counselling has proven to help those struggling with over-indebtedness, improving their lives significantly.

    What is Debt Review?

    Debt Review, also known as Debt Counselling, is a legal process that was formally introduced in 2007 by the National Credit Act (NCA), in order to help South Africans who are struggling with debt problems.

    Is this a Consolidation Loan?

    No, Debt Review is not a Consolidation Loan.

    To receive a consolidation loan, you will need to qualify for a huge loan. This means that you must have a good to great credit rating. You cannot have any debt in arrears, and you must be able to afford the instalment.

    With Debt Counselling, we not only negotiate with your creditors for reduced instalments, but also negotiate for reduced interest rates. Less Debt will consolidate all your current debt instalments into one reduced monthly payment that you can afford.

    What does it mean to be Over-Indebted?

    If you are struggling to pay your debt and have little or no money left for food or your other monthly expenses, you are probably over-indebted. Contact Less Debt for assistance before your creditors proceed with legal action against you.

    What is a Section 129 Notice?

    A section 129 notice (issued in terms of section 129 of the National Credit Act) will advise you that you are in arrears. This section 129 notice must be taken very seriously. This is your last chance to act before your creditors proceed with legal action against you. Do not wait if you receive a section 129 notice. TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION!

    Contact Less Debt as soon as possible. If you wait longer than 10 working days, your creditors can refuse for this credit agreement to form part of the Debt Review process.

    What is Reckless Lending?

    Reckless Lending occurs when a credit provider borrows or gives credit to you without first doing a proper affordability assessment, to make sure that you can afford to pay the monthly instalments. If you feel that you might be a victim of Reckless Lending, please contact Less Debt today.

    Will I be Legally Protected?

    Yes, you will be legally protected against your creditors while under Debt Review. Once you have signed your Form 16, you will be protected by the NCA (National Credit Act) for as long as you continue to make your new and reduced monthly payment.

    What will happen if I skip my monthly repayments?

    Please do not. If you skip your monthly repayments, your creditors have the right to terminate the Debt Review process and can immediately take legal action against you. We understand that life happens and problems arise – if at any time you cannot make a payment, you should contact our offices immediately so that we can advise you.

    How long will I have to be under Debt Review?

    Everybody’s situation is unique. Your repayment term will depend on numerous factors. We can provide you with an estimate once a proposal has been sent to your creditors. We will be able to provide you with the final repayment term once all your creditors have accepted, or a consent order is granted. We have helped clients who were only under Debt Review for a few months. We also have clients who will be under Debt Review for more than 5 years. Again, each person’s situation is different.

    Will there be a permanent record on my credit report after I have applied for Debt Review?

    No, not at all.

    For the duration that you are under Debt Review, a notice will be placed on your credit report. Once all your debt has been paid off, that notice will be removed and no evidence will remain on your credit report to show that you ever applied for Debt Review.

    What debt cannot be included under Debt Review?

    We will be able to include all current credit agreements. If legal action has been taken on one of your credit agreements before you applied for Debt Review, your creditors can refuse to include that account under Debt Review.

    Can a creditor proceed with legal action against me once I have applied for Debt Review?

    No, once you have applied for Debt Review, all legal action must stop.

    Will my creditors refuse to accept the lower payment?

    Credit providers are likely to accept a reasonable offer that shows you are committed to getting out of debt. The credit providers may also appeal. However, the magistrate will review your Debt Counsellor’s proposal in good faith. Ultimately, your creditors just want to retrieve their money. Therefore, should your repayment plan be reasonable, it is highly unlikely that it will not be accepted by your creditors.

    Will my creditors stop calling me?

    Once you have applied for Debt Review, your creditors will stop harassing you. If your creditors still contact you, please inform our offices immediately so that we can take action.

    Will my credit providers still debit my bank account?

    Once you have applied for Debt Review, we will notify your creditors to cancel your debit orders. If you can, open a new bank account, especially if you have an overdraft on your current / cheque account. This is to prevent unauthorised money grabs from your creditors.

    If I am married in Community of Property (COP), must my spouse also apply for Debt Review?

    Yes. South African law states that if you are married in COP, your assets and liabilities are shared equally.

    Can I continue to apply for loans or use my existing credit/store cards?

    The National Credit Act (Section 88(1)) prohibits customers under Debt Review from incurring any further credit, except for a consolidation agreement.

    Can I apply for Debt Review if I do not receive an income?

    If you do not receive a regular monthly income, you will not be able to apply for Debt Review. You must be able to pay a fixed amount each and every month to your creditors. If you are married in community of property and your spouse is employed, you can apply.

    Can I apply for Debt Review if I already have judgements against me?

    Yes, you can. However, we may not be able to include the accounts that you already have judgments on.

    Will I lose my house or my vehicle when I apply for Debt Review?

    No. Depending on your unique circumstances, Debt Review can help to save your home and vehicle. The bottom line remains that you will always be better positioned to keep your house, car, and furniture while under Debt Review, rather than trying to fight your creditors on your own.

    Car Repossession –Know your rights

    The bank can reclaim the possession of a vehicle in two ways:

    1. By Court Order
    A court order will demand you to allow the vehicle financier to reclaim the vehicle. A court order is required to force you to give the car back.

    2. Through Voluntary Surrender (in terms of the National Credit Act)
    This is the preferred method by most credit providers, due to voluntary surrender being less time consuming, more affordable, and easier when it comes to retrieving a vehicle. DO NOT SIGN ANY FORMS! Contact a Less Debt consultant immediately. Credit providers often blatantly intimidate consumers and very few people realise that they are under no obligation to sign such a form and give up their vehicle.

    Will my employer know that I have applied for Debt Review?

    No. We will never contact your employer.

    Will Debt Review impact my job opportunities?

    Generally, being under Debt Review is not an issue when looking for employment. This depends on the employer’s requirements of their employees.

    Do I have to pay Legal Fees?

    Yes. The legal fees are included within your monthly instalment. Remember, Debt Review is a legal process. We will appoint attorneys to obtain a consent order on your behalf. This is to legally protect you against your creditors.

    Do I have to appear in court?

    No, it is very unlikely that the magistrate will ask you to appear in court. Once we receive your granted consent order from the attorneys, we will notify you immediately via email.

    How does the payment to my creditors work?

    Your money is paid directly to an NCR accredited Payment Distribution Agent (PDA), who in turn distributes the funds to your creditors.

    How will I know if my creditors are being paid?

    If you provide us with your email address, the Payment Distribution Agent (PDA) will send you a monthly proof of payment statement.

    What happens with my bond if all my other debt was already paid up?

    If your bond is up to date and you can afford to pay the original instalment, you have the option to cancel the Debt Review process. Less Debt will be able to issue you with a clearance certificate.

    What is a Clearance Certificate?

    A Clearance Certificate, also known as a Form 19, is an official letter stating that you have successfully paid all your debt obligations. This letter can only be issued if all your debt, with the exception of you bond, has been paid up.

    How can I check if I am currently under Debt Review?

    Please send us an email on info@lessdebt.co.za.