This week’s blog is about easy steps to debt review and how we at CDS can help you make the most of a debt review application and guidance to ensure you deal with only registered practitioners whose registrations are up to date with the National Credit Regulator.

STEP ONE:
Here at CDS, a registered debt counselling company, consumers visit our offices for one-on-one assessments. Where consumers are located out of the Western Cape, we connect via electronic methods to ensure personal interaction with us. An important tip is to look around on arrival and see if the registration certificate is visible and valid, if the debt counsellor is a member of DCASA is important.

STEP TWO:
Have your meeting set up with the debt counsellor. At this point, one will need to have all the relevant documents to ensure the personal assessment can be done.  Here at CDS only our registered debt counsellors do the assessments and ensure the correct information on the reduced payment plan is put before the consumer. All the fees will be explained in detail to ensure there is no misunderstanding of what the consumer needs to pay every month. Furthermore, the debt counsellor will assist with the full spectrum of the financial needs to ensure the budget is realistic. The consumer must have follow-up meetings to ensure the success of the debt review, and the debt counsellor should help with advice and support. The consumer should receive the payment information to ensure the terms of paying a PDA is understood. This will be the start of the first debt review payment, covering the debt counsellor’s fee and the debt counsellor sending out the notices to creditors.

STEP THREE:
The debt counsellors’ duty is to ensure the affordable payment is negotiated with the creditors. The creditors must inform the debt counsellor that the accounts are flagged into debt review and sent to the relevant department.  This is where the 60-business day is vital to the process.

STEP FOUR:
The proposal is the final process of the debt counsellors’ finding, placed in a document reflecting the terms, interest rates and other fees. Once the creditors agree to the proposal, a consent letter is in turn forwarded to the debt counsellor that is then used in the court application. In the event of some creditors not accepting the terms or unwilling to negotiate, the debt counsellor will ask the court to assist.

STEP FIVE:
At this point you have most likely started making your second debt review payment to the registered PDA, and your application is ready to be drafted for the National Consumer Tribunal (NCT) or the magistrates court.  The matter is referred to the debt counsellor by the lawyer we use, Mr Quintin Zimmermann for signature. Once this is out of the way, the matter is then enrolled to the magistrate’s court or NCT where the applicant resides or works. Once the order is granted, it is important that the consumer receives a copy, and keep to the payment plan until the debt is fully paid up, the debt counsellor issues the clearance certificate and inform the NCR and all credit bureaus. If the home loan is not paid up by the time the vehicles and other debt is paid up then the debt counsellor will issue an exit letter and inform all parties, NCR, credit bureaus and the banks that the consumer is no longer over-indebted. The consumer can then re-enter the credit market.

Conclusion:
Applying for debt review should be a pleasant experience with a positive outcome that will benefit the applicant consumer and/or their immediate family. Knowing one has enough money for food and other important month to month expenses, is very reassuring when debt is being managed by the registered debt counsellor. Creditors love debt review — after all they accept the lower payment plan; reduced interest rates are consensual and terms and conditions of the court order applies; accept the PDA distribution fees and accept the debt counsellor’s aftercare fees.  This is debt review in a jiffy.
To find out how we can help you, send us a message by clicking here.