In this week’s blog, Debt Centre the home of Consumer Debt Support and Debt Eezy want to cover the topic mediation. As important as the details to mediation, we feel that you need to remember not to deal with a company who cannot show you that they are registered with the NCR. There is a big difference between a licensed debt practitioner and a company offering these services with no back up from the creditors. The problem with the unregistered individuals or companies is that they make money of unaware desperate consumers that they could not help in the first place.
We hope this blog will shed the light on the legal implications for consumers that ignore the warnings of dealing with unregistered persons, that cause more harm than good to consumers that are good people but their desperation was exploited for their money, and payment collected for services that were illegal and misleading to collect in the first place.
What is debt mediation over debt review?
We offer the financial solution to consumers that do not want to enter debt review negotiations but rather to mediate their situation with creditors.
Credit agreements can be entered into negotiations on your behalf, to reduce the payments for a shorter period of time that will aid you, the consumer during your financial challenges.
You need a registered ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) agent to negotiate on arrears of a vehicle and home loan credit agreements. The ADR agent can offer the creditors a payment solution and ensure that the accounts do not go further into arrears.
First, the ADR agent will do an assessment when you apply, to determine your affordability to the program. As some consumers need to apply for debt review rather than mediation. A short term could cause them more problems than a debt review application that is a maximum term of 7 years where after you can be debt free.
What do we mean by long term and short-term financial solutions?
When a consumer is over-indebted with vehicle finance, unsecured debt and home loan credit agreements, and the arrears cannot be managed in mediation, it would then be best the consumer enroll into the debt review, to get the protection of the court by means of a debt restructuring court order.
When the consumer can afford the arrears in a mediation program over a period that is reasonable restructuring suggested by the ADR agent, while other credit agreements are also be taken into consideration, the debt can then qualify for mediation in a short-term payment restructuring not exceeding 2 years. Don’t forget this is a voluntary agreement and all parties must agree to the process and solution presented.
Mediation quick and Eezy
Mediation is such a fantastic product available to consumers that the banks agree to conference calls between ADR agent and the consumer, to take part in the process of negotiations.
We at Debt Centre have the technology implemented to ensure the quality control of it, with all calls recorded between clients and banks, for future records. Now our clients can seek help from their work place, if possible, or from home and talk to one of our dedicated agents or debt counselors that can assist with mediation applications.
While being assessed one can determine whether mediation is the way forward, and whether other options need to be opted for instead, to prevent any legal action from the creditors.
Important fact to know – Once legal action has occurred, no mediation or debt review will resolve the problem as the legal process has commenced in court and most likely the consumer had received the summons regarding the collection of the debt or goods.
Mediation can assist with credit bureaus disputes.
For instance, a consumer has a listing on their credit record of an account paid up or an account that was not their account, we can help with those disputes. It is always best to consult with us and see how we can assist. Unlawful listing like fraud should not be ignored but dealt with as quickly and effective as possible.
There is a very good reason why ADR agents must be registered. Protecting the rights of the consumers is the most important role of the Mediation process that allows the consumers access to justice and fairness when matters are being disputed.
Debt Centre is nominated as an acting agent to deal with Mediation applications
What is the legal role of a Mediation agent?
To assist in the dispute and preserve the relationship between the creditor and the consumer, which may become strained by the adversarial nature of the litigation agreement outside the court, in the process of resolving the matters before the NCT (National Consumer Tribunal). To exercise the consumer protection act, to ensure and facilitate with expeditious and cost-effective resolution of all disputes between parties.
The duty of the mediator is to assist litigants or potential litigants, to determine at an early stage where proceedings with a trial, or an opted application are in their best interest of the consumer or not.
Report reckless lending to the NCT as per law to investigate, and update on the outcome for the relief of the consumers financial situation. To deal with the creditor involved on the reckless granting of the debt through the mediation process, to allow the effective resolution to dispute and litigate, all for the protection of the consumer’s rights.
Default of credit agreements and Section 129 Notices
When a consumer fails to update their physical address with the creditor after moving, their account will be in default and cannot be included in the mediation application. There are many consumers we find are struggling by not update their Domiciling addresses that cannot be helped due to that.
A Creditor default notice will be sent via registered post to the consumer. The section 129 notice and mediation are an opportunity for consumers to opt for the mediation before debt review. Should a debt review option be the correct process, then the mediation agent will explain the process to the consumer. Contact us at the Debt Centre, 021 204 4711, to find out more.
Be aware of misleading mediation advertising
There are unfortunately misleading advertising and individuals, waiting for the next victim to scam from their hard-earned money, with empty promises to restrict their debt and negotiate with their creditors. Why would a consumer give these matters to any unregistered persons? Out of desperation and the lack of knowledge most people will take that chance without checking.
It is then when due to no compliance from the consumer, or the so-called mediation agent, that many consumers have lost almost all their possessions due to legal action and warrants of execution of their property, because of default judgment of credit agreements, cancelled after default.
#Important Tip of the day
Deal with registered practitioners only, do not become another statistic of a scam just because you in desperate need of help. Take the time to find the correct company to assist with the restructuring of your debt. Remember not all debt is eligible for mediation; some debt can be addressed in mediation and negotiation. Consumers do not read enough and take the time to ensure they deal with persons with the proper documents that must be valid for the next 12 months, expiring 31 July 2020.
It is your money and your debt, find out what will be the best deal for you. Mediation or debt review? Do you qualify for a short-term mediation process, or will a long term serve you better, with all the legal protection involved? Therefore, ensure you deal with registered practitioners only when it comes to restructuring or seeking help.
Message from the author, Ms Annienne Nel
I understand the frustration when people lose their hard-earned money to scammers. That’s the whole drive to assist those in need of legal help, but do not know where to turn to. If you work with us, you will feel that you are in safe hands, with a whole army behind you, that’s who you can bank your debt problems on.
We believe in second changes and that’s what we like to offer you. Get debt free with us. Until next time, God bless.