Can I still rent property if I am under debt restructuring?

 

The GOOD NEWS is, Yes you can!

Renting a property is still possible while under debt review. Just make sure it is within your budget. A debt review is a legal process and not a credit agreement, clients can still rent affordable property while in the program.

Debt Center can provide your landlord or letting agent with proof of a budget and allowance for the rental amount, which are accepted by most agents. A part of our service to assure the affordability according to your budget.

When entering into a rental agreement it is important to understand that it is a legal financial service agreement between yourself and the lessor aka landlord.

In most cases the agent is employed by the lessor or landlord to fulfill the mandate to find suitable tenants for their property. Ensuring that all criteria’s are met, with regards to a clean ITC record, no blacklisting, good trade references and a proof of income.

Many real estate agents do not understand the National Credit Act (NCA), neither do they realize that according to the NCA a consumer may not be discriminated against while in debt review.

The fact is a debt review is not a credit agreement by itself, but an agreement where creditors agreed to accept lower affordable payments approved by the court of law for a set duration.

These payments are restructured into a new payment plan that becomes a consent order by a Magistrates court or the National Consumer Tribunal.

Debt review flagging on the ITC system does not mean you are blacklisted, nor a stigma branding you, it may not be used against any consumer for the approval of a rental agreement.

The purpose of the debt review flag is to ensure that registered credit providers do not grant the consumer further credit on loans, credit cards, overdrafts and so on…

Do not hesitate to contact us if an agent tells you that you cannot rent under those circumstances.

 

When my debt review application is successful and the assessment shows I am over-indebted, will I be able to apply for a new loan or credit card?

 

No. You will not be able to open a new account with any creditor, your ITC record will be marked with a red flag notifying all creditors that you are over-indebted, which means you couldn’t pay your existing debt and applied for debt review with a registered debt counselor.

Once the consumer’s debt is paid up in full and settled in debt review, he or she will then enter the Debt Review exit programe. The debt counselor will issue the clearance certificate and clear all the negative information and any flags of “debt restructuring / debt review / debt restructuring consent order” off your ITC record. After all the consumer’s creditors provided the debt counselor with paid up letters, you will be able to re-enter the credit market, declared officially debt free.

When applying for debt review and the consumer no longer have access to his credit card or overdraft does it mean he will not have access to the bank debit card?

 

Once the consumer applied for debt review, it does not affect any savings account with a linked debit card. When one needs to pay for groceries or other things you buy in the shops, the debit card is very handy instead of walking around with pockets filled with cash with lesser risk of being robbed. When there are plans to travel your debit card can be used for vehicle rental costs or any other payments. Arrange with your bank when travelling across borders to ensure the account is linked to an international debit card service.

 

When a consumer applies for debt review and the accounts have been referred to a lawyer for legal collection, can the account or accounts be entered into debt review?

 

This is a question asked with every new application. The NCA (National Credit Act) states that any credit agreement or debt account must be excluded from debt review only if the CP (credit provider) has commenced with legal proceedings. Meaning that the consumer was served with a summons, stamped by a magistrate’s court or high court to enforce their contractual legal rights to proceed. On the other hand, if the appointed legal company did not proceed as far as to send a sheriff to serve the consumer with a summons, there is still time to include that account into the debt review application.

 

 

Another concern from consumers applying for debt review, is when they received the notice of default and the 10 days have lapsed can they include that account in debt review.

 

The Notice of default Section 129 notice must be sent as per the NCA (National Credit Act), by registered mail to the correct residential address of the consumer in default. The creditor may not proceed with legal action if this letter was not sent to the debtor (consumer) when in default of a credit agreement. As per the amendment bill of 15 March 2015, if the creditor referred the outstanding account to their lawyers and the lawyers had not issued a summons to the consumer, the account is eligible for inclusion into debt review.

May any creditors refuse to accept the debt review?

 

In South Africa, we have the best National Credit Act that protects consumers who can no longer pay their debt. Let’s look at the Section 86(5) and Sections 86(7) of the NCA that legally enforces any registered credit provider to participate in the debt review process. The registered debt counsellor has a roll and mandate to fulfil, therefore must prove that the consumer was found over-indebted. The creditors may not discriminate against any citizen of South Africa who applies for debt review, because they could no longer afford their monthly contractual obligations on debt they owe to their registered credit providers. Doctor’s bills fall into the category of incidental credit agreements and may be included into debt review.

 

 

When married in community of property and only one person has debt, can he or she apply for debt review without their spouse?

 

Married in community of property means the debt is the couple’s responsibility, whether the debt is only on the one name or not. The debt review application is a legal process, the legal status of the marriage is binding which means both husband and wife will form part of the process to seek the help of a registered debt counsellor.

So, the answer is No. The consumer cannot apply for a single debt review assessment without the other party

 

When married out of community of property, how does it affect the person that is not in financial trouble?

 

Being married Out of Community of property means that the person struggling to pay their creditors may alone apply for a debt review application. In other words, it can be a single application. The debt counsellor will ask for the portion of contribution towards the joint household expenses when doing the assessment (groceries, etc. The portion of the spouse contribution to pay toward the stuff that is not debt repayments).

Having a home loan is in a joint name, then the rule apply that both husband and wife married out of community of property will then apply for debt review.

What happens in the event of death of one of the applicants in debt review before or after the debt restructuring order was granted?

 

In the event of death, the registered debt counsellor must obtain the death certificate from the next of kin, and inform all the creditors of the change of circumstances. The co-applicant, if any, in such a case will most likely not be able to continue and must notify the debt counsellor as soon as possible. The status of the debt review of the deceased will be shared with the appointed executor who must include it in the estate. Once all the debt is paid up by the executor of the estate, appointed by the Master of the High Court, the debt counsellor will issue the clearance certificate in the name of the widow or widower to ensure the credit bureaus and the NCR database is updated, so that he or she can re-enter the credit market.

 

 

What happens if the debt counsellor does not communicate with the consumer after entering the debt review process? Consumers hear negative stories from friends, here is the best guidance how to deal with such a problem.

 

It is important to deal with registered debt counsellors only, also reminding oneself it becomes the applicant’s responsibility to ensure the debt counsellor is registered with the NCR. Should the debt counsellor not make contact with a consumer or respond to emails regarding the debt review progress, the consumer may complain with the NCR.

Go to: http://www.ncr.org.za/register_of_registrants/index.html , and check out if your debt counsellor is registered and in good standing with the NCR.

What happens to my debt review should my employer retrench me?

Here at CDS we urge our clients to get an income protector in place that will pay temporary income during unforeseen circumstances that may occur. We have found creditors are humans with hearts and their debt review staff will do their utmost best to assist in any situation that’s brought to their attention. The final outcome and discretion remains the sole decision of the creditor how they will deal with retrenchment, or any other sudden loss of income due to various unforeseen circumstances.

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