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The credit ombudsman and it’s role to the consumer. In this week’s blog, we at Consumer Debt Support (CDS) realize consumers do not know where to refer a matter that needs to be investigated, relating to a credit agreement, a serious legal problem regarding old debt or when an asset was sold on a auction like a vehicle.

The ombudsman office has a process that is followed when the consumer contacts them. They deal with complaints pertaining to: Credit life cover short falls, Fraudulent accounts with various creditors. Voluntary vehicle surrender v/s creditor sold the vehicle on auction – what now, regarding the outstanding debt and what consumers should know? Debt was paid up, creditor or debt collector demand payment.

What you need to know:

When a consumer voluntarily surrenders a vehicle, the bank or its agents give a time frame in which to settle the arrears. Once the arrears are settled, the vehicle should be returned to the client. What happens when the bank sold the vehicle, know you have a shortfall to pay?

This is where the ombudsman will help with their investigation.

When the consumer hand a vehicle voluntarily back to the bank, the bank sold the vehicle. The dispute the bank did not notify the consumer the valuation amount the bank would sell the vehicle for. What the consumer does not know,  is  that when the letter of valuation was not sent via registered post, the ombudsman can assist with the complaint, investigate and decide to write the debt shortfall off, or assist with the negotiations for settlement that satisfies both parties. When this is done,  the credit information must be updated, the ombudsman overseas this process as well.

When a store account was opened fraudulently on your name, that problem can be referred to the ombudsman, who investigates, get the confirmation of fraud, the consumer receives the outcome that he or she is not reliable for any outstanding balance on that account. Whether it is a bank account or any other credit agreement, the ombudsman can assist with a complaint.

Having a home loan,  can have some surprises when the bond is paid up. Most common problems consumers are faced with, is the credit life shortfalls that needs to be settled before the title deed of the property can be released. Here the ombudsman can help negotiating a settlement between the parties.

It is really Important that consumers must always change their residential address with their creditors within 10 days of moving from the address listed with the bank or other creditors. The creditor can notify the client at their correct address, remember, It is the right thing to do.

In conclusion:

We receive calls from consumers on a regular basis with regard to various problems with creditors that they simply can’t resolve. Most of these issues are not debt review related, therefore they can’t be dealt with by a debt counselor as we are a third party. The ombudsman has a strong arm in making decisions and the outcomes of their investigations from complaints received. They have the right to request all documents related to the complaint and investigate all the facts to ensure a fair outcome is reached. We hope this article shed some light on the issue, of the role of the credit ombudsman.