A problem doubled leaves client troubled

2010-03-06 13:02

A CLIENT of Bayport Financial Services is being asked to pay for the same debt twice after a communication breakdown between the microlender and its debt collectors.

The debt collectors representing Bayport are demanding that Evelyn Segapelo pay the debt despite an acknowledgment from the law firm – Etsebeth, ­Erasmus and Associates – that the account was settled.

Segapelo decided to seek help from Hotline after realising that she was fighting a losing battle.

“I admit that I defaulted on the loan ­account, but it was finally settled after I was issued with a garnishee order.

“Bayport wants me to pay the same debt all over again and they seem reluctant to review their records. I have provided them with proof of (final) payment as well as the settlement letter. But all cries have fallen on deaf ears.

“Communicating with them is another challenge, you get through to different consultants who never come back to you.

Hotline’s assistance will be highly appreciated,” said Segapelo.

In 2006 Segapelo, of Tshwane, took out a loan of R10?000 from Bayport and agreed to make monthly repayments of R600 over 24 months.

Six months later, she was struggling to meet her monthly repayments and failed to inform the creditor of her situation.

She stopped making payments on her account and as per the contract terms and conditions Bayport took legal action.

In March 2007, she received a court ­order instructing her employer to make monthly deductions of R1?152 from her ­salary.
These payments were made to the bank account of Estebeth, Erasmus and Associates.

In August 2008, Segapelo received a statement from the debt collectors. The statement showed that she still owed Bayport R287. But to her surprise she later received another letter from the same debt collectors stating that the account had been settled.

“I ended up paying R20?605 (on a R10?000 loan) and I got to live with it. You can imagine the relief at settling the account.

“In November last year, the nightmare began with Bayport demanding more payment. It is not fair,” said Segapelo.

On February 4, Hotline referred the complaint to Etsebeth, Erasmus and Associates but the consultant refused to provide Hotline with the name of the attorney in a position to help in this matter.

However, a consultant referred all queries to Bayport and also confirmed that the account was settled in November 2008.

Hotline battled for about three weeks to get through to Johan van Woerkom, whom Hotline was told is the departmental head for customer services, and the only person who can assist Segapelo.

Email and fax enquiries reached his ­office but at the time of going to press he had failed to respond. He has also failed to return messages left at his office.

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