Debt counselling adds to woman’s financial woes

2010-06-12 14:06

Undergoing a debt review process is not plain sailing.

That’s precisely what Lebogang Mogadime has just discovered.

Mogadime complained to the ­National Credit Regulator (NCR) about how she felt let down by Octogen, the debt counsellors she was working with. In 2007 she asked the company to help her with the debt review process but decided to cancel her ­application the following year.

She felt that the process wasn’t working for her because creditors ­continued to harass her for payments and she did not achieve financial relief.

Mogadime was desperate to get out of the contract, but Octogen ­added to her woes by demanding cancellation and legal fees.

She refused to ­settle and that is when the wrangle between her and the company ­began. After a while she thought that the contract had expired, but discovered that the debt review was still active.

Fezile Afrika, NCR spokesperson, said according to information at her disposal Octogen followed the proper process in trying to help Mogadime.

“She also signed a declaration ­stating that the process and fee ­structure was explained to her.

“Her credit providers were notified about the debt review process, but there was no guarantee that ongoing harassment by the credit providers would end. However, Mogadime was liable for the fees after she elected to withdraw from the debt review process.”

Afrika was quick to advise consumers to ensure that they understood the terms and conditions of contracts before entering into agreements.

On hearing the NCR’s response, Mogadime said: “I am not happy with how the NCR handled my complaint. My financial situation has gone from bad to worse. And now I am also ­indebted to the debt counsellor.” 

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