‘Delays in debt review process harming consumers’

2009-12-18 08:50

The debt review process must be consistent and reliable, debt

counsellors Debtbusters said today.

“Consumers who sincerely want to get their finances in order are

being hindered by court delays and reluctant credit providers,” said managing

director Luke Hirst.

It was fitting that the National Credit Regulator (NCR) had set up

a task team to find possible solutions to the numerous inconsistencies the

current debt review process was facing, he said.

“Granted, inexperienced debt counsellors have also played a role in

the numerous issues, but this just emphasises the need for a task team who will

deal with the entire procedure from a consumer facing perspective,” Hirst


Gabriel Davel, CEO of the NCR, said it was expected there would be

teething problems in implementing the two-and-a-half year old National Credit


However, the NCR “needed to act decisively to bring the situation

under control“.

According to Statistics SA, the number of people who applied for

debt counselling in November 2008 was 36?246 compared with 132?291 in November


“This is a significant increase and evidently the debt review

process needs to be consistent and reliable,” he said.

The task team would be in force for a period of six months and its

members had been chosen according to experience and competence.

The ultimate objective of the task team should be to accommodate

the over indebted individual, creditors and the debt counsellors, Hirst


“There should be no bias towards either party and the process

should be as fair as possible.”

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