Statements must be sent regularly

2019-11-27 06:00
Minette Nortjé

Minette Nortjé

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Question:

I hardly ever receive statements from my credit provi­ders. Surely, they should send regular statements so that I can see what I owe them.

What does the law say about this?

Answer:

You are correct. Your credit provider is required to provide you with periodic statements.

In terms of our National Credit Act, a credit provider must offer to periodically provide any consumer with a statement of his or her account.

Unless the parties agreed to a prescribed method of delivery, such delivery can be at the business premises of the credit provider, at any other location designated by the consumer at the consumer’s expense, or via ordinary mail, fax, email or printable web page.

The consumer is entitled to choose between these options.

The frequency of a statement’s mandatory delivery varies according to the type of credit trans­action the statement relates to.

In general, the period allowed for between statements is one month.

However, should the consumer be a party to an instalment sale agreement, lease or secured loan, the required maximum period between statements in terms of the Act is every two months.

These periods may be varied by agreement between the consumer and credit provider, but the agreed period may not exceed every three months.

Furthermore, a statement pertaining to a mortgage loan agreement is only required to be provided every six months.

If the statement relates to a credit facility, the credit provider does not have to provide the consumer with a statement for a period in which no credits or debits were incurred against the account.

The National Credit Act not only provides for the disclosure of information and the providing of statements, but also sets out the procedures if a consumer should want to dispute any of the amounts reflected on the statement.

Should a debit or credit be disputed, the dispute should be directed to the credit provider in writing.

Thereafter, the credit provider is required to either respond by explaining the entry in reasonable detail, or identify it as an error and set out the revised entry.

Importantly, a credit provider may not institute proceedings against a consu­mer based on a disputed entry if the account has been queried.

The credit provider must first respond to the query, after which action may be taken.

Should you not receive periodic statements from your credit provider, you are justified in taking this up with the credit provider.

Check whether your credit agreement prescribes a specific period for statements or method of delivery.

  • Minette Nortjé, candidate attorney, Phatshoane Henney Attorneys
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