What is alternative debt resolution?

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An over-indebted Fin24 user wants to know about alternative debt resolution. She writes:

I am over-indebted. I found a company on the internet which says it can reduce my monthly repayments. They call it alternative debt resolution. The company's name is Accord Debt Solutions. I just want to know if you've heard of them, because according them it is not debt review.

Renee Marais, an independent debt counsellor in Pretoria (NCRDC1780), responds:

Alternative debt resolution agents may only act on one credit agreement at a time and not your whole debt portfolio. They are currently not regulated by the National Credit Regulator, and  no provision is made for them in the National Credit Act 34 of 2005. 

To quote the act:

"Section 44 of the National Credit Act 34 of 2005 applies:
(2) A person must not offer or engage in the services of a debt counsellor in terms of this Act, or hold themselves out to the public as being authorised to offer such service, unless that person is registered in such terms

Debt counsellors may not in terms of section 46(4) (c ) be engaged in, employed by or acting as an agent for a person that is engaged in -
(i) debt collection
(ii) the operation of a credit bureau;
(iii) credit provision."

An ADR agent may not offer the services as set out in the act if they are not registered debt counsellors, and may not "restructure" your debt. 

If, for example, you have a problem with Bank A account 123, they may only assist you in solving the problem with Bank A account 123. They may not restructure your debts with bank A, B and C as well as your accounts with department stores, etc.

My advice is for you to please contact the NCR on 0860 627 627 and speak to one of their specialists, so that be sure to get the possible best advice. 

- Fin24

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