What IS Debt Review
In order to fully understand the benefits you have with debt review. You first need to understand the basics of what Debt Review is.
Debt review is a legal process that allows you, the consumer the opportunity to restructure your debt into one more affordable monthly payment. Giving you financial relief while still allowing you to meet your debt obligations. You can apply for debt review by approaching a registered Debt Counsellor to assist you in your application.
What is a Debt Counsellor
A Debt counsellor is a person or company that is certified by the National Credit Regulator (NCR) to assist consumers with financial rehabilitation.
Cyber Finance is a Debt Counselling company and we are regulated by the National Credit Regulator NCR.
Under the NCR we are obligated to provide fair and responsible advice and services to you as the consumer. If you feel at any point that a credit provider or counsellor has not acted in your best interest you may contact the NCR and file a complaint and an investigation will proceed on the matter.
Your debt counsellor is there to help you with your application. The first is to doing a debt assessment to see whether you are in fact over-indebted and whether you need help restructuring your debt.
Your debt counsellor will work out what you are able to afford to pay toward your debt, negotiate with your creditors on reducing your interest rates and getting final acceptances for your application for debt review.
The background of Debt Review
The Debt Review process was introduced by the National Credit Act in 2007 and is regulated by the NCR. Debt Review was created as a strong solution to assist over-indebted consumers to find financial relief from their debts.
So often debt becomes so much of a problem, that you cannot even cover your basic living needs with your monthly income.
This is where most people start to skip payments on accounts, avoid speaking to creditors when they phone and risk repossession of their property.
What is the deference between Debt Counselling and debt review?
The misconception is that debt counselling and Debt review is that they are the same thing.
This is mainly due to the fact that many people and companies in the industry has been using the term debt counselling incorrectly to describe the debt review process.
In fact debt counselling is rather the service that a debt counsellor offers a consumers;
Debt review is a process that a debt counsellor uses to help you restructure your debt and become debt free.
Other debt counselling services include Debt Consolidation, Sequestration, Administration and Voluntary Debt Restructuring.
Benefits of Debt Review
Debt review is by far the most effective solution available in South Africa to help you clear your debt. The benefits of debt review is what makes it as effective and popular as a debt restructuring solution.
- All your debt gets consolidated into one affordable monthly payment. Similar to how a consolidation load works. But with debt review, you take none of the risks associated with making more debt through a consolidation loan. You don’t make new credit to cover old credit (which is a bad thing to begin with). So you get all the benefits of one affordable monthly payment without all the risks.
- You will never pay more towards your debts than what you can afford. Your debt counsellor does a full assessment of your situation and helps you to structure a budget. Your essential living expenses are first taken into account before an amount is set to go towards your debt.
- You get protection against all your creditors. Basically, your debt counsellor stands between you and your creditors. Negotiating on your behalf. You will never have to talk to them ever again. They are not able to repossess your assets or contact you directly concerning any payments. In the event that a creditor does contact you, you can simply tell them to contact your debt counsellor
- Your interest rate on your debt gets lowered, in some cases even up to 0%. Your debt counsellor will negotiate lower interest rates with your creditors to help assist you in paying less for your debt at the end of the day. With Debt Review you get the chance to regain your financial freedom without having to be worried about your debt or pay more for your debt than you already do.
- You will be debt free. Once you complete the debt review process and you are no longer over-indebted. You will be given a clearance certificate from your debt counsellor stating that you are no longer over indebted. Debt review is also not forever. Once you are no longer over-indebted you can be happy to know that no creditor will ever know that you were under debt review. There will be no record of it on your credit report.
When you go under Debt Review you will have some restriction.
You will not be able to make any new debt. But it is important to know that, you are not blacklisted. There is a big difference. Under debt Review there is simply a note placed on your Credit report.
Debt Review does not have a negative effect on your score. Things like, declined loans, missed or late payments have a bad impact on your credit score.
So if you are having trouble with your debt repayments. It is best to get the help you need. It may not necessarily be Debt Counselling, but there are options that will suite your situation best.
No future creditor will be able to see that you were under debt review and you will be fully allowed to make new, responsible debt.
How do I apply for debt Review?
We follow a very easy and convenient 6 step process of helping you apply for debt review.
- Submit Your Details
Submit your details using our Free Debt Assessment form. A National Credit Regulator (NCR) accredited debt counsellor will contact you telephonically within 24 hours to guide you through the rest of your application and to do a full credit check and debt assessment with you.
- We Contact Your Creditors
After you’ve submitted your Form 16 (debt review application form) and relevant documentation, a Form 17.1 (Notice that you are applying for debt review) will be sent to your creditors and the credit bureaus. This action will subsequently prevent your creditors from taking legal action against you.
- Debt Counsellor Assessment
Once it is established that you are over-indebted, your personal debt counsellor will assist you to restructure your debt and monthly expenses according to your affordability. A Form 17.2 (Statement declaring you as over-indebted) will be submitted to your creditors and the credit bureaus.
- We Negotiate On Your Behalf
We enter negotiations with your creditors on your behalf to ensure that your monthly instalments and interest rates are reduced. This restructuring allows you to cover your monthly living expenses while repaying your debts in an affordable manner.
- Channel Instalments To Your Creditors
A registered Payment Distribution Agency (PDA) will channel your revised monthly instalment to your respective creditors. The PDA will provide you with monthly statements, as well as supply your debt counsellor and creditors with a payment schedule.
Take note: You do not pay any fees or instalments directly to your debt counsellor. You pay the Subscribed PDA and they distribute the monthly payment accordingly.
- Make Payment Plan a Court Order
An application is then made to the Magistrates Court to have your revised debt repayment plan made a court order. Once all of your debts have been settled, your debt counsellor will issue you with a clearance certificate and notify the credit bureaus that you are no longer under debt review.
How long will I be under Debt Review
Just like everybody has different financial needs, so too is each person’s debt review process deferent.
The time it takes one person to clear their debt is deferent from another.
In the assessment with your Debt Counsellor, he/she will establish what you would be paying towards all your debt and how long it will take you to pay-off the total debt amount.
There are some guidelines set by the NCR as to how long debt review may take. According to the NCR you are only allowed to be under debt review for a maximum of 5 years (60 months).
This excludes your house bond. You can be declared debt free even if you still have to pay off the remaining amount on your house. This is because a home loan is regarded as being “good debt” and you can be issued your clearance certificate immediately after all your other debt have been payed off.
Does Debt Review Cost Me Money.
Yes, debt Review does cost money just like any other service that you get provided with. The important thing to know about this, is that the fees are capped and regulated by the NCR. This will also not affect your debt directly.
How it works:
Ones your new monthly restructured payment had been calculated and confirmed by your Debt Counsellor. Your first payment will go to the debt counsellor for their services.
The second payment, will go towards the legal fees of your application (as it is a legal process done through a court order).
Then your third payment will start going towards paying off your debt. But, you don’t need to worry about your creditors now not being payed for the first two months.
They have been informed of you going under debt Review by your debt counsellor and all creditors are aware that the first two payments will not go towards them. Your debt counsellor will also send a monthly statement to you and your creditors so you can keep track of how your payment is distributed to your creditors.
Payment Distribution Agency (PDA)
Once you are under debt Review. The Payment Distribution Agency, is the company that you pay your monthly instalment too and they distribute it accordingly towards all your creditors.
It is very important to take note, that you do not pay any money directly to a Debt counsellor. Only to a registered PDA working with your debt counsellor.
There are only 3 registered PDA’s in South Africa, they are:
- Hyphen PDA
- DC Partner
- National Payment Distribution Agency
Never make any payment to anyone other than your prescribed PDA!
Your Debt counsellor will have a set agreement with one of these agencies to handle all their client accounts.
The National Credit Act
In 2007 a new Act was made into law called the National Credit Act (the NCA). The purpose of the Act was to regulate how credit is granted, who can give and get credit and what can be done if people have problems paying for their debt.
In the NCA there is a particular section (Section 86) which deals with what to do if a consumer has too many debts, too many obligations and not enough money to pay for everything. This section specifically mentions something called debt counselling. Debt Counselling would be advice about your debt from a qualified debt counsellor.
A Debt Counsellor would be registered with the National Credit regulator (who is an industry watch dog – of sorts.) Over time the National Credit Act has been updated or amended (by the National Credit Amendment Act 2014) which helped make debt review even more effective.
World-wide there has been a move to provide consumers with counselling in regard to the use of credit and in dealing with their debt.
Debt Review is a very well structured process that is built to help you as a South African consumer.
Debt Review was introduced to give you the best possible help with your debt, with the least amount of struggle and cost.
It is the best possible option if you are over-indebted and can’t meet all your debt obligations. The benefits of Debt Review over shadows the negatives by a mile. If after all the information we provide you with here, is still not giving you all the answers. We would love to be able to help you. We offer a free consultation, were you can receive all the answers and the best advice for your situation. Feel free to request a free call back or send us a message.
We pride ourselves on delivering excellent customer service, advice and guidance to all our clients. We give you all the tools and opportunities to educate and help you on becoming financially strong. We value each client no matter who you are or where you are from!