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Handling debt collectors

Handling debt collectors is a lot easier to do when you know what your rights are as a consumer.

The actions of some debt collectors may make is seem that they are a law unto themselves. They are not. The Debt Collectors Act, 1998 (which came into force on 1 August 2003) and the subsequent Code of Conduct for Debt Collectors, govern the proper conduct of debt collectors.

If a debt collector charges for their services, they must be registered with the Debt Collectors Council.

What debt collectors may not do

  • Use force or threaten to use force against you
  • Use force or threaten to use force against your family.
  • Physically threaten you
  • Physically threaten your family.
  • Give, or threaten to give, information to the your employer that may affect your opportunities as an employee.
  • Serve any false documents.
  • Present themselves as police officers, sheriffs or officers of the court.
  • Spread, or threaten to spread, any false information about your creditworthiness.
  • call on, or park in front of a residential or work address in a vehicle which is conspicuously marked in any way that discloses its purposes and where the taxpayer may be embarrassed
  • do anything that could constitute excessive harassment
  • demand payment on a Sunday or between the hours of nine o’clock in the evening and six o’clock in the morning on any other day;
  • Charge more than the fees set down by the Council

 

To avoid harassment by debt collectors and legal action from attorneys, it is always good to keep your debt under control. You do this by:

  • paying your monthly accounts on time
  • paying your accounts in full and not making short payments
  • and paying more than the minimum installment required
  • not making use of the full credit granted to you

 

However, this is easier said than done – especially since the onset of Covid-19 and lockdown. People have been struggling to keep up with their debt repayments and one of the biggest mistakes they make is to wait until it is too late to seek professional help.

One of the most important perks of the process of debt review is that you no longer have to deal with the harassment of debt collectors or fear that your assets will be repossessed. However, this only applies to accounts that have not yet been handed over to attorneys.

Don’t be scared of debt review

Debt review was put in place to assist over-indebted South African consumers who are struggling with their debt. The entire industry, along with the rest of the South African credit market is regulated by the National Credit Regulator (NCR).

Debt review, when correctly done by a registered debt counsellor can change the life of someone, for the better.

Hundreds of thousands of South Africans have benefitted from this debt relief option, and have been able to pay off their debt, clear their credit records and restart their financial lives.

No one wants to be hounded by debt collectors, and no one wants to lose their possessions. To avoid that, contact NDA today.

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