Can I leave debt review?
NDA CEO Sebastien Alexanderson responded to a question from a News24 Money Clinic consumer who wanted to know if he could be removed from debt review when all his debts are not fully paid.
The most frequently asked question in our industry is, “Can I leave debt review early?”
The simple answer would be the following. Yes, if only a 17.1 has been issued. Maybe, if a 17.2 has been issued, but you don’t yet have a court order and your financial situation has changed. No, if you have a granted court order.
It seems that you have had a 17.2 issued and have a repayment plan in place. If you have been making your reduced payments and your financial situation has become better – but a magistrate has not issued a court order – then you put this information in your application to be brought before court. If the magistrate finds that you are no longer over-indebted, he may terminate the debt review.
However, if a court order placing you under debt review has been issued, you cannot leave the debt review process until you have paid up all your debts as per your repayment plan and the court order (this excludes your home loan).
This also means that even if your financial situation has changed, you cannot leave your debt review process.
The only way to get out of debt review (according to the scenario that you have given) is to take the money that you paid towards all your other debt on a monthly basis – and put that towards this last account and get it done as soon as possible.
Speak to your debt counsellor about what stage in the debt review process you are. And discuss your options based on that. Be very careful of unscrupulous individuals and companies who promise to be able to remove you from debt review (for a fee, of course) and then can’t.
So in conclusion – there is no easy way out of debt review. Once you start the process, you need to remain committed and see it through until the end, till you’ve paid all your debt. In September 2019, a full bench of the Gauteng High Court confirmed that not even they had the power to release you early from debt review merely because you are no longer over-indebted, or your circumstances have changed.
However, nothing prevents you from paying more money to your creditors and clearing your debt sooner.
Stay the course. There is nothing better than when you receive your clearance certificate from your debt counsellor and you’re finally financially free!
For more information on debt review, fill out our contact form and one of our debt consultants will contact you.