How do I get a clearance certificate if I don’t have a debt counsellor
Q+A: How do I get a clearance certificate if I don’t have a debt counsellor
A question was posed by a Money Clinic reader:
I opted for debt review when I divorced in 2009.
As per settlement, I agreed to pay off all debt, which was over R600 000 at the time.
I successfully paid off all debt in 2016 but then my Debt Counsellor died before I could get a debt clearance certificate.
Up until today I am still unclear what I can do to get certificate. I am currently buying everything cash that I want/need.
I want to buy a new car but I know that will be problem in the process. Any helpful advice will be appreciated.
Sebastien Alexanderson, CEO of National Debt Advisors responds:
Firstly, allow me to commend you on your commitment and perseverance to becoming debt –free. You truly are proof that the program of debt review can alleviate financial strain and does work.
Your scenario of not being able to obtain a clearance certificate from your debt counsellor, is unfortunately a common occurrence.
In every industry, you will find good and bad practitioners. The debt counselling industry is no exception. However, I would recommend that when it comes to choosing a registered debt counsellor, in this industry and in this financially precarious time of Covid19 and lockdown – that you choose to go with a medium to large firm, instead of a smaller one.
A larger firm will have more than one person in the office, or in a particular department dealing with you. Should anything happen with the person you have been dealing with (be it illness, death or just leaving the company) your file and all it’s contents will just move along to someone else in the organization, without interrupting your debt counselling process at all.
In response to your question about obtaining a clearance certificate, my advice to you would be as follows:
- Choose and then contact a new debt counsellor that you would feel comfortable working with (bearing in mind the size of the company as mentioned before)
- Your new debt counsellor will then make contact with your previous debt counselling company and request a transfer on your behalf
- This transfer will be done through the Debt Help System (DHS) which is monitored by the NCR.
- Your previous debt counselling company would then have 5 working days to respond.
- If no response is received, then you would automatically be transferred to your new debt counsellor.
- Your new debt counsellor will then get in touch with your creditors to confirm that all your debt is indeed paid up.
If this is the case, then your new debt counsellor will issue you with a clearance certificate. The credit bureaus will be notified, your credit record will be updated accordingly and you can once again have access to credit.