The importance of Debt counselling which has become the most important tool for deeply indebted consumers to restructure their debt was highlighted on Saturday (June 13) when the industry recognised outstanding debt counsellors by way of a glittering awards ceremony in Midrand.
The debt review awards is an industry awards program where credit providers, debt counsellors, consumers, as well as government Agencies including the Department of Trade and Industry and the National Credit Regulator recognise excellence in the field of debt review.
The overall winner in the large debt counselling firm category was Debt Rescue.
They were voted South Africa’s favourite large debt counselling firm by the public. They were also voted as the overall winner in the large debt counselling firm category by a panel of industry experts.
Debt Rescue CEO Neil Roets, said the awards was the credit industry’s version of the Oscar’s and he was delighted that his company was selected as the recipient of this year’s award.
“We all work incredibly hard during the year to provide the best quality service to our clients and the Debt Counselling Awards recognises those of us who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.
The Debt Review Awards gala event is hosted annually and presents the industry with the opportunity to recognise those who are going above and beyond the call of duty and working hard to improve the debt review industry.
Roets said the debt counselling industry that was beset with problems when it came into effect on July 1 2007, had made giant strides in serving both consumers and creditors.
“Debt review is an absolute win-win situation for both consumers and creditors. Creditors are getting paid albeit over a longer period and in smaller instalments and indebted consumers are able to service their debt and still afford to get on with their lives and service their debt.”
There are strict rules that have to be adhered to by both creditors and consumers in order for the process to work. The act has recently been amended to grant greater protection to consumers and to ensure that creditors play by the rules.
“South Africa has become one of the leading countries in the world in dealing with the whole issue around debt and how to deal with it.
“The most important thing is for consumers to seek help from a debt counsellor as soon as he or she realises that they are in over their heads.”
Roets said the fact that total consumer debt now tops R1.427-trillion (according to the latest figures released by the reserve bank) shows that consumers are having a hard time.
“We know from figures released by the National Credit Regulator and Statistics South Africa that the majority of indebted consumers owe 75% of their monthly pay to creditors.