Debt Rescue

Frequently asked questions

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Why use Debt Counselling?

“Debt Counselling was formally introduced by the National Credit Act to help over-indebted consumers, especially in our current economic crisis. The goal of Debt Counselling is to develop a repayment plan which is affordable to you, as well as acceptable to all your credit providers. It is there to help you, so why not make use of it?”

How long will it take before I actually experience relief?

“You will immediately experience the relief that Debt Review offers. Within the first 5 days, we will work out a provisional repayment plan for you which you will be able to afford. In terms of the provisional repayment plan, you will make a single payment to a Payment Distribution Agency, who will distribute the money according to your plan. During the first 60 working days, your Credit Providers will not be allowed to implement action against you. During this time we will prepare your final repayment plan.”

Will I lose my house or my vehicle when I am placed under Debt Review?

Debt Review cannot make you lose your home or your vehicle. It can however save your home and vehicle, but this will obviously depend on your unique circumstances. Factors that will determine this will include the following:

  • Have you received a Section 129 letter from your Credit Provider, and if so, how long ago? If you receive a Section 129 letter from your Credit Provider, you will have 10 working days in which you can obtain the services of a Debt Counsellor, who will endeavour to save the asset.
  • Have you been served with a summons in respect of your mortgage bond or vehicle finance?
  • How many vehicles do you have and what are they used for? Quad bikes and Jet ski’s will for example be regarded as luxury vehicles and might have to be returned to the bank.
  • Are you giving your full cooperation in the program?

The bottomline remains that you will always be in a better position to keep your home and your vehicle when you are under Debt Review, rather than trying to fight off the banks yourself.

How long will I remain under Debt Review?

It is different for everybody, as every individual’s situation is unique. In order to lower your monthly instalments, we have to extend your repayment periods. In some cases we manage to convince Credit Providers to also lower their interest rates, which means that your repayment period will not be stretched too much.

Your debt repayment plan will indicate exactly when your last day of payment will be.

Would I have to appear in court in order to make my Debt Review an order of court?

No, you do not have to appear in Court, as your Debt Counsellor will be the applicant and you will merely be a respondent. As soon as our attorneys notify us of the outcome, we will immediately notify you of same.

In the unlikely event that the magistrate do request your presence, it would merely be to establish certain facts. You will not be questioned by any attorneys or anything like that, as this would merely be a court application and not an action procedure.

Can I be “blacklisted” by Credit Providers whilst I am under Debt Review?

“No, whilst you are under Debt Review, your Credit Providers will not be in a position to “blacklist” you. If the “blacklisting” took place before you applied for Debt Review, it will however reflect on your credit record. This is a further reason why you should rather apply earlier than later for Debt Review.”

In the unlikely event that the magistrate do request your presence, it would merely be to establish certain facts. You will not be questioned by any attorneys or anything like that, as this would merely be a court application and not an action procedure.

How will Debt Review influence my credit record and will I be able to apply for credit again in the future?

Whilst you are under Debt Review, a flag indicating that you are under Debt Review will be present behind your name at the Credit Bureaux. Once you have satisfied your debt obligations, we will instruct the Credit Bureaux to remove the flag and there will be no indication that you have ever been under Debt Review.

If you however do not apply for Debt Review, the situation is much worse. If you skip monthly instalments on any of your Credit Agreements, whether it is a Mortgage Bond or a mere clothing account, this will be listed as non payments.

For purposes of obtaining credit in the future when you are back on your feet again, it would therefore be an obvious choice to rather opt for Debt Review than to try and juggle your Credit Providers by paying them less than your original instalment or not paying all of them timeously.

I’ve been summoned to court, can Debt Rescue still help me?

“You can still contact us. There might be other means of assisting you. The sooner you contact us, the better our changes are for finding a workable solution for you.”

What if I already have judgments against me?

“You can still contact us. There might be other means of assisting you. The sooner you contact us, the better our changes are for finding a workable solution for you.”

Can I apply for more credit or use my credit cards while I am under Debt Review?

“No. The idea is to get you debt free and therefore you will not be allowed to incur further debt whilst you are under Debt Review. Once your obligations towards your Credit Providers have been satisfied, we will issue you with a clearance certificate and you will be in a position to apply for credit again.”

What happens if I get retrenched whilst under Debt Review?

“Unfortunately this would be a big problem with regards to your Debt Review, as you must make your monthly payments in respect of your debt repayment plan. Should this happen and you do not immediately get another income to satisfy your monthly instalment in terms of your debt repayment plan, you must contact us immediately, so that we can look at an alternative solution or you.”

How would I know that I need Debt Counselling?

“The mere fact that you are reading this, means that you will most probably benefit from Debt Counselling. The golden rule is not to wait too long before you contact us. The earlier you come to us, the easier it would be to find a solution for you. You can only benefit from contacting us.”

Will I have to engage in a consultation in person at the offices of Debt Rescue?

“No, the whole process can be finalized telephonically and by e-mail, no matter where you stay in South Africa.”

How does Debt Rescue manage to lower my payments?

“In terms of the National Credit Act we, as Debt Counsellors, are allowed to lower your monthly payments by extending your repayment periods and in some cases by lowering your current interest rate. “

What if Debt Counselling is not the ideal situation for my circumstances?

Should we believe that Debt Counselling is not the best option in your particular circumstances, we will refer you to one of our preferred service providers to assist you with the most appropriate process, whether it is sequestration or perhaps selling your property.

I have heard some negative rumours about Debt Counselling. Does Debt Counselling really work?

Debt Counselling evolved a great deal since it was launched in June 2007 by the National Credit Act. As is the case with the implementation of almost all new legislation, all the grey areas in the Act had to be found and tested in court in order to have the Act run smoothly. We are convinced that the industry has already reached the point where Debt Counselling is now running the way it was intended to by the legislator. We have successfully helped thousands of people since the inception of Debt Counselling back in 2007 and we are happy to see that more and more people are realizing that the system is working. So the answer is yes, Debt Counselling does work.

In some isolated cases there were some bad apples in the industry in the form of Debt Counsellors who were in it for a quick buck. Most of these bad apples have since been worked out of the system, ensuring a dependable industry that is helping thousands of South Africans to deal with their financial distress. South Africa has managed to bring Debt Counselling to a point where it is regarded as one of the most successful of its sort in the world.

It is imperative that you choose the correct Debt Counsellor though, as we are of the opinion that there are still certain Debt Counsellors in the industry who do not possess the necessary skills, competence and experience to offer you the full benefits that Debt Counselling can offer.

If I am placed under Debt Review, will my Credit Providers still contact me?

“As soon as you apply for Debt Review at Debt Rescue, we will within 5 days (usually less than 48 hours) notify all your Credit Providers that you are under Debt Review and from that point onward they must, by law, communicate with your Debt Counsellor and not with you directly. It does unfortunately happen from time to time that some Credit Providers take a chance by making contact with our clients directly, but when that happens, you can merely refer them to your Debt Counsellor who will deal with the matter further. “

Can I apply for Debt Review if I am unemployed?

“In order to be placed under Debt Review, you have to have a monthly income that puts you in a position to make a reasonable offer to your Credit Providers. If you are therefore unemployed and you do not receive any other income, like rental income or pension, Debt Review is not the ideal solution for you. There are other solutions available that might be beneficial for you, so you can still contact us.”

Will my employer know that I am under Debt Review?

No. We never contact clients at work unless asked to do so.

What are the costs involved with being placed under Debt Review?

“Our fees are regulated by the National Credit Regulator and are very reasonable, as the idea is to get you out of debt. The fees will be explained to you in detail once you contact us. The important thing to remember here is that our fees and disbursements are included in your affordable debt repayment plan.”

What happens if I get into an accident for example and I cannot pay my monthly Debt Review instalment?

The determining factor will be reasonableness. If you can prove that you were not in a position to pay, because you were in hospital for instance, we can send a certain notification to the Credit Providers and in all probability it will be accepted and your Debt Review will continue.
It is very important to note that Debt Review does not provide payment holidays. Debt Review should never be abused in order to evade your obligations.”

Will my insurance policies be affected by Debt Review?

“Not at all. Provision is made in your debt repayment plan for all your insurance policies. In fact, if you have vehicle finance, you will be compelled to have insurance on the vehicle.”

Will Debt Review have a negative impact when you apply for another job in the future?

“No, it should not have a negative impact, because if a new employer does a credit check on you and picks up that you are under Debt Review at the time, it will in our opinion obtain you respect, as the employer will realize that you did the responsible thing when you started to experience financial problems.
The alternative would be much worse. If the employer picks up that you have defaults on your credit record and you did nothing about it, it would not send a good message at all.”