The Debt Counsellors Association of South Africa – Western Cape
DCASA Western Cape met today for the last time for the year at the Parow Golf Course. The meeting was well supported and features some interesting presentations from various parties and industry experts including Eugene Cillier current DCASA Western Cape Chairperson.
Some of the topics covered were:
Sequestration (or actually Voluntary Surrender of Estate) and how consumers can benefit from the process should they qualify. For many this process sees them pay back less money over a shorter time period than via debt review. The trick is being able to qualify.
Administration particularly in conjunction with Debt Review was discussed. It was pointed out that were legal action has begun on accounts (adding up to less than R50 000) an admin order can be sought while at the same time a debt restructuring court order is sought for all other debts.
The sensitive subject of voluntary debt rearrangement was discussed. This was considered in the context of the 2009 Declaratory order which mentions that all debt review matters must go to court and the budding industry of Alternative Dispute Resolution (eg ombuds and even DCs). The DTI have said they are not opposed to finding solutions that are not necessarily “debt review” if the consumer is protected. it was noted however that the NCR stopped a similar process once before because it was unregulated, did not necessarily protect consumers from legal action without recourse and crossed the line of DCs being impartial toward CPS and Consumers. Interestingly since only a Debt Counsellor can perform the functions of a Debt Counsellor (as per the NCA) it might be that only DCs can be involved in any such process.
The event was sponsored by HYPHEN Payment Distribution Agency. They made some very interesting comments about how coming legislation and industry changes regarding card payments is effecting their business. The changes will see them having to spend around R7 Million to become compliant before Feb 2014. They also discussed all the auditing and reporting to the NCR that is done on a regular basis to ensure that consumers funds are being handled competently.
There were also presentations from Maximus and Bitech who showed how their debt counselling software can help Debt Counsellors run their business: From drafting proposals to preparing court documents and even reports to the NCR.