Debt Counsellor Interview: Bev Ludick
Each month Debtfree DIGI interviews a Debt Counsellor so that consumers can see what it is like to operate a debt counselling business. This month we interviewed Debt Counsellor Beverley Ludick of Pretoria based DC Firm ObligCo.
Beverley and her team (Angie & Monika)
How long have you been a DC?
What did you do before becoming a DC?
From 2001 I worked for attorneys dealing only with Administrations. I became an Admin Consultant and never looked back. I started my own Debt Review Company in 2009.
Why did you become a DC?
I became a DC because it was the one thing I knew best and over the years my passion grew as I realised what big a difference it makes in people that find themselves in financial difficulties’ lives. I am not only helping people with their finances but with their emotional well-being as well. I enjoy the look on my client’s faces tremendously when they realise that they have found relief.
What area of SA do you practice in?
Our offices are situated in Pretoria Gardens, a very down to earth part of Pretoria with really honest hardworking consumers that live here.
Do you have a small/med/large DC company?
We run a small company that is growing quickly however, with that being said, we are still able to provide excellent one on one attention to all our clients.
What makes your business a success?
Word of Mouth is telling us that we give very personal and professional service and that our clients feel that we do not handle them as” just another number” on the system. Part of our success comes from thinking outside the box when a troubled consumer comes in for a consultation. We really try and use initiative when consulting with clients by exploring every possible option available and we know we have done our job well when they walk out smiling. Many hard working consumer are over indebted because of paying old debts with new credit so our consultations will often last up to 2 hours patiently educating consumers and making plans with them. We offer credit checks and even sequestration were it is needed. We also offer Administration orders at a very low monthly fee. Whereas administrators usually take between 12.5 – 22.5% from the consumer’s monthly creditor payments we don’t.
Where do you find new business?
We do not find new business, it finds us.
Who are your most co-operative and least co-operative credit provider at the moment?
We are very thorough when obtaining the necessary information needed from any credit provider by making use of all the methods of communication when requesting it. The new or less experienced credit providers that do not know the process or simply those who do not have a working system in place for debt review proceedings are by far the least co-operative.
What is the biggest challenge facing DC at the moment?
Keeping up with the Act being changed every now and then and then still not being clear around some issues we, as DCs, have. My humble opinion herein is still that the Administration act should have been altered instead of writing a whole new Act.
What is the biggest challenge facing your consumers at the moment?
Consumers don’t always realise the seriousness of defaulting on their debt review payments and it can lead to aggressive legal steps which they then choose to ignore because they think the debt review will protect them. Here at ObligCo we always remind new and current clients of this fact.
What advice do you have for consumers under Debt Review?
Very easy: Do not default on your debt review. Debt review is like a cage keeping your creditors locked in. Every payment you skip or short payment you make, the bars of the cage get weaker and after a few skipped payments they come for you like hungry wolves and nothing can stop them. Making regular monthly payments will help make your case in court like a solid brick wall without any holes.
MORE: Read this interview and more in this month’s Debtfree DIGI: http://debtfreedigi.co.za/read-the-current-issue-of-debtfree-digi-magazine-online/