Portfolio Committee Adopt Credit Act Amendments Bill
The much debated “debt intervention” bill has been formally adopted by the Portfolio Committee on Trade & Industry. This means they are finally happy with the wording of the Bill (though many debate its constitutionality). The amendment Bill will now go on to the council of Provinces and if passed, will be put on the President’s desk for his signature.
Recently there have been rumours of plans secret political party off book meetings to squash the Bill by some and very public calls to expedite the Bill by others.
The Bill proposes amendments which will see the introduction of something called Debt Intervention. This is a type of debt review, done by the National Credit Regulator and National Consumer Tribunal and will be available to low income and no income credit users.
The Bill also gives courts new powers to change contractual interest rates on credit agreements and obliges Debt Counsellors and credit providers to report any possible reckless lending (see this month’s Debtfree Magazine for more about what reckless credit is).