NCR To Issue Certificates on Time
When the National Credit Regulator (NCR) decided to start issuing new certificates to Debt Counsellors each year, many Debt Counsellors grew concerned about whether the NCR had the capacity to provide these certificates in a timeous fashion. Others questioned why the NCR should bother to do so.
The decision to issue yearly certificates (All Debt Counsellors get a certificate which they need to display at their office when they first register) came at a similar time as the decision to exponentially increase the cost of annual renewal fees which Debt Counsellors pay the NCR. Perhaps the annual certificate was seen as a way to add value or to help somehow distinguish those who had paid, from those who had not. Or it may be one of those good ideas at the time that turn out to be a huge amount of work later.
Thinning the Herd
The NCR have to monitor each registered Debt Counsellor and since many Debt Counsellors no longer practice (estimated to be about 2 out of every 3 Debt Counsellors now), they are probably frustrated by having to ask for statistics and receiving the same static statistics from hundreds of non practising Debt Counsellors every three months. Another challenge the NCR face is simply keeping their database of contact info up to date. Many Debt Counsellors change phone numbers, offices, firms and email addresses and the NCR Database (on their website) is designed to show all that info to consumers. The increased annual fee may cut down slightly on the number of Debt Counsellors who do not practice, that are prepared to pay these funds just to have the option of practising. This might mean that the new arrangement and new fees might reduce the NCR’s workload slightly, at the cost of having to have a team provide annual certificates.
Since Debt Counsellors often have to prove to courts that they are currently registered with the NCR having a proof of payment/ receipt of payment from the NCR is vital to prevent delays at court which could cost consumers dearly. This is one of the reasons that Debt Counsellors have been worried about the new system which will kick in with full force at the end of this month. Recently several Debt Counsellors, who missed payments in regard to a part payment of their annual fees, found themselves prevented from receiving their income by the NCR for missing the deadline.
The Debt Counsellors Association of South Africa has met with the NCR in this regard, asking if Debt Counsellors will indeed receive their new certificates by the end of the month. The NCR has committed to do so. The NCR have even committed to sending the Certificates via scan and email as opposed to just via postal service (which has been prone to some major delays in the past).
Undoubtedly, the NCR face a period of hectic activity in the next few days and will face heavy criticism if the new arrangement does not run smoothly, especially in the face of recently having essentially forced some Debt Counsellors out of business due to late payment of renewal fees.
Questions regarding Renewal of Registration can be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org