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Debt Counsellor Appeals Deregistration

A Debt Counsellor who was recently fined R1 Million and had her registration removed by the National Consumer Tribunal (NCT) has appealed the ruling to a higher court.

The National Credit Regulator (NCR) has been trying to get Ms Lamara deregistered for some time due to thousands of complaints they have received from unhappy debt review consumers. These consumers had complaints that ranged from being listed at the credit bureau as under debt review even though they did not want to start the process, to never getting to speak to the Debt Counsellor herself and getting bad service from staff, to losing assets due to work not done properly on time. Many decided to leave her services and get help from other NCR Registered Debt Counsellors.

A Huge Victory

The NCR were very happy when, after a long NCT battle, Ms Lamara finally lost the case and the NCT ruled against her and her associated brands of MSA and Consumer Finance Solutions. They have subsequently even lined up webinars to train Debt Counsellors based on the findings of the NCT and there are rumours of them considering rolling out similar enforcement to other Debt Counsellors in the wake of the NCT ruling.

Not Quite Over Yet

In a rather unsurprising move, Ms Lamara has appealed the ruling and things go back to square one for the moment. Since things operate differently at the NCT compared to the Appeals Court she may feel she has a greater likelihood of success in defending the matter or some of the points raised. Alternatively, some more cynical people say this could simply be a delay tactic to try sort out some of the problems before an audit of all her clients’ files is done. Either way, the case is now ongoing.