DCASA Regional Meetings
The Debt Counsellors Association of South Africa are holding regional meetings during May for their members. These meetings allow members to catch up and discuss the latest developments within the industry. It also gives local Debt Counsellors a chance to meet with some credit providers (or other industry service providers) who come to make presentations.
DC Partner Presentation
DC Partner are one of only 4 NCR registered Payment Distribution Agencies in the country. At the Western Cape meeting Giovanni made a presentation highlighting the Debt Counsellor management software called Finwise. There are many new features and partnerships such as iDocs.
Giovanni highlighted the role of debit orders (Stop orders, NAEDO & AEDO). At present consumer disputes on debt review payments are hurting the industry and threaten the livelihood of the various PDAs. He said that one of the most important and helpful things for the consumer to know is what the description will look like on their bank statement. Eg. (NP)CTDebtSe (this example relates to how the debit will show from a DC Partner debit).
What can help smooth things over is a phone call to the consumer near payment time to remind them of the payment amount (so they have the right amount available) and remind them of the reference so they do not panic and try to reverse the payment. Sometimes consumers don’t realise that disputing their debt review payment will cause financial ruin (especially if they have been under debt review for a long time).
He also discussed what a good mandate (from the consumer) looks like in case a client does dispute the payment. A classic mistake is to forget to ask them to sign the mandate.
The Capitec Bank gave a presentation including a new advert they are running about trying to educate consumers to make wise use of credit and not use credit purely to finance a lavish lifestyle they cannot afford. The bank has a very good reputation of supporting debt review in the past.
In December 2018 Capitec made some changes with regard to making counter proposals. Since December there has been an increase in counter proposals. There have been some issues since the change. Capitec Bank is aware of some of the issues and are making improvements. Some Debt Counsellors were saying they have received the counter proposals and agreed to them but have not received an acceptance letter (Final) at that point. This delays matters at court.
When consumers do not pay as agreed or at all then credit providers will withdraw from a debt review and start a new legal process to try to collect the debt. This is called a “termination” or more technically an 86(10).
Eugene Cilliers from Pay Plan Solutions (a Debt Counselling Firm) gave a presentation in regard to the latest information about Pension Backed Lending. This has been a problematic issue since debt review began.
Debt Review Awards Update
After a general industry update by the regional DCASA Chairperson, there was a brief update about the Debt Review Awards 2019 including the ongoing Peer Review. The peer review gives NCR registered professionals the chance to help review the performance of their counterparts within the industry. The peer review process has entered the last 6 weeks of the process. Next month the various PDAs and other associations will be asking their members and clients to complete the reviews in case they have not already done so.
The regional meetings ended with a light lunch and gave attendees time to mingle and discuss the topics of the day further.