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DCASA Meeting (Final Regional Meeting of the Year)

The Debt Counsellors Association of South Africa hosted a meeting for their members in the Western Cape this week at the Parow Golf Course boardroom. The meeting is one of a series of regional meetings that DCASA is holding across the country as the year draws closer to an end.

Updates and Presentations

The meeting gave members who were unable to attend the Gauteng Annual DCASA Conference a chance to see some of the facts and figures which were covered at the conference in August.

There was also an update on matters at the Credit Industry Forum. Local members asked if they could receive minutes from the CIF meetings and subcommittees so that they could stay current with Developments at these meetings.

Also discussed was the year ahead. DCASA reckon that the coming year is going to be a tough one for consumers (and the NCR if Debt Intervention actually takes off).

The Average Debt Review Consumer Pays R2200 per month towards their debts

There was also a presentation from DC Partner PDA (who help consumers distribute their monthly payments). One of the topics discussed during this part of the meeting was the inclusion or exclusion of cascades in court orders and how these are abused by some credit providers who try to step out of the debt review (86(1)) if they can (and who hope not to be ordered back into the debt review later – 86(11)). DC Partners contributed to the costs for a nice lunch and drinks during the break.

Debtfree magazine got to inform local Debt Counsellors how they can make use of the free online magazine to help their consumers. Also mentioned was the upcoming 2019 Special Print Edition, which Debt Counsellors can already begin requesting from their preferred PDA.

‘One Debt Counsellor reported finding an extra 3000 consumers listed under her name incorrectly’

The NCR was another hot topic of the day as the DHS Database system (which Debt Counsellors update regularly). Many DCs had amusing and some not so amusing stories about issues they have faced since the NCR updated the system. One Debt Counsellor reported finding an extra 3000 consumers listed under her name incorrectly. Other DCs spoke about being able to see client info belonging to other Debt Counsellors.

The day ended after lunch and a general discussion session where a number of topics were covered. These ranged from illegal unregulated debt review services offered by some companies, to the NCR withdrawing and changing part of their recent fee structure guideline.

Tips on how to deal with some processes with certain credit providers was also a topic which came up during the discussion. Debt Counsellors shared information about some credit providers. Counter proposals and challenges getting DCRS matters finalised (DCRS is a voluntary system which Debt Counsellors can use to make proposals – based on preferences of a large group of credit providers), as well as, response times at one of the major banks were discussed. The chairperson advised Debt Counsellors not to duplicate queries as this can frustrate credit providers. Each credit provider does have an established escalation process which can be used. Debt Counsellors swapped advice on who best to talk to there and how to approach certain common issues.

Many of the Debt Counsellors enjoyed staying and chatting after the meeting and discussing some of the topics raised during the meeting. The next regional meeting will be held in 2019. DCASA will hold their AGM in November.