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Interview with Martin Snyman

Debtfree Magazine often interviews industry players about their companies and personal experiences in regard to debt review. We got the chance to speak to, long time Debt Counsellor, Martin Snyman about his experiences in the industry and views on how consumers are dealing with debt.

How long have you been a DC?

I was registered in February 2010.

What did you do before becoming a DC?

I started my career as an accountant, joined the credit industry in 1995, and was a credit manager at corporate microlending between 1999 and 03. I had my own debt collection business between 2003 and 09 and then joined the debt counselling industry in 2010.

Tell us about Your Practice

Our practice originally began with 5 registered DCs and an admin support staff complement of 24. We operate country-wide taking the opportunity to help consumers from across every province.

Over the years, our office set-up has changed (like during the pandemic) and I have worked closely with many great people under a few brands. Recently our efforts were recognised in the annual Debt Review Awards and we pride ourselves in being a very consumer focused practice.

What do you feel makes your business a success?

The consumer is at the heart of it all.

Too many shortcuts and too much administrative garbage exist in the industry that is not part of the NCA and often the consumer is often overlooked in among all the work and politics. We intentionally put the consumer at the fore and assist them within the ambits of the NCA and other available legislation.

‘The consumer is at the heart of it all’

Too many DC’s are only focusing on the debt review process and forget that there is also a debt counselling process, where the DC can assist the consumer to change their behaviour to take responsibility for finances and control their spending.

Where & how do you find new clients?

Social marketing is a big contributor to our success. Personal contact with consumers is vitally important to establish trust. We, therefore, arrange and attend financial literacy and wellness workshops to support all consumers and not only those who are financially distressed. Word of mouth about our good service plays a big part in bringing in new clients.

What is the biggest challenge facing Debt Counsellors at the moment?

Cooperation in the industry.

DC’s have to speak with one voice. For too long the industry was represented by a select few and the voice of the bulk of DC’s was not heard. If the different factions in the debt counsellors industry, ie DCASA, AllProDC, NDCA and BDCF can manage to meet eye to eye on industry challenges, the operational challenges can be addressed unanimously at the Credit Industry Forum.

What is the biggest challenge facing your consumers at the moment?

Abuse by credit providers who are obstructing the purpose of the NCA.

Some credit providers continue with money grabbing, ignoring reasonable proposals, opposing debt review court applications on irrelevant technical aspects, rescinding debt review court orders on technical aspects and by doing so, disrespecting the cooperation of a paying and loyal consumer.

Over time the challenges have changed, of course, and we applaud credit providers who also put the consumer first and make a plan to help them. That’s what debt review is all about.

What advice do you have for consumers under debt review?

Hang in there!

Debt review is a process that was developed and enacted to offer debt relief. The fact that the road is tough at first must not discourage consumers from keeping up with their new payment arrangements.

Want To Chat To Martin?

If you would like to talk to Martin and get advice about your debt situation then you can contact him here:

Tel: 079 549 7283

Tel: 087 655 0510




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This article first appeared in the March 2014 issue of Debtfree Magazine and has been updated with some information over time.