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NCR Guideline on Withdrawing from Debt Review

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Leaving Debt Review

When a person approaches a Debt Counsellor they begin a statutory process governed by the National Credit Act (NCA). When a person asks a Debt Counsellor to look over their situation this needs to be indicated on the National Credit Regulator’s (NCR) database. They, in turn, notify the credit bureaus.


Then the Debt Counsellor asks the consumer and all their credit providers for more information (the Debt Counsellor sends out a form called a Form 17.1). Once they have looked over that info they know if the person needs to simply adjust their monthly spending habits or whether they need legal protection though the NCA and debt review.


At this point, the Debt Counsellor will send out a form called a Form 17.2 which says either the consumer needs help or not. If the consumer needs help the Debt Counsellor will make a few proposals to the credit providers and gather their responses for inclusion in a court document. The matter then goes to court for a debt restructuring court order. This stays in force for as long as the consumer pays according to the arrangement.

Leaving Debt Review

Some consumers have hopped in and out of debt review so many times in a short time period (for a variety of reasons incl not paying what is required and not getting good service etc) thus due to frustration by some parties, the NCR eventually issued a (non binding ) guideline on how to treat the process when someone wants to leave debt review. In many cases consumers who began the process simply did not pay for the services they had been rendered. Obviously many firms want to recover the cost of their services and so changes where made to the process when such consumers want to reenter the credit market after having applied for debt review. Basically, The NCR say that they feel that the consumer has to pay for those services or not be able to use credit again. Another issue that prompted the changes was when the National Credit Act was amended to allow for consumers who had paid up all their smaller debt to leave the process. As many consumers have Bonds there is no need for a consumer to be under debt review for the full term of the bond. Thus the process changed somewhat and the NCR issued a guideline or non binding opinion – as they are allowed to under the NCA.

The guideline highlights that the process is a serious one and should not be undertaken lightly

The guideline highlights that the process is a serious one and should not be undertaken lightly and without commitment to the process. The process works well and has helped hundreds of thousands of consumers. As such it is one of the best ways to deal with debt in the world. At the same time, the NCR wish to help create uniformity across the industry with how the withdrawal process should be conducted.

Download the NCR’s Process Guideline

Part of the process involves what to do when only some of the debts are paid up and what to do if the consumer is not cooperating with the process.


You can download the NCR Guideline here:

Withdrawal from debt review NCR guidelines Feb 2015

141 comments on “NCR Guideline on Withdrawing from Debt Review

    • That is great news!
      Every Debt Counsellor hopes that their clients manage to get back on their feet. It is the whole point of the process. So well done.

      Please be VERY CAREFUL how you go about this. Work very closely with your Debt Counsellor to get this right as the credit providers are slow to catch up. Make sure that the balances on all accounts are correct before the change (that normally takes a week or two maybe more) and then make sure that if you have assets that you have those accounts back to where they should have been by now had you never needed debt review at all. This is important or you could lose your house or car.

      DO NOT just stop paying via the PDA and expect everything to be ok!
      Make sure you and your Debt Counsellor are ready for the change back to normal.


      • This is sadly not very accurate. The fees you pay (which are worked into the repayment plan) are relatively very small. The savings you are getting on interest rates and account fees each month far outstrips any fees in the process.
        Rather try to pay more than originally planned and speed up the process (which will save you a little bit more over time).
        The important part is to never miss a payment, be patient and get rid of your debt.

        Remember, if you leave the process early it can mean your credit providers will sue you for all the fees and charges that they have set aside so far while you are under debt review. Those can really add up and you can face a serious risk of losing assets. Be careful.

        Go and talk to your debt counsellor about your situation. They will help you.

    • Good day
      I’m currently under debt review for the past four years at Debt busters. My problem is that I have already paid up some of my creditors. I have ask Debtbusters to reduce my monthly payment due to the fact that I have paid up some creditors, that mean extra cash in my pocket to buy for my family food,because we are currently struggling. Debt busters refuse to reduce my monthly installment and said I must speak to the NCR.Please advice

      • Your court order allocates every cent throughout the process to each credit provider including the money that was going to any credit provider who was paid up. The order says those funds must now be split among the remaining creditors to enable you to pay up your debt faster. There would be no point talking to the NCR. The only option would be to pay more legal fees and go back to court to ask the judge to adjust the court order. Since that costs money they probably dont want you to have to do that. The Debt Counsellor is trying to help you get out of debt fast and not keep you in debt review for many many years.

        That said try to get an appointment to talk directly to the debt counsellor in your case (not just an assistant) they may be able to help you review your budget and current spending habit to help somewhat. Ask them to review your case (in writing).

        If you are struggling for food and other basics then please talk to the folks at Debt Counselling Community Support ( they may be able to assist you somewhat.

          • Hi Refilwe, It is a bit difficult to understand all the aspects of your comment.
            If you need your name clear…from what do you need your name cleared?
            What info are you interested in?
            Do you work at old mutual?

          • You need to contact your debt counsellor who will know how to do this.
            (if you have not been paying your Debt Counsellor for any reason you will need to sort out any arrears fees before they will help, probably)

        • Hi, Im currently under Debt review however I’m no longer paying through their PDA but directly to my VF. I’ve paid up all my personal loans and left with my V. Finance. I’ve obtained a form 17.W from my debt Counselors but I would like the debt review flag to be lifted. How do I go about the matter as I can pay my normal installment for my V. Finance when I took it up? Can I use the form acquired from my debt counselors to lift up the flag without the clearance certificate?

          • You can try but the credit bureaus may not want to cooperate…
            You need a form 19 (also called a clearance certificate) from a debt counsellor when you finish paying off all your smaller debts (such as a car) to get the credit bureaus to lift the flag normally.

            Question: you said you are no longer paying via a pda and you got a form 17.W from your DC. This means that you have basically “dumped” the services of your debt counsellor (or been dumped by them). Did this happen recently? How many months to go did you have with the debt review as set out in your court order before you made these changes?

      • Remember you have started a legal process.
        This is not as easy to stop as a normal contract but you do have the right to stop.
        However please be aware that this may still leave you with a debt review status.

        MSA have a certain reputation and you may need to really sit on them to get things sorted out.

        Can we ask: why do you need to cancel your debt review? You say you can manage on your own. Does this mean you are now earning more as a family and can make the normal debt repayments?

        Question: do you have a court order yet?
        Question: Do you know which of your credit providers have agreed to give you lower interest rates through debt review?

    • I hv been under debt review since june 2017 with – * R350000.00 car included. Was involved in an accident nd ibsurance settle the R25000.00. Balance of 40.000 onky appearing. Tried to involve my debt counsellor to remive me from the review but they refused. Need advise

          • want to get another big debt from someone else to pay a debt you already have? That seems like you are just getting more into trouble, rather than out of trouble. If you are already under debt review then you are already paying off FNB …why not just keep doing that?

      • As you are/were paying your debts via the PDA (Debt Counsellor), it means that you have been declared to be over-indebted by your debt counsellor. Therefore, for you to cancel the debt review and pay your creditors directly, you are required to make an application to court to be declared no longer over-indebted and no under debt review.

        For assistance you can contact us on 072 6681 307

  1. I am on dept review and unable to borrow money.Can you please assist me with the process of counseling my names from debt review.

    • You can always talk to your debt counsellor about that (you pay them every month to help).
      Remember if you are in debt review it is because your finances are in poor shape.
      Leaving debt review half way normally makes that much worse. Since credit providers are not able to give money to people who can’t afford to pay it back it is VERY UNLIKELY you will be able to get credit outside of debt review.

      PLEASE be careful. Is it not better to pay off debt than try take on more debt?
      Most people who stop half way through the process really suffer and have financial problems which are harder to deal with than ever. Try stay in the process till you have no more debt rather, if at all possible.

  2. Hi im under debt review I want to cancel and pay my creditors directly it much better to pay my creditors directly I can do anything because of this debt review I manage to pay more on my account please help me to cancel debt review

    • Talk to your debt counsellor (they can assist you) but be warned most consumers find themselves much worse off if they leave before they have settled most of their debts. Remember if you leave debt review you will need to go back to your original obligations and not the reduced amounts through debt review. Make sure you can afford it and all the extra interest and arrears etc.
      Talk to your Debt Counsellor before you change anything.

      If you want to get out of debt faster , then pay more through debt review.

  3. According to your data basis,im currently still under debt review with Cleardebtsa.I found out that they’re no longer in operation. The problem is I don’t wanna be under debt review any more.How do I get my name cleared or removed?I cancelled my contract with them last due to the fact that some of my creditors called me in asking for payment.That’s when I realised I need to withdraw from them.Please help in this regard. Thank you

    • Hi Ernest,
      To get out of debt review your debt counsellor (you need one) needs to either issue you a clearance certificate when your debt is paid up or when you no longer need debt review to reduce your monthly debt repayments compared to what your original contracts demand.

      Remember that collections agents and credit providers phoning you is not an indication of a problem from the debt counsellor. That would be a problem that the debt counsellor needs to help you with to stop those firms from making these calls. If you have a court order for debt review you must stick to the court order or have the court order changed or rescinded or pay up the debt. Never stop paying your debt counsellor because some weirdos at a credit provider (or claiming to be) call you.

      Always talk to your debt counsellor if you get strange calls as they may be a scam.

      • If a firm is no longer in business then the NCR will move the consumer to another Debt Counsellor to ensure they get help as needed. You may need to contact the NCR (and catch up on missed debt review repayments. I hope you kept up your payments on your debt even if you cancelled anything with anyone).

        • I am currently at De Novo Debt Solutions but had to find out they don’t exist anymore. I still pay every month but I’m not sure who to contact anymore since they dissapeared.

          • Hi Marietjie,

            The monthly amounts that you have been paying goes to the Payment Distribution Agency and not the debt counsellor directly. If you know the Distribution Agency that your debt counsellor was using, you can contact them. You may find that they are still holding the monthly.

  4. i iam under debt Review can you. Please. Help me i want to pay my debts direct to the creditors. I am in George can you please refer me to nearest. Place for help. Thanx so much

    • Hi Sithera,
      PLEASE PLEASE talk to your debt counsellor before doing this (basically leaving debt review).
      Remember you only get the benefits of debt review while making use of a debt counsellors assistance.
      It is like having a contract with MTN or vodacom. You can’t carry on using the contract if you stop using their services…

      You may not be able to go back to paying what the creditors all originally want from you. BE CAREFUL.
      Your debt counsellor will advise you if you can. They will do the maths and compare your income and debt obligations and tell you if you no longer need debt review.

  5. hi i have paid up all of my debt after i removed myself out of debt review by force. which i got into the debt review onedebt after i was not given the whole truth about debt review the process. now i have paid on my own i need to buy a house please help me clear my name.

    • Hi Prudence,
      You need to go back to the debt counsellor who you signed a contract with to get help.
      They need to go through all the payments with all your creditors and confirm them and then need to issue a clearance certificate.
      Remember: You may owe them fees.

    • Simply lodge a complaint with the credit bureau that shows the listing. They will investigate (take around 1 month). They will have forms on their website to use.

  6. Hi.

    I’m considering entering into debt review and just wanted to find out the long term implications. On credit applications, they do ask if you have undergone debt review. How does successful debt review affect your future lending, particularly for home loans. Also, what is the best way to go about selecting a debt counselling company?

    Thanks very much

    • Credit Providers cannot discriminate against you in the future because of a past debt review (and they wouldn’t since the whole way they evaluate risk now has to do with what you can afford to pay realistically and not payment history as much). So, no you won’t be asked (they may ask if you CURRENTLY are under review).

      A good clean record (after debt review) is always a good place to start handling credit successfully and build a better record. It is like a reset.

      To find a Good DC you need to consider where you live and can you meet and talk to the Debt Counsellor personally (or do you want to do that? Maybe you want to do everything online…)

      Ask to see their NCR Certificate.
      Ask them Which PDA they recommend using.
      Ask them which attorneys would they suggest handle the legal side of your matter?
      Visit their offices. Make sure it looks professional.
      If anyone asks for money upfront or promises payment holidays at the start of the process then beware.

      You can check the service directory section at the back of each issue of Debtfree magazine for names and numbers in your area.

  7. Hi
    Im currently under debt review. I paid all my accounts in full, paid my creditors myself and only have my vehicle account which I still owe a substantial amount but are ahead on my payments by far. My debt councilors said they can’t issue a clearance before ALL my debt are paid in full. Im struggling and fighting a battle. My wife is longing for a house of our own but this is keeping us from achieving that. Please advise me on what to do

    • They are not wrong according to the current industry guidelines. With all your other debts paid off though your vehicle finance is bound to be paid off very speedily. Can i ask how many months you have to go?

        • I have already calculated. If they take my full debt review installment and pay that towards my car it will cut the time in half. So it will take me a year to get off debt review. That to me is still some time, i have been on debt review for 3 years now. Before this new guidelines/law was introduced without us knowing about it

          • Most car repayment plans last 5 years or even 7 these days. A debt review normally is around the same period of time (reduced if you pay more as you say). It is not a very long period of time to get 100% free of debt.

  8. Hi i am very disappointing with the service that i got from my debt review CO my interest are going higher and higher i am sinking to raise no more i was paying well before i joined them but i had a lot of accounts to pay i wanted to breath so i joined them i was owing R41,000 to a certain entity i have paid R26,000 since i started with them can you believe that now my debt is close to R51,000 i am paying high interest rate of 26% the more i pay with what we have agreed with them i am going down they negotiated a bad deal for me where can i claim they poor proceedings with my life please advise

    • Please note that they simply made a suggestion to the court and the court makes the order. If the interest was not changed that is the credit provider being greedy not the debt counsellors fault. Debt Counsellors cannot change what you signed in your contract with a credit provider. They can ask or suggest but only the courts make the orders.

      In regard to debts which seem to climb: The Debt Counsellors are aware of a part of the law that limits how much you will have to pay on that account (even if the statement shows the debt going up). This is called NCA Section 103(5). This seems to be part of the plan. Talk to your debt counsellor about induplum and how it is going to help with that account.

  9. Hi i am very disappointing with the service that i got from my debt review CO my interest are going higher and higher i am sinking to raise no more i was paying well before i joined them but i had a lot of accounts to pay i wanted to breath so i joined them i was owing R41,000 to a certain entity i have paid R26,000 since i started with them can you believe that now my debt is close to R51,000 i am paying high interest rate of 26% the more i pay with what we have agreed with them i am going down they negotiated a bad deal for me where can i claim they poor proceedings with my life please advise

    • Please note that they simply made a suggestion to the court and the court makes the order. If the interest was not changed that is the credit provider being greedy not the debt counsellors fault. Debt Counsellors cannot change what you signed in your contract with a credit provider. They can ask or suggest but only the courts make the orders.

      In regard to debts which seem to climb: The Debt Counsellors are aware of a part of the law that limits how much you will have to pay on that account (even if the statement shows the debt going up). This is called NCA Section 103(5). This seems to be part of the plan. Talk to your debt counsellor about induplum and how it is going to help with that account.


    • If the company was not a registered debt counsellor but only some sort of debt mediation scam then your name should not be registered on any of the credit bureaus as under debt review. You can simply complain to the credit bureaus with information about the “bogus” listing (if it is there) and they should remove it within a month.

  11. Hi can you please explain to me what it means in the guidelines for the withdrawal from debt review where it states that a clearance certificate can only be issued when all debts is paid up or you only have a mortgage to pay or any other long term agreement as may be prescribed. What does any other long term agreement mean in this regard.

    • So far, according to the court rulings and after a lot of industry debate, it seems that it basically means: Bonds and not things like cars and giant loans.

  12. Hi i have been with debt review since September 2009 owing standard bank R 142,000.00 plus @16% interest on my vehicle. At first i payed R1500.00 per month – R273.60 service fees from Sep 2009 till September 2012 and I increase to R3000.00 – R273.60 fee to finish off the debt. When you look at your statement PDA of 08/07/2016 balance was @R34 803.13 and change to R224 198.84 the following month 09/08/2016 which i query but continue paying. When i add up all payment I have pay +/- R200 000.00. Standard bank say I still owe them R196 250.84. Dedt Counsel Direct can help me Standard bank want me to settle the amount . My concern? is this current balance correctly provided will I pay off this debt for the rest of my live,I really need a good advice in this matter. What other options do I have if any?Is this justifiable, I have to pay for a further 74 months. What advice do you have for my in regards because I am stress?
    I came to debt review for help but I can see I won’t be off this debt for a long period, must I gave the vehicle back or should I pay off the debt?

    • Due to interest you always pay much more for any amount you borrow than what was initially borrowed. Remember it is 16% per year.

      Check your PDA statement and you will see notes that warn that they work out a rough estimate of the balance and are not 100% accurate. It depends on many factors including when payments are made, when payments are allocated and how the bank compound their interest calculations….and fees.

      Talk to your Debt Counsellor about NCA section 103(5) induplum which means that if you went into default on your repayments at any point a limit of double what you owed the bank at the time will apply. You will never have to pay more than that figure, no matter what.

      It might also just be a case of the debt counsellor, PDA and bank all figuring out the proper figure together. Sometimes the banks computers are not aware that a court order has been granted and they do not apply the proper figures. That said your initial payments on the car were low and you were probably only chipping away at the interest on the car for some time before you increased your payment.

      You may still owe more but maybe not as much as it appears.

      Debt review is about making sure you have enough month to month but reduced payments can mean paying back over a long time so well done on increasing your monthly payment as that will have spead up the process.

      Chat to your DC about the whole matter and ask them to do a reconciliation with the PDA and bank and draw a full payment schedule from the bank to check if any wrong fees have been added into the bank’s calculations.

  13. Hello I have apply for debt review but within 5 day i decided to cancel the application and i informed the company for cancellation but that company already put on debt review so i request the to remove me and the send me rejected 17.2 form and they said the notifie all creditors providers. I want to know it takes how long my name to be remove from debt review buy that company.

    • It should take about a week for them to notify everyone and then notify the NCR (who notify the credit bureaus).
      It can go faster but allow for a week.

  14. hi was under debt review then cancelled it by writting them a letter now i have paid my debt myself i want my name to be cleared what can i do. i dont have their contact jo. n forget the name of the company

    • Hi Thembi,
      You can ask the NCR to help you figure that out.
      Call: 0860 NCR NCR.

      Please note that since debt review is a legal process it might be possible that you owe your debt counsellor some back fees. Of course, if at the time they sorted out the cancellation with you and sent you official letters and whatnot then probably no fees would apply.

  15. The campany puts me in debt review is Zululand bebt 4years ago refuse to remove me from debt review they help me with nothing only puts me in debt review. I paid up all my credits including them i have no credis but still in debt review if i ask them to remove me they only telling me of be patience this thing take time. Please help I’ve got all proof of payments

    • One option (if you have paid all your debts) is to make a formal complaint to either the NCR or to each of the credit bureaus about the listing.
      It takes some time but you can cc in the company and it may help them speed things along.

  16. Hi there. In 2013 a company by the name of siyaya debt contacted me stating it would be a good idea to go under debt review. Without thinking twice i said yes to this. The thought of having to pay one place instead of ten sounded lovely to me. The first 4 months they make it known that they do not pay your accounts but it covers their fees, I was committed to this every month for 2 years until I was able to come up with a large amount of money to pay off every single one of my debts which is what i did. In 2015 i was cleared with not a single account to my name i faxed through proof of payment. Thinking everything was in order. Last month i find out that my name is still under debt review with all bureaus. After trying siyaya So many times i was told they have been taken over by another unprofessional company called a&h who gave me the run around for days until i finally find out that
    i am required to contact another company called cbs who when i got ahold of says they are stuck with cleaning up
    Siyayas mess. After speaking to the counsellor he says i must go back to all the companies providing him with the paid up letters which i already did with siyaya. After spending huge amounts of airtime on phone calls with the various credit providers i emailed him the stuff. He goes on to say he needs an admin fee for the form. So here i am so frustrated as i was assured by siyaya the upfront fees which no lie was R7000,00 for 4 months covered that. When they call you for getting you into debt review they dont mention the little things. Yes their court order protects you. But i was still
    Harassed by creditors until the day i paid everything off. I should have made the arrangments myself.So what other route can i
    go to clear my name instead of paying this other company another amount of cash!! Please help

    • There are two solutions
      Easy one that takes longer: Approach the NCR to ask them to update all credit bureaus
      Hard one that will sort the issue in 4 weeks: Visit each credit bureau and submit a complaint form that they still list your debts after they have been paid up and you are no longer under debt review. Provide proof of all payments and debts paid with each complaint. Start with the large credit bureaus (there are 13 in total in SA) like Transunion and Compuscan.

  17. Hi i joined African debt advisers, i have discovered that as they were not honest to me about information, i can pay my debts my self cause with it will take many years i want to cancel them they don’t want to respond tome.

    • Can you tell us more about the phrase “not honest”?
      What do you mean?
      Did you sign a contract with them?
      Has the matter been to court?
      How many months have you used their services?

      Since debt review is a legal process governed by law it is not easy to just walk away.

      If you are not getting a fast reply from the Debt Counsellor try visiting their offices perhaps.

  18. I am under Debt review and I want out I am going to pay for myself, I did tell them I’m canceling and its been 4 months now I’m still under debt review day before yesterday I wrote them an email and they said on their side everything is done they have removed me so they said I should call you guys to remove me. So what is the process now bcs I really want out please assist me

    • You need to talk to the NCR on 0860 NCR NCR
      Leaving debt review is kind of like saying: i want to leave being sequestrated. It is not a super easy prospect since it is a legal process you have begun. Hopefully, the NCR can help you further.

  19. hi! i was under debt review for 6 years paid of all my debt but still owe on my bond. my original term was 30 years i have had my home now for ten years since i was cleared from debt review i keep paying my installment 4020.00 per month. now my bank says i have to pay 10500.00 a month for 3and half years to finish my bond this includes insurance. i can not afford that before i received my clearance sertificate they said they restructer my payments now i get this but i actually stil have 20 years left. can a bank do this.

    • HI Paul,
      What does your former Debt Counsellor say?
      What arrangement is in place (in writing) with the bank from when you left debt review with your clearance certificate?

  20. Hi, i have paid up most of my debt review accounts this month now am im only left with a mfc account and one loan that isnot a big amount outstanding. i have spoken and sorted with mfc that i can start doing payments to them monthly like i did before going under debt review i have also paid up all the other counts way before it was agreed on with the debt review company. I would like to know how i can get a clearance certificate from debt review company and how to resign from them

    • Do you have that arrangement from MFC in writing? IS it 100% clear about arrears and fees? Is it signed?
      Don’t do anything until you do.

      Your debt counsellor should be able to help you with all of this (as part of your after care). It is important you don’t slip up at this point or you could lose your car after all this time. As to the loan..beware of the same thing. If you leave debt review too soon you will owe them contractual arrears for all the months you have been under debt review and arounD R67 for every month in fees. Careful.

      Talk to your Debt Counsellor since you are in a legal process with a court order that is regulated by law. Slow and steady.

  21. Hi I cancelled the Debt Review process as from the time it started i was told one fee then they come back saying it’s not enough and need more money which i don’t have..also they didn’t didn’t even neg on interest according to one creditor my interest rate was increased by the dc long story short the proposals made would have me paying for a total of 14.5 years. I have decided to approach the creditors my self…Also..there isn’t a court order. The company had already debited my account for 3 months I’ve managed to reverse 2 months..n pay what ever was owed to pda for the payments made to creditors and made some payments to some of the creditors as obviously I’m now overdue since the process started…however i want my money back for legal fees that was taken for the 1st month…the relationship manager is giving me some story about me not getting refunded..and also they will only pay the legal fees if i move to another dc.any advise will be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you

    • Hi Charmaine,
      If the Debt Counsellor ACTUALLY did the calculation and worked out you actually can afford a larger amount then that will help you get out of debt faster (which is a good thing). debt review is not about being comfortable it is about paying back what you owe as fast as reasonable.

      A 14 year plan sounds like a bad but temporary plan while you have limited funds. So the plan would obviously decrease in length as you were able to earn more money etc. Most plans are reviewed annually.

      Can i ask why you did not approach the Debt Counsellors and your appointed attorneys directly (as opposed to the credit providers) since you had paid them money to assist? Though it sounds like you were perhaps getting subpar service, you could have got them to talk to the creditors again or asked the magistrate (at court) for some assistance in this regard.

      Anyway..that ship has sailed.

      Remember you have started a legal process and there are fees that apply. Once the service is rendered then you have to pay. Taking the money back is like drinking some of the milk you bought at the shop and then returning the bottle half empty and asking for your money back because you feel like some cooldrink rather (if that makes sense?)

      The legal fee may have been paid over to attorneys who may have put the papers together and set them down at court. They may have already done most of the work…or may have given you a discounted rate and the work done may add up to what they already did for your case.

      As to getting your funds back you have several options:
      Ask to speak to the attorneys directly about the fees (as opposed to through the DC firm). You may simply be speaking to the wrong people. If they give you a hard time about the legal fees then you can approach the law society in your area and ask them to investigate.
      You can go to small claims court – forms downloadable online and fairly easy to knock together yourself and may get a quick response.
      You can approach the NCR (they have a website or you can call 0860 NCR NCR)
      You can approach an Alternative Dispute Resolution Agent
      You can just keep talking to the firm.

  22. I have paid up all my short term debts, negotiated my own settlements and basically did everything myself. I did not have a pda pay my accounts, and have been 99% debt free for over 2 years. However, I still have a bond which is also under debt review. I have however ceased paying the debt review counsellor in light of the fact that the only service they ever rendered was the initiation stages, and getting a court order which took them over a year to do, I have basically been on DR since 2008. what happens with my bond if I want to leave the process?

    • You will have to get a commitment in writing, in regard to the bond from the CPs.

      Please note however that you will probably need the services of your debt counsellor to issue what is called a clearance certificate (a function of a debt counsellor which removes the debt review status from your credit bureau reports).

      According to the National Credit Regulator’s non binding guideline on withdrawing from debt review, they will be entitled to charge you or ask for after care fees as per your original agreement with them (or hopefully a negotiated discount since you did so much of the work for your own matter in regard to the payment side of things – obviously we are not sure what other things the DC has been doing for you so long on their side).

      It is much like having a cell phone contract or a TV. you have to pay for the service even if you decide not to use it if you have the possible benefit of the service or product. If you have a TV set at home you have to pay for a license even if you leave the tv unplugged all year long. If that helps illustrate the point.

      I am sure they will be open to a reduced payment for the clearance certificate phase of your review.

  23. Hi, I started paying my dept counsellor March 2009, only got letter from cours in 2010. I kept paying until Feb 2016, this is 7 years!! I was retrenched and since Feb 2016 unemployed up to today and could not pay my dues at the dept counsellor!! Now I receive summonses and e-mails and sms’s and phonecalls, telling me I owe more than what I did 8 and half years ago, how is this possible?

    • The debt review stays in place as long as payments are made. most credit providers do not change the original contracts and the debt review arrangement sits on top of the underlying contract. While you pay all is fine. Miss payments and they go back to the original contracts.

    • Are you able to pay back more towards your debt each month?
      That will help speed up things. Your plan (under debt review) is probably based on a 5 year repayment. How long have you been under debt review?

  24. I can’t remember the name of my debt consellor and would like to arrange for my name to be cleared since I’m now paying my creditors directly. Please help.

  25. I applied for debt review and decided to cancel it on an application stage in 2015. On my creditors it reflect as I’m under debt review

    • You can talk to the debt counselling firm to check that they told the NCR
      You can also check how far the debt review went (as this makes a difference)
      You can also lodge a query with the credit bureaus on each listing and send proof of your not continuing with the debt review.
      You can also approach the credit providers with proof directly
      you can also approach the NCR (after all of that) for help since they notify the credit bureaus themselves of your status.

  26. My husband and I were under debt review I paid up all my debt expect the bond and now I need car. Can I get just myself off debt review or do I have to be in it up until he pays up his debts

    • Have you spoken to your debt counsellor about your plans?
      Normally they can help you leave the process when only the bond is left.
      If you are married in community of property and have a joint court application it may take a while longer. Chat to your DC for more info.

  27. Good day. I have been under debt review for about 6 years now. All my debt has been settled except my vehicle. I can now afford to go on by myself responsible and continue the original installments on the vehicle, even more if needs be.

    My problem is that my debt counsellor has told me that I will stay under debt review until the car debt is settled and that I will remain on their books also. All I want is my name cleared from the debt review status and I will continue payments to the bank directly.

    I am currently paying the car directly, nothing is going through the distribution company. How do I get my counsellor to remove me from debt review?

    • Your debt review status is not about whether you are paying your debt via a PDA or not (that is a service decision you are making – and remember you are liable for the Debt Counsellors fees each month regardless). Debt review is a legal status.

      The law requires that you settle that big car debt before you are actually not over indebted anymore. Besides, you are probably getting a good deal on the interest rate under debt review – saving you lots of money.

      When you finish your debt repayments your debt counsellor will remove you via a clearance certificate.

      or…you could just drop out of the process and have the bank demand that you pay them according to the original contract (which will have HUGE arrears) ..when you can’t they will hand you over to a collections agent who will try take the car and then eventually attorneys who will issue summons and try get a court to give the bank the car to auction off. All of that is very nasty so…proceed with caution.(Avoid this at all costs).

      also please remember to set aside payment amounts for your debt counsellor every month as you will have to pay that before the process can end (including any arrears).

  28. Hi Could you kindly just tell me wether there is a waiting period shuld to apply for credit, especially housing finance and car, after being cleared from debt review?

    • There is legally no waiting period. If a bank does tell you there is one then ask for it in writing and take that to the NCR as a complaint (if you want) or…go to a better bank.

  29. I have just paid my last installment on my last account and have requested that I have my clearance certificate etc, but in the meantime I received a call from Vericred informing me that one of my accounts has not been paid. I contacted [debt counselling firm] and after a few days got a mail back that it is correct that I still RCS. Now I have a very large issue with how they have managed my debt as this is the second account that has “fallen off their system”. I should’ve been out of the Debt Review process in October 2017, but due to this error on their part, my debt review has been extended, which I have a large problem with as I paid them in good faith to help me manage my debt. What recourse do I have and how do I get them to give me my certificate as this is by no fault of mine? I have contacted Vericred to make arrangements to settle the outstanding amount.

    • Hi Chantal,
      I am sure you just want to be finished paying off your debt now.

      Can i ask: Did these debts show on your court order? Did it say how many months they would be paid over?
      If these debts were not in your court order did you inquire about them with the debt counselling firm when your debt review began?

      Please also talk to your debt counsellor about “prescribed debt” since these debts may (possibly) have prescribed and you may not need to pay anything towards them.

  30. Hi
    My cheque account was placed under debt review in Sep 2013 with an amount of R1945.80. No overdraft. Just debits that had bounced for 2 months prior.
    According to NPDA Statement, last payment of R100 was made on 08 July 2015 and the account should have been paid up.However, prior to my knowledge, FNB had been charging me the monthly service fee of R100.00 and interest R75.00 per month from 2013 until now.
    FNB called me 2 years ago telling me that I owed them around R5000 , I made an appointment with my debt cousellor and explained the whole story.He said I should write a letter to have the account closed, I did so.
    Currently, I owe FNB around R6000 & They are continuing to charge me the monthly fee of R100 and interest, every month.

    My question is:
    1) Was provision suppose to be made for the FNB monthly fee of R100 when my debt consellor negotiated creditor payments.
    For every R100 we paid FNB, Fnb charged the monthly fee, therefore no moneys were paid toward the principal debt, and therefore they charged me interest.
    2) Should my FNB cheque account have been closed in 2013?
    3) Are debt counselling clients allowed to have an open/active cheque account while under debt review?
    4) What was the correct procedure , that my debt counselor should have followed from start?

    please advise?

    thank you

    • These are questions you can direct to the Banking Ombud. Or an ADRA (Alternative Dispute Resolution Agent)

      Your Debt Counsellor can help you gather the needed documents.

      • Hi, NCR has called me asking me if they cab help me to get out of dept, as I have been paying my accounts directly to the creditors. Now a month later my accounts have been blocked as I hsve not even signed anything from NCR. Now my creditors tell me that I’m under dept review. How can I go about this as I can not even use my accounts please assist

        • THe NCR are not able to offer debt review.
          You are confused about who you spoke to.
          One option you do have is to ask the NCR (0860NCR NCR) who has registered you as being under debt review (the actual people who you spoke to).

          Alternatively, you may have emails or forms from the company which show who they are – which you may not have signed yet. If so, contact them urgently.

          Debt review can really help you and will save you a lot of money over time and make your life easier but you need to be in contact with the debt counselling firm. If you felt you needed debt review then not being able to make use of those accounts is not necessarily a bad thing as long as your debt review is progressing.

          You need to get into contact with the company ASAP and talk to the debt counsellor.


    • Sorry to hear that you never used the process properly. It may have helped you greatly. If you are having trouble reaching your Debt COunsellor then you are welcome to approach the NCR for advice.
      ph. 0860 NCR NCR

  32. I’ve joined debt review in October 2014. My debt counsellor is not requesting statement for my account, some of my account are over paid, i have to request statement myself while i m paying them to take care of my accounts, ‘ive finished some of my accounts, i left with loans and credit cards whereby there is no changes, the amount is going up everymonth but the amount of 4620 is been debited from my account every month. and some of my accounts were outdstanding whereby lawyers were phoning me regarding outstanding balance. When i ask them , i was told that they never negotiated interest rate for me, but in the beginning they promise to negotiate intrest for me. When i look at my statement is like i’m not paying anything . I’ve end up calling the bank and i was told that my debt counselor never negotiated interest on my behalf and the amount i’m owing the bank is higher that before because of interest. In this situation how can you help me please.

    • Have you discussed the “in duplum” limits on interest on each of these accounts with your debt counsellor?
      Also do you have a granted court order for your debt review?

  33. Hi i payed all my debit in 2015 October now 2018 for the past 3months I have been trying to apply for a home loan but all the banks decline me saying I’m under debt review.i called the social worker how wanted to put me under debt review but she refused to talk to me I’m frastured and stressed don’t know what to do to clear my name.

    • You need to ask your former debt counsellor to help you lodge a complaint against the NCR for not doing what they were meant to when you finished debt review.
      Another option is to lodge a complaint at the credit bureaus and show them your clearance certificate from the debt counsellor or your form 17.4 (or 17.w) that was given to you when you finished debt review.
      Both options can help but will take about…a month.

  34. Hi
    I’m now directly paying my creditors directly and can’t get hold of my debt counselor after they were not paying all my creditors and my car was repossessed and I had to pay external debt collectors and amount in arrears to get the car back and my account is now up to date and I want to pull out of debt review but I can’t get hold of MSA Consultants .Please advise what to do.

  35. Ek het navrae gedoen vir iemand oor debt review die vrou waar me ek gepraat het het my toe somer onder debt review geplaas na n lang gesukkel het ek n vorm gekry dat ek nie onder debt review is nie maar dit wys by plekke ek is onder debt review en ek het hulle gebel toe se hulle ek is nie op hulle sesteem nie nou hoe maak ek nou

      • Hi
        I have been on debt review for 6 months and non of my creditors have been paid. I have been trying to get hold of my debt counselor and they are not responding to my calls and emails. I decided to reverse the debit order and see if they will take action but nothing. How do i get out of this mess

        • Firstly you should know that you may have made a mistake by reversing your debit order…
          You may just have ended your debt review and the protection it legally give you.
          Secondly, you should speak to your PDA and check with them that your payments have in fact been made and are getting paid according to the plan.
          Next, check the plan and see what month it shows each credit provider will get payment in. Maybe some have to wait while your legal fees are paid up (if you pay a smaller amount).

          Urgently contact your PDA (who you send the monthly payment to/via) and ask them for assistance in reaching the debt counsellor and hope that you still have time to rescue the situation (and get that payment back to the credit providers via your pda.

  36. Good Day,
    In 2015 i enquired about debt review with a company called Debt Eraser. I filled in the application forms, but before we could process anything or make any payments i cancelled the application as i was advised not to go under debt review.
    I recently found out that i was still placed under debt review even though i had asked to cancel.
    I have since paid up all the debt that was on my name, but now i cant seem to do anything because i have this on my name. It took the company 15 days to respond to all my emails, only once i mentioned that i would be lodging a complaint i had a response. I was requested to send them all my paid up letters from the debts that i did have and i did that. Now i recieve an email stating that i need to pay R1125 for them to clear my name. This is what i recieved ” With reference to your clearance. Since application no payment has been received from you.
    Therefore you are liable to make payment of R1125.00 soonest in order for us to issue your clearance. ” Now im not sure if i own them this money as i did tell them that i wanted to cancel as we only went as far as filling out Form 16, and no money had been paid to them and they did not deal with the people that i had owed.

    • In the form 16 that you signed it had a schedule of fees. part of those fees are about what fees apply if you cancel before the court order is granted and also what fees apply before the proposals were sent to the credit providers. I think you need to look over those fees (if you still have a copy) and see what those fees were.
      Once you have done that you can decide but perhaps consider if they are now and were then doing some work for you during the process even though it didn’t go any further. Maybe those hours are something you are prepared to pay for?

  37. I was withdrawn from debt review,and finished all outstanding debtors but I am still not allowed to open an account.what must I do to clear my name?I have got all documents supporting the withdrawal from debt review, clearance letters from my debts.
    Kind regards TM Mnyandu

    • Who has refused to allow you to open an account? Did they give you the reason in writing (you can ask for that. it is a legal right).
      What does your credit bureau record show? Have you checked it to see that the debt review status has been removed by the NCR?

  38. Hi I don remember the name of the debt company that put me under review as I haven’t heard or dealt with them in over 5 years how can i get there details.

  39. Good day what can i do i was placed under debt review but therebis no court order ,i didnt even pay them cuz i dont even know which company it is they lied over the phone when i ask if its adminstration they just said they can reduce my monthly paiments after that i found out iets debt review i cancelled everthing but the flag is still on my name what can i doA

    • You can contact a lawyer and sue them for fraud if you can prove they lied. Or you can contact the NCR and lay a complaint if you can prove they lied to you.

      Till that is resolved you may have orally agreed (and been recorded) to start the review process. Once they start to review your debts and see if you need help the NCR have said that the credit bureaus have to keep that status showing – which credit providers then use to refuse you credit. You can try take this matter to the DTI or banking ombud and complain about the NCR and the credit bureaus (not the DC though)

      If you pay up your debts then the status can also be removed (with help from a Debt Counsellor)

      If you have not paid them then you have placed yourself in a strange place where you are under debt review but may have no one to help you go through the process since you have not paid them fees (which you may later have to catch up anyway).

    • I want to join a debt review but am a bit scared. I’m left with 3 years to repay my debt with mfc. will it still take me 3 years to pay off if I join debt review? Is it true that my arears will be cleared?

      • The idea of debt review is to pay all the debt over a longer time period.
        This means they will look at the total owed and then spread out payments in such a way that you can afford the things you need at home.
        It also means they will not chase you about any arrears any more.

  40. Good day

    I have being under debt review since 2008. I have finally paid up my last account. Now for the clearance. RCS was paid up like 10 years ago. I do not have the settlement letters. Apparently the settlement letter are not in my file. I called RCA and requested them, but they say they cannot issue me with a letter as the account is closed, and the account is too old. When I mentioned this to the debt counsellor they said an email confirming this will be suffice. Now that I got the email, and forwarded it to the debt cousellor, now I am told that I must have the paid up letter. The email confirms my account was paid up, and closed, but it will not work. Now I cannot get my clearance certificate. Please advise what can I do. Thank you.

    • It is likely that the credit bureaus are the ones causing the problem with that email. The NCA now makes it the obligation of the credit provider to notify the credit bureau when accounts are paid up..which they obviously did not do. Ask your debt counsellor about taking the credit bureau to court and getting an order against them.

  41. I have days African Debt solutions,they told me it’s free, supported by trade and industry department,but when I contact them it’s says number doesn’t exists,I just dropped them an email to cancel, please tell me how to get rid of them? I smell a huge dishonesty.

    • Hi Veronica, can you help us understand a bit more about your comment: ‘I have days…’
      If you have begun debt review then the process has already begun and you should rather follow through. If you are having a hard time getting hold of the debt counsellor please double check the numbers you have vs the numbers shown on their website or on the NCRs website (under the debt counsellor search feature).
      You may have an older number. Perhaps you can drop them an email and let them know (add a read reciept to make sure they get it).
      If you have a friend in the area or are near to them why not go into their offices (address should be on the forms you got or on their website).

      Debt review is great so try sort out the communication issues before you face further issues.

  42. Good day

    Please cn someone help me , i got placed under debt review without my consent basically , at the time i did apply and send throuh all my documents , just to get a quoatation and basically see if it would be a better option , only to find out a few months later that i am listed under debr review.

    How do i go about removing this , since then i have paid up all my debt myself (i havent made one payment to these debt review ppl) i paid all my accounts myself and i just have one more account to settle which i am busy paying .

    Can someone please help me

    • You have two options (1) go via the NCR and ask for help (but the debt counsellor was asked to “review” your debt so the status showing is not incorrect. Option (2) is to finish paying off the last debt and then go to a Debt Counsellor and ask for their help to get the listing removed (for a small fee).

  43. Wow this is heart breaking. I have read all this painful stories. I was under debt review for just two years. I was at all times in contact with my debt counsellor. I finished paying my debts and my counsellor requested paid up letters from all my creditors. After a month my counsellor send me all those paid up letters and a clearance certificate. Also send to every debt review department and credit bureau. I checked my credit score a week later everything was updated in few days. It picked up so good. I never had problems through out the process. I know many people have not been treated good. But trust me if you find a good debt counsellor this is worth it. I wish the NCR could ask employers to be the ones to recommend such good debt review companies. {edited}. They even call you. I never spend lot of airtime. They respond emails daily. I’m now debt free. I want to buy a car but i hate debts. I rather use a taxi.

  44. Hi
    I have a huge problem,I wish u could help me,I’m under debt review with company named fin cure in modimolle,I have managed to pay all my creditors on my own but when I try to reach them so they can give a clearance letter I reach a dead end cuz the phone just ring no one is picking and I heared tht they no longer use this fin cure name is been taken over by another people so I’m losing hope nw

    • You can contact the NCR and ask for assistance on 0860 NCR NCR they may be able to help you locate the Debt COunsellors or a replacement DC. You may have to now pay some fees to get assistance (since at some point you stopped paying your Debt Counsellors as you were supposed to).

  45. Hi please advice. I joined debt counseling in may 2017 with only 1 month being missed. I had a perfect credit profile. I approached a certain deht counselor seeking advice on the issue. I was then offerd to join debt counseling as they would approach my creditors and protect me from creditor harrasment. I had an initial debt of over +-R850k all upto date and only one payment in arrears. A proposed reduced amount was set and i paid it in good faith for the past 2 and a half years. I have now contributed almost R400k towards an initial debt of R850k. When i recieved a statement from my creditors i have come to realise that im in +-R300 in arears and not single debt has been reduced. Meaning im in a far worse position than i was when i went into counseling. This troubles me because i have already contributed R400k towards this debt and seems that all this money is was wasted. Please advise and assist if possible

    • I take it you are looking at the credit providers un adjusted balances. Why not get the adjusted balances with the help of your debt counsellor as you will have made progress through your payments. Check your court order and see how many months it will take you (since there will be interest added to some of your debts during the process). No money should have been wasted???

  46. Hi. Around 2009/2010 i went on debt review after which I was voluntarily sequestrated in November 2011. On recently checking my credit status with ITC , I was told that I am no longer listed as a defaulter but am still flagged as being on debt review. they advised me to contact NCR to assist me in removing the flag. AN NCR staff member informed me that any debt counsellor would be able to do it for a charge Of R450. I contacted {debt counselling firm] whose consultant informed me that only the initial debt counsellor is able to do that. I than managed to get hold of my debt counsellor who said that it would cost around the R4000+ mark to remove the ITC flag.

    Whose is the correct view, the consultant from [debt counselling firm], or what the staff member of NCR says? Would the amount quoted by my debt counsellor be around what it would take to remove the flag? What suggestions do you have and would it be possible to do the flag removal myself, and what process would need be followed than as what would I expect in cost?

    I keenly await your response and thank you for availing this forum for assistance. yours sincerely, Ebrahim

    • The industry does not have any set fees as yet, only some guidelines by different parties. So, different people may charge different things.
      Any Debt Counsellor can remove the flag (after they jump through a bunch of hoops that take time and energy)

      You will not be able to remove the flag yourself easily but you could try via the complaints process at the credit bureaus and if that fails via a court or the National Consumer Tribunal (you could give them a call and ask about how you can make an application).

      Perhaps it is wise to simply find a cheaper quote from another debt counsellor.

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