NCR Webinar On The Debt Help System
The National Credit Regulator (NCR) recently held an online webinar for registered Debt Counsellors about their online database portal (called NCR Debt Help or “the DHS”).
Having around 400 people on Teams who are all able to mute and unmute at will can create some challenges. It was necessary from time to time for the hosts to remind those in the audience to mute or raise or lower hands, all the usual logistical stuff that can be amusing or frustrating depending what mood you are in. Regardless, the meeting was well attended with those who had a simultaneous meeting of Debt Counsellors in Cape Town also trying to tune in and attend as well.
The Hot Topics
Debt Counsellors are required by the NCR to make use of their Debt Help System. Development of new features always takes time. Some of the most recent changes relate to the NCR deciding to make Debt Counsellors prove each step of their work for each consumer entering debt review before they (the NCR) would then change some statuses on the system for each consumer. As you can imagine with hundreds of thousands of consumers int he process at the same time and with their cases requiring updates on the system regularly it has been a huge workload for the NCR.
The change to checking each step of the process was done primarily to try to catch out a few naughty Debt Counsellors who are not doing exactly what they need to for each consumer. At first, the focus of the NCR was to try to cut down on naughty Debt Counsellors who were saying consumers have paid up all their debts when perhaps they have not. Later, the focus shifted to trying to see if Debt Counsellors are accurately reporting on court orders and NCT orders.
Since this new process of submitting this step by step info has added quite a lot of extra work for the Debt Counsellors which eats into the time they have available to help consumers each day (and earn a living) it has not been very popular.
Also, some Debt Help status codes that were used before have shifted or changed a little. These were discussed. Some Debt Counselors have not been sending the NCR all the documents required for some status changes and this was discussed in some detail. Though there might be reasons why this is the case it will simply delay matters if everything is not sent in one go.
The NCR monitoring team spoke briefly about future features the system will have that will make things easier for them to do their monitoring. This and other features will be eventually available but development takes time.
The Next Webinar
During the 1.5 hour presentation and with the questions that were asked, it became clear that the NCR complaints department needed to be on hand to answer many questions. It was decided that a follow up session would be organised with the NCR Complaints Department invited. Debt Counsellors were very happy to hear this would happen and were encouraged to submit additional questions (and some examples) in advance. Emails can be sent to: Qloni@ncr.org.za