Debt Review Awards Round Up
It would be fair to say that Debt Counsellors and credit providers who work assisting consumers get out of crushing debt have few opportunities to get all dolled up and enjoy a fancy dinner together during the year. However, the glamourous people who showed up at this year’s Annual Debt Review Awards were looking fabulous and had plenty to celebrate.
The Annual Debt Review Awards Gala was held in Mount Edgecombe, KZN. Almost 200 guests from around the province and across the country arrived in style and looking their best.
Popular DJ Darren Maule was the MC for the evening and entertained the guests with his signature style naughty humour and jokes. Over the course of the next 3 hours, Darren introduced various industry speakers who discussed not only the challenges facing the industry but also the huge successes achieved.
The first speaker for the evening was Ms Kedilatile Legodi of the National Credit Regulator (NCR) she encouraged the audience to celebrate the incredible amount of hard work done and how successful the industry is at responsibly recovering funds on behalf of credit providers. She also wished all the consumers who attended to collect clearance certificates on the evening all the best with their newfound financial freedom.
‘let’s do better, let’s be better’ – Denise Hartley
Other speakers (be sure to check out our upcoming articles about the speakers) all discussed how the process can be improved for consumers. Mr Chris vd Straaten of Hyphen, a Payment Distribution Agency (PDA), Ms Denise Hartley (of Nedbank) and Mr Russell Dickerson (Debt Counsellor & President of DCASA) all presented different views on the same topic. Though they all highlighted the great work being done by all those at the event they also discussed ways to “be better“.
Debt No More
Almost 30 different consumers attended and were very happy to receive their Form 19 Clearance Certificates. These forms show that the consumer is debt free after successfully going through the debt review process. It was so satisfying for the audience to see the fruit of their hard work in front of their eyes. One consumer offered a testimonial of how she had gone from being over indebted and stressed to now reentering the credit market on her own terms.
Guests were able to also enjoy time together having photos taken and eating delicious finger foods during the breaks and finally getting to put a face to email names they have seen for years. It was not uncommon to see guests taking out their phones and exchanging contact information “just in case” of a tough matter where there is an emergency that comes along. This sort of networking was key to all the events of the Awards week.
The final part of the evening revolved around hearing all the results of the annual industry peer review. All the names of those individuals and companies who received the highest ratings through the process. There were several past top rated credit providers and Debt Counsellors who were recognised once again this year as well as several new Debt Counsellors and Credit Providers identified. Some of the repeat winners were Hyphen PDA as well as credit provider representatives Consumer Friend (see Pic below) as well as Nedbank, Old Mutual and African Bank. Well done to all those Debt Counsellors who were identified as in the Top 5 in their size category and those credit providers who were highest rated by Debt Counsellors in this year’s online peer review process.
All the results can be found on the www.debtreviewawards.co.za website and will be discussed in depth here on our site over the next few days. Guests mingled after the event for several more hours before heading off to their accommodation – some heading home and others to their overnight accommodation before jetting back to their home cities the following day.
Many travelled to Durban for several days during the Debt Review Awards week, taking the chance to visit local firms involved in the industry (such as in the Wednesday CP/DC visits) and also attended the Friday Workshops in conjunction with the National Credit Regulator. They could be found enjoying dinners together at local restaurants and bumping into one another at the local Gateway Mall over the week. Debt Review Awards founder Mr. Zak King said that he “really was so happy that Durban was getting so much love from the industry and Regulator” and was “happy that the local weather had cooperated and given guests such a pleasant couple of days”.