CIF Update on DCRS
Many years ago credit providers and Debt Counsellors agreed to a set of concessions that credit providers were happy to make if consumers, in turn, met a certain set of parameters. These beneficial concessions can help consumers save money while repaying their debts through debt review*. The process also helps speed up negotiations between credit provider and Debt Counsellor on the consumer’s behalf before the proposal is set before a Magistrate.
Balloon Payments Sink DCRS
Although the DCRS system, as it is known, works well there has been a limited amount of adoption by smaller Debt Counsellors. Most of the larger Debt Counselling firms are eager to use the system and get these benefits for their clients but has hit some roadblocks recently. This was in part due to the prevalence of balloon payments on newer vehicles. This meant that in some cases consumers with new cars could end up being asked to pay even more than their current instalment before entering debt review. Since a major goal of debt review is to reduce monthly costs to a more affordable amount this was counterproductive and problematic.
‘there has been a limited amount of adoption by smaller Debt Counsellors’
The CIF set up a subcommittee to look into the matter and engaged with vehicle financing credit providers (such as Wesbank, MFC etc). These credit providers have now said they are willing to extend the repayment period much longer than was originally planned. This means that proposals made on such vehicles through DCRS will now ‘solve’ or work out.
Most Debt Counselling firms quickly developed an Excel spreadsheet to see if a consumer’s accounts would be repayable via a proposal made through DCRS or not when they apply for help. This was because one problem with DCRS was that it would not tell the Debt Counsellor exactly how much money was still needed to fall within the credit providers preferred repayment structure*
The CIF subcommittee was happy to announce that what is known as a Z file or test file will soon be made available to all Debt Counsellors with the new calculation rules built in. Debt Counsellors will now be able to tell consumers right away if they think a DCRS proposal will work and also see clearly if only a few rand stand between the consumers budget and a successful DCRS proposal. It is hoped that this will increase adoption by smaller DCs.
*please note use of DCRS by Debt Counsellors and Consumers is voluntary and in some cases, other ways of solving the debt can benefit all parties better. Debt review is about balancing the needs of the consumer and credit provider. Negotiation between both parties is also not obligatory and these matters can simply be fought about in court with no concessions from credit providers.