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Unhappy With Your Debt Counsellor’s Service?

Some consumers feel that they are getting poor service from their Debt Counsellor and then contemplate trying to stop their debt review.

Some consumers who enter the debt review process expect things to miraculously become better. They expect everyone involved to be perfect and all credit providers to suddenly treat them fairly with no challenges along the way. Such expectations are obviously unrealistic.

Sadly many consumers do not receive a high level of ongoing support and communication from their Debt Counsellors. This can leave them underinformed about the process and what to expect. This can mean that the consumer begins to feel that they are not getting good service from their Debt Counsellor.

Consumers often grow disappointed in their Debt Counsellor and grow frustrated that the credit providers are still phoning them or that the PDA are not sending them statements regularly or other similar reasons.  Sometimes consumers get confused about who and what the Debt Counsellor can actually control. They think the Debt Counsellor is all powerful and when they realize this is not the case they can grow dissatisfied.

The next step is they start to think that the entire debt review is not working because one facet of the process is not working smoothly.

Debt Review Is a One Way Process

It is important for consumers to realize that when entering debt review they have begun a legal process with many intricate and specific steps.

Simply deciding to stop paying doesn’t make the legal debt review process somehow disappear, Since debt review is done via the courts and is a legal process regulated by the National Credit Act (NCA), not going ahead with the process, as set out in law, will pretty soon have serious ramifications on their future financial wellbeing. Simply walking away from the process and refusing to pay will not solve any problems. It will, in fact, makes things much worse.

‘Simply walking away from the process and refusing to pay will not solve any problems’

Imagine if you are unhappy with the service that you are receiving from your mobile phone company and you decide to just stop paying for your contract (or to stop buying new airtime). What will happen to your access to their network?

Will the network let you carry on making calls if you have not paid?

Even if you are getting lots of dropped calls or if your phone battery is dying much faster than before and you have a legitimate concern: If you do not pay, they will cut off your access to the network. Debt review is somewhat similar. If you do not pay then it is not your Debt Counsellor who is punished by your decision it is in fact the consumer who is put in harm’s way.

‘What happens next is that you fall out of the protection the entire process has provided over time and face the old collections processes’

What happens next is that you fall out of the protection the entire process has provided over time and face the old collections processes. Credit providers who have offered the consumer amazing concession have seen that the consumer is not interested in settling their debts even with these amazing deals. They then send the matter to their collections agents and do not feel as generous as they did before since the consumer has wasted a huge amount of their time and effort during the debt review. Consumers may find it harder than ever to deal with the aggressive collections and legal processes. They may quickly find they miss the “good old days” of their debt review.

Can You Expect Help From You Former Debt Counsellor?

If a consumer goes through the entire process and pays off their debts then a Debt Counsellor will, no doubt, be more than happy to assist such a consumer, even years after their debt review has finished.

The situation can be very different for a consumer who suddenly stops paying the Debt Counsellor and credit providers through debt review. If they later come back asking for help they may find that they struggle to now get further help from the Debt Counsellor. Debt Counsellors like Doctors or Attorneys offer professional services. If a consumer doesn’t pay for those services then they will not get them.

Stay In The Process

If you are being pestered by credit providers even though you are in debt review, do not blame your Debt Counsellor. It is the credit provider who is to blame. If you are not getting statements from your PDA then ask yourself if you have updated them of your latest contact info? You may be to blame. Regardless, your Debt Counsellor is the one who can help you sort that out.

Is it taking a long time to settle your debts? It was before the debt review and with your court order in place, you now know how long it will take you. Keep a track of the months going by and work with your Debt Counsellor to get the credit providers to maintain accurate calculations on your statement. This can be tricky but your Debt Counsellor and PDA can both help. It might be good to review such matters at least once a year.

‘Whatever you do, do not simply stop paying your legally bound debt review payment’

If you are not getting fast and clear communication from your Debt Counsellor make sure that you are not stuck talking to some junior admin person at the practice. Speak directly to your Debt Counsellor. If you are struggling to do so, be persistent. Due to the Pandemic, many practices have moved or changed location. Be sure you know the current address and contact info.

If you want a particular level of service be sure to communicate this clearly to your Debt Counsellor, perhaps even in person or by registered mail.

Whatever you do, do not simply stop paying your legally bound debt review payment. This will not solve any of the challenges you face.