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Woolworths Go Back To Outdated Task Team Rules For Terminations

Credit providers can try to duck out of helping consumers through debt review. They can normally try to do this through a provision in the NCA called Section 86(10).

In turn, consumers who are not happy with this can then ask a court to force the credit provider to help them through the debt review and not waste a new courts time with collections enforcement through a provision in the NCA called Section 86(11). It is a silly and expensive dance that should be avoided at all costs…due to the costs and stress and wasted time and effort.

Sometimes consumers stop paying their debt review and then this section is helpful (or Section 88(3)).

‘consumers … can then ask a court to force the credit provider to help them through the debt review’

Recently, Consumer Friend who handle debt review matters for Woolworths shared a directive they received from their client that they are now going to try and revert to a really old and outdated plan for handling 86(10) “terminations” for when they want to try to get out of the debt review.

There message states (among other  things) that:

We refer to the 2015 Task Team Agreements which define the Rules and Regulations relating to the Debt Review Procedure and more specifically those relating to Termination of

Please take note that as from 24th November 2021 we [Consumer Friend] have been instructed by Woolworths that accounts will be Terminated in the following instances:

Where 60 business days have lapsed since the date of the Form 17.1 and no restructure has occurred.

Where a counter proposal was provided to which the DC did not respond within 10 business days

Where no court outcome has been received within 10 business days of the matter being heard.

Where a Form 17.3 was issued but not accompanied by a revised repayment proposal or the revised repayment proposal was not accepted.

Where the account has been restructured by means of a consent or court order and no payment has been received in terms of the consent or the court order i.e., the court
order is not being adhered to.

Where the 17.2b status remains unchanged for a period exceeding 15 business days, from receipt of the 17.2b.

Where the 17.2c status remains unchanged for a period exceeding 60 business days without payment being received

We record that these instructions are in line with the Rules and Regulations contained in the aforesaid Task Team Agreement

As with many aspects of the really old Task Team report and so called ‘rules’ there are things that contradict subsequent changes to the National Credit Act and court rulings about the NCA that have come out since. Even when the NCR issued a guideline about their task team findings these contradictions and contraventions were not addressed.

Trouble Brewing

Though many credit providers signed a statement that they would stick to the Task Team findings (many years ago) Debt Counsellors were not asked to. So, they have not committed to stick to these particular reasons for 86(10) terminations and are unlikely to agree to them. Especially where these contradict the NCA or new amendments.

It is likely that there will now be push back from Debt Counsellors and this new directive will have to be revisited in the very near future.