Last year saw a few amendments to the National Credit Act in South Africa. Were you aware? Do you have an idea as to what it means to you, the consumer? You need to make sure that you know where you stand with regards to the Act so that you are not abused by any financial institution or creditor.
Blacklist and Smearing Protection
When you are unable to pay debts, either because of lack of funds or otherwise, then you can expect to be blacklisted. This term is denoted ‘bad credit’ because of the inability to repay monies owed over an adversely long period of time. However, the new act prevents there from being recorded credit history once a party has paid back all monies due. This is good news for consumers that have been blacklisted in the past, bad news for creditors who have no way of checking credit-worthiness.
Debtors have gone to great lengths in order to obtain credit clearance. In order to get clearance an individual had to have zero outstanding debt, even that of a long-term mortgage. Now clearance can be obtained if your only outstanding debt is that of a mortgage. In this case, threats against the individual concerning “credit history” and clearance no longer apply.
Affordability Assessment Regulations
The NCA has put in place a set of regulations that disallows creditors from giving credit to those who cannot afford to pay back monies owed over the regulated time. A creditor can choose to extend credit and implement agreements only if they fall within the boundaries set by the Affordability Assessment Regulations.
Delivery Of Notice
A court notice concerning the debt owed by an individual or organisation must be delivered to the person directly, and notice will require a signature for proof of delivery purposes. This will stop debtors from being taken to court and/or being blacklisted without having prior knowledge of notice.
All of the following amendments have been put in place to further protect the debtor from abusive credit providers. However, these amendments also mean that creditors who stay within regulation, and carry out the appropriate methods of granting credit, have improved stead when it comes to being considered good credit providers.