Consumers who find themselves in a bad debt situation are often afraid to ask for debt help, or they do not know who to ask for help. However since 2007 after the promulgation of The National Credit Act, a variety of debt help remedies were made available to the South African public.
Firstly consumers are now entitled to apply for debt review as a form debt help. Debt review was introduced to protect consumers in an economy where the cost of living is on the constant rise, yet incomes do not match that increase. When a consumer approaches a debt counsellor they will give them application for debt review. From the moment that the application is filed, the consumer is under the protection of the debt review process and can no longer be harassed by creditors for payment.
It is not a means to avoid payment, but a means to extend payment and negotiate with creditors in order to eventually settle all debts. Debt review is the safest form of debt help for a consumer who cannot keep up with debt payment.
There are requirements that need to be met in order to qualify for debt counselling, but even if a consumer does not meet these requirements, a debt counsellor can still be a fantastic source of help and advice to manage debts.
There are other options available such a debt consolidation and sequestration but these do not afford the consumer the protection that debt review does. Therefore the best choice a consumer could ever make is to sit down with a debt counsellor and ask for debt help.
Article written by: Andrea van Tonder 04-2013