FAQ

DEBT COUNSELLING

WILL THE CONSULTATION BE DONE IN PERSON?
“Yes, the whole process can be finalized telephonically or the client can come directly to our office for a full assessment and by e-mail, no matter where you stay in South Africa.”

WHAT IS DEBT COUNSELLING?
“Debt Counselling was formally introduced by the National Credit Act in 2005 to help over-indebted consumers, especially in our current economic crisis. The goal of Debt Counselling is to develop a repayment plan which is affordable to you, as well as acceptable to all your credit providers. It is there to help you, so why not make use of it?”

WHAT RELIEF DOES DEBT REVIEW OFFER?
“You will immediately experience the relief that Debt Review offers. Within the first 21 days, we will work out a provisional repayment plan for you which you will be able to afford. In terms of the provisional repayment plan, you will make a single payment to a Payment Distribution Agency, who will distribute the money according to your plan. During the first 60 working days, your Credit Providers will not be allowed to implement action against you. During this time we will prepare your final repayment plan.”

HOW DOES AMSA-Debt MANAGE TO LOWER MY PAYMENTS?
“In terms of the National Credit Act we, as Debt Counselors, are allowed to lower your monthly payments by extending your repayment periods and in some cases by lowering your current interest rate. “

WHAT IS THE BEST OPTION IN MY PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES?
“Should we believe that Debt Counselling is not the best option in your particular circumstances, we will refer you to one of our preferred service providers to assist you with the most appropriate process, whether it is sequestration or perhaps selling your property.”

NEGATIVE RUMOURS ABOUT DEBT REVIEW?
“Debt Counselling evolved a great deal since it was launched in June 2007 by the National Credit Act. As is the case with the implementation of almost all new legislation, all the grey areas in the Act had to be found and tested in court in order to have the Act run smoothly. We are convinced that the industry has already reached the point where Debt Counselling is now running the way it was intended to by the legislator. We have successfully helped thousands of people since the inception of Debt Counselling back in 2007 and we are happy to see that more and more people are realizing that the system is working. So the answer is yes, Debt Counselling does work.

In some isolated cases there were some bad apples in the industry in the form of Debt Counsellors who were in it for a quick buck. Most of these bad apples have since been worked out of the system, ensuring a dependable industry that is helping thousands of South Africans to deal with their financial distress. South Africa has managed to bring Debt Counselling to a point where it is regarded as one of the most successful of its sort in the world.

It is imperative that you choose the correct Debt Counsellor though, as we are of the opinion that there are still certain Debt Counsellors in the industry who do not possess the necessary skills, competence and experience to offer you the full benefits that Debt Counselling can offer.”

WHAT IF CREDIT PROVIDERS DO NOT AGREE?
“If we feel that your offer towards your Credit Providers is reasonable, then we will endeavour to convince the court that the Debt Review must be made an order of court, even if your Credit Providers do not agree. If your Credit Providers take action against you in these circumstances, then the monthly payments that should go towards those particular Credit Providers may in certain circumstances be used to defend such actions.

At the end of the day the Credit Providers just want their money, so should your repayment plan be reasonable, it is very unlikely that the Credit Providers will not accept it.”

WHAT WILL HAPPEN ONCE I SIGN UP?
“As soon as you apply for Debt Review at AMSA-Debt we will within 5 days (usually less than 48 hours) notify all your Credit Providers that you are under Debt Review and from that point onward they must, by law, communicate with your Debt Counselor and not with you directly. It does unfortunately happen from time to time that some Credit Providers take a chance by making contact with our clients directly, but when that happens, you can merely refer them to your Debt Counselor who will deal with the matter further. “

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DEBT COUNSELLING?
“The mere fact that you are reading this, means that you will most probably benefit from Debt Counselling. The golden rule is not to wait too long before you contact us. The earlier you come to us, the easier it would be to find a solution for you. You can only benefit from contacting us.”

WILL I LOOSE MY HOUSE OR CAR?
“We cannot guarantee that you won’t lose your home or vehicle – this would depend on your unique circumstances. Factors that will determine this will include the following:

Have you received a Section 129 letter from your Credit Provider, and if so, how long ago? If you receive a Section 129 letter from your Credit Provider, you will have 10 working days in which you can obtain the services of a Debt Counsellor, who will endeavour to save the asset.
Have you been served with a summons in respect of your mortgage bond or vehicle finance?
How many vehicles do you have and what are they used for? Quad bikes and Jet ski’s will for example be regarded as luxury vehicles and might have to be returned to the bank.
Are you giving your full cooperation in the program?
The bottomline remains that you will always be in a better position to keep your home and your vehicle when you are under Debt Review, rather than trying to fight off the banks yourself.”

HOW DOES THE PROCESS WORK?
You complete an application form and provide us with the details of all your Credit Providers.
(Consultations are usually done telephonically and by e-mail, but can also be done in person.)
We determine whether you are over-indebted, in other words, do your monthly expenses exceed your monthly income?
(You have to be over-indebted to qualify for Debt Review.)
If you are over-indebted, we shall inform all your Credit Providers and the Credit Bureaus that you are under Debt Review. Your Credit Providers will also be requested to provide us with a Certificate of Balance (COB) in respect of your accounts.
(You will immediately start to pay a single reduced monthly installment in respect of all your Credit Providers which will be affordable to you. During the first 60 working days, legal action may not be taken against you in respect of the debts that are under review.)
After receiving all the COB’s, we will restructure your payment plan and negotiate with your Credit Providers where necessary. After negotiations with your Credit Providers, your new restructured payment plan will be sent to all your Credit Providers and this payment plan will take effect.
(Your restructured payment plan will reduce your monthly debt repayments to an affordable amount, leaving you with sufficient money for your living expenses.)
Our specialist attorneys will go to court on the behalf of you so that your restructured payment plan becomes a granted court order. You will not have to appear in court yourself, as your Debt Counselor will be the applicant in the matter, unless the particular magistrate requires your presence.
(The process will now be completed and you must ensure that your monthly payments are made timeously in order to prevent Credit Providers from taking action against you.)

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