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Debt Counselling at Taxco

The Taxco Debt Counselling Process to Financial Freedom


Step 1 - A consumer is unable to satisfy in a timely manner all obligations under all credit agreements, in other words, has difficulty to pay his debts, as and when they are due.

The consumer contacts the Taxco debt counsellor (DC) or his representative/agent and asks for assistance. Here the client is informed about the process and their rights, responsibilities and obligations. It is in the interest of the client to make sure that they understand the process from an early stage. The client completes his information on an input form and he is informed of all the documentation that is needed to assess his financial position. All questions should be answered truthfully.

Step 2 - Application for debt review: completion & signing of Form 16

Should the consumer be interested in applying for debt review after all the items in step 1 have been explained to the consumer, the debt counsellor (DC) will assist the consumer in completing Form 16. The declaration contained in Form 16 is explained to the consumer in clear and simple language. The consumer pays the application fee of R57.00, if required by the debt counsellor.The debt counsellor provides the consumer with a receipt as proof of application for debt review as contemplated in section 86(4)(a). The consumer is provided with a copy of Form 16.The consumer must provide the debt counsellor with all the requested infomation and documentation.

Step 3 - Debt counsellor advises credit providers and credit bureaus of the application for debt review

Within 5 days the DC must notify all credit Providers and credit bureaus of the application using a form.17.1. Credit bureaus are always advised through the web site. The debt counsellor may also request financial information needed from the credit providers in order to make a determination of over-indebtedness at this stage. This may be requested on Form 17.1.Ensuring that notifications are completed and delivered in the correct manner will reduce gaps in communication between credit providers and debt counsellors which will ultimately benefit the consumer. Regulation 24 (5) requires that all documents can be delivered by fax, registered mail or email. DC must then independently verify all of the information.Proof is kept of all correspondence. Credit providers must provide the debt counsellor with financial information within five business days from the date such information was requested. The credit provider will use this opportunity to inform the debt counsellor of any accounts with credit balances (i.e. investments, savings etc). In the event that a credit provider fails to provide the requested information, the debt counsellor may accept the information provided by the consumer.

Step 4 – Reminder

If five days have lapsed and no response has been received from a credit provider in respect of information requested in step 3, the debt counsellor may send a reminder to the credit provider that the information is outstanding.

Step 5 - Determination and proposal

The debt counsellor makes a determination whether the consumer is over-indebted in terms of regulation 24(7). This determination must be made within thirty days of the signature on Form 16, but may be made  as soon as after the fifth day after the form 17.1 was submitted to credit providers. In the case where consent is to be sought, ten days after the expiry of the five days grace given in step 4, the determination must be done. This is within the 30 days allowed by the regulations.

Having made the determination the debt counsellor must inform the credit bureaus and the credit providers on a form 17.2 in the normal way. In order to make such a determination the debt counsellor must make use of the information provided by the credit providers. If the consumer is over-indebted the debt counsellor must prepare a debt restructuring proposal or in cases where the case is to hopeless to make a proposal it will be directly referred to the court for a hearing. Where consent is to be sought the proposal must be sent to the credit providers. The proposal must be sent within 25 days from date of application. This proposal must be submitted to all the credit providers who will then in turn have 10 days to respond.

Step 6 - Reminder from credit provider

If the debt counsellor fails to send a proposal after the ten days have elapsed, credit providers may send a reminder that the proposal and declaration is outstanding. The debt counsellor must submit the proposal within five days of this notice if he wishes to proceed with getting consent.

Step 7 – Reminder from debt counsellor

If the credit providers have not responded within ten days of submission of the proposal, the debt counsellor would submit a reminder. The credit provider must provide an answer within five days of the reminder. If after this period the debt counsellor has still not received a reply he must notify the credit provider that he will proceed as if the proposal had been declined.

Step 8– Formalise 

The debt counsellor will now formalise the rearrangement. If all of the credit providers agree then the debt counsellor will make the debt rearrangement a consent order by the courts. If one or more of the credit providers do not agree to the proposal then the case has to be set down for a hearing in court and at this stage there will be applied for reckless and unlawful agreements. The agreement has to be formalised by the debt counsellor within 60 business days from the date of the Form 16 being signed.

Step 9 – Termination

Unless the matter has been resolved, or unless the matter was set down the credit provider may send out a termination notice as contemplated in section 86(10) of the Act. This may only be done if the agreement is in default. Note: a credit provider may terminate a debt review even if a consumer has been making payments and a proposal has been sent. A debt counsellor must proceed to court to obtain a consent order when possible or bring an application to court if the matter cannot be resolved through negotiations.

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