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Rights work both ways and both the consumer under debt review, and the debt counsellor helping them has rights and duties to adhere to when engaging the process of debt review.
The rights and duties of the consumer
- Be open and honest about your finances. Do not overestimate or under estimate expenses, every bit of information is vital to create a complete debt review profile.
- The consumer has the right to information and may request the following in writing: The correct documentation, a clear answer to all queries, proof of their NCR certification, a written copy of the proposal and the name of the Payment Distribution Agency.
- Do not expect your debt counsellor to circumvent the Law to accommodate you. They may assist in emergencies, but are always constrained by the National Credit Act and other legislation that applies.
- You have the right approach more than one debt counsellor, or seek a second opinion on your current debt review application.
The rights and duties of the debt counsellor
- A debt counsellor must obey the Law in all respects and adhere to the Code of Conduct they agreed to. They have the right to question excuses and suspicious behaviours from a consumer.
- A debt counsellor must hand in an application for debt review within the stipulated time period.
- A debt counsellor has the right to respect, and should be afforded the necessary time and information to carry out their duties correctly.
- When approaching the courts a debt counsellor should show good faith and be honest when arguing for a consumer.
Article written by: Andrea van Tonder 03-2013