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Debt review is by no means a way to write off debts or escape them, it is a means to reduce monthly payments and eventually regain control of your credit score and financial portfolio.
However debt review is not a negative process- it affords the consumer many rights and protections, provided they adhere to legalities and procedures laid down. The following are the most important protections afforded to a consumer under debt review:
- While under debt review, creditors may not contact or harass a consumer for payment. This protection begins 5 days after the application for debt review has been filed, and lasts as long as the consumer pays the negotiated amount diligently.
- Assets under debt review may not be seized or auctioned. A creditor may not apply for a judgment, summons or attachment on the property. This means that debt review is one of the few debt management options that allow a consumer to retain their assets, provided the assets met the requirements for inclusion when applying for debt review.
- When it comes to your credit score, it is far better to be under debt review than to have judgments against you. Debt review only prevents incurring new debt for 5 years after the completion of the program, whereas judgments prevent debt for 10 to 15 years. It is also viewed more favourably when a consumer can prove via their credit history that hey have made concerted efforts to pay their debt to the best of their ability.
Although it is still relatively new to the South African market, debt review protects consumers and takes into consideration the shifting economy that often times plunges a consumer into unmanageable debt.
Article written by: Andrea van Tonder 03-2013