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What is a Section 129 notice?

In South Africa, a section 129 notice, also known as an s129 letter of demand, is derived from Section 129 of the National Credit Act. It is a notice (letter) given to a consumer who has not been able to keep up with their payments. The consumer, at this point, has also not made alternative arrangements for the payment of their debt. 

It’s important to note that according to the National Credit Act, and the terms of section 129, this is a required step that the creditor has to take before they can take legal action against a consumer (you).

National Credit Act meaning

The National Credit Act aims to protect the South African consumer who has a credit agreement with any credit provider. In order to ensure the enforcement of the act and regulate the credit industry, the National Credit Regulator (NCR) was formed.

When can I be given a Section 129 notice? 

  • You can receive the notice via registered mail after 20 business days of not paying the debt according to your credit agreement. For example, if you are supposed to make payment on 25 November, and you have not made a payment or alternative arrangements by 23 December, you can be issued with a Section 129 notice. 

What is included in a Section 129 letter?

Some of the most important information included in the section 129 notice is:

  • That the account is in arrears (you have money owing).
  • The amount you are in arrears by.
  • The alternative routes available to you if you are still unable to keep up with your payments. 

This is an example of an s129 notice template that a creditor may use.

As is outlined in this template, if you fail to respond to the creditor by not taking any of the proposed alternative routes, they make take legal action against you.

So, what are these alternative routes and what happens after section 129 notice?

To avoid legal proceedings, one of the routes a creditor should make you aware of is seeking out a debt counsellor to undergo debt counselling (debt review).

Debt counselling is a legal process that helps you pay back your debt, while keeping your assets like your home and car protected. It's important to note that when you undergo the debt counselling process, you will no longer be allowed to apply for credit.

While this may seem daunting—especially if you have been surviving on credit—relying on credit to survive is not sustainable. And if you don't stop taking on further credit, you will continue receiving these letters of demands. Or worse, your assets could be repossessed.

A few other alternative routes a creditor should highlight are:

  • Seeking an alternative dispute resolution agent
  • Taking this matter up with the consumer court or ombud with jurisdiction

A Section 129 notice could be the wake-up call you need

The reason you received a Section 129 notice is probably that you are unable to pay your debt. It’s not because you don’t want to. We understand. With all the fuel and interest rate hikes, keeping up with all your repayments can seem impossible. 

After receiving a Section 129 notice, it's also important to realise how serious this is. If a creditor has served you with a Section 129 notice, they can, following this, take legal action against you. 

While this is a lot to take in, we want to assure you that there is hope. These notices can stop. All the creditors calling you demanding money you simply don’t have can stop.

How? With debt counselling at Meerkat.

With debt counselling at Meerkat, you can: 

  • Pay up to 50% less on your monthly debt payments
  • Reduce your interest rates on your debt from 20% to 5%. How? Our experienced, registered debt counsellors will negotiate with your creditors on your behalf. 
  • Consolidate all your debt into ONE monthly repayment
  • Protect your assets (home and car).

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How does debt counselling work?

After filling in this contact form, one of our knowledgeable Debt Counsellors will contact you to give you a free and confidential consultation. Here, we will determine if you actually are over-indebted and the best next-steps to get you debt-free.

Why Meerkat?

Meerkat is registered with the NCR (National Credit Regulator – NCRDC2613). We understand that life happens, and you can start to fall behind on your debt repayments. We can help you regain financial control and walk the journey with you to becoming debt-free. As a team, we’re looking out for you.

We also offer competitive credit life cover to protect you and your family if you die, are retrenched, become disabled or suffer a severe illness.

Do you know how much you are paying on your current loans for cover? We may be able to replace your existing cover where it makes sense to do so.

We will also kickstart an emergency savings fund as part of your debt management plan. This ensures you have funds available for when life happens. Don't delay, get started today!

Leave your details and we’ll give you a call back to discuss how we can help.

Professional service and complete confidentiality are guaranteed. Join the thousands of Meerkat clients that are on their way to financial freedom.

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