Who can apply for debt counselling?

Anyone who is struggling to meet their monthly debt obligations qualify to apply for debt review, providing they are in receipt of a monthly income

How long will it take to start to feel relief from the stress of my debts?

Almost immediately. Within the first 5 days we will have drafted a proposal to restructure your debts and have created a provisional repayment plan that you can afford. You will then start to make a single monthly payment to a Payment Distribution Agency, who will distribute the money to your various creditors according to your plan. During the first 60 working days, your credit providers will not be allowed to implement action against you and we will use this time to prepare your final repayment plan.

What will happen if my credit providers are not happy with the revised payment plan?

Providing we make a reasonable offer to your credit providers we will request the court to make the review an order of court. Should your credit providers take action against you any payment that was due to them each month may in some instance be used to defend this action. Working with our experienced debt counsellors, it is unlikely the credit providers will not accept your repayment plan.

What does debt counselling cost?

Debt counsellors’ fees are regulated by the National Credit Regulator (NCR) and form part of your monthly repayment amount so you will not be charged any additional or upfront fees.

How long will I be in debt review?

The maximum term in Debt Review is 60 months or until all unsecured debt is settled.

Will my personal information be shared?

Your information will only be used by Meerkat for the sole purpose of offering you affordable products that will further help in reducing your debt and enhance your Debt Review experience.

What if I do not qualify for debt review? Can you still help me

Our knowledgeable consultants can advise you on the best option to financial freedom. Some of our solutions include sequestration and financial coaching.

What is the difference between debt review and debt consolidation?

Debt review involves the restructuring of all your debt repayments into one affordable monthly repayment by extending the terms of your credit agreements and decreasing interest rates, whereas consolidation entails taking out one large loan to settle all debts and only paying back one loan. Consolidation loans require that you are not over-indebted at the time of application.

What is Sequestration?

Sequestration is a process whereby you volunteer surrendering your estate. In so doing, you will no longer be required to deal with creditors’ harassment or repossession of your assets and belongings.

What are the benefits of Sequestration?

  • Your debt counsellor will pay creditors on your behalf; creditors will no longer demand payment from you
  • You will have an affordable monthly repayment plan which you would need to agree to
  • No legal action can be taken against you regarding the debt under consideration
  • Your salary still belongs to you. A “garnishee order”, must be cancelled
  • Your credit record is cleared of judgments enabling a clean record

What is Debt Administration?

Prior to the introduction of the National Credit Act of 2007- protecting over-debted consumers – debt administration was another way for consumers to obtain protection from creditors. Also referred to as ‘Administration’ or to ‘go under administration’.

What is the difference between debt counselling, sequestration and administration?

Debt CounsellingSequestrationAdministration
Protection from creditors     Y     Y     Y
Cheapest     Y (The actual monthly cost is the smallest of 5% of your contribution or R300pm)     X     X (Up to 12% of your contribution to creditors)
Removal of existing garnishee orders     X     X (removes all   current and replaced with single new under administration )
Maximum Debt amount limit     X     Xü  (not greater than R50 000)
Application dependent on assets being sold     X     X        Y

What is the recommended solution between Debt Counselling and Debt Administration?

Debt Counselling is recommended above administration, but for small amounts and removal of existing garnishee orders, administration is the preferred option.

What is a Section 129 notice?

This is issued by creditors in terms of section 129 of the National Credit Act, to inform you that you are in arrears on your credit repayments. The notice will provide options to remedy the default.

It can be sent out to you once you are in arrears of more than 20 working days. Do not ignore it. It is a notification that your creditors could enforce their rights to issue a summons.

Section 129 notices are sent via registered mail and even if you do not collect the letter, if your creditor can prove it has been sent via registered mail and to your address the notice will stand in court.

Contact your creditors to make payment arrangements but do this in writing so that you have a copy of any agreement.

If you need more information contact Meerkat on 021 003 4535

What is Debt Counselling?

Debt counselling is a legal process introduced by the National Credit Act. It is a process set up to help South Africans who are struggling to pay off their debts.

A debt counsellor will offer advice and work with you to develop a restructured repayment plan. On approval of the plan by the credit providers the plan then becomes an order of court. You, the consumer make one reduced payment each month and we will distribute amongst your creditors on your behalf.

When to get help?

  • When panic sets in seeing an unknown number calling you
  • When you are living day to day in your overdraft or from your credit card
  • You receive letters and summons from creditors or lawyers
  • If you start skipping payments to one creditor in order to pay another
  • Ultimately when you become a slave to your debt and your monthly income just goes towards paying off that debt.

Will I have to go to court?

No you don’t have to go to court. Courts are used to dealing with debt review applications and rarely need the consumer to attend. The court order is there to protect you and stop the credit providers from hassling you.

Does this mean I am blacklisted?

During the debt review process the credit bureau will be flagged to let all credit providers know that you are undergoing debt counselling. You will not be able to apply for additional credit. Once your debt is cleared, you will be issued a clearance certificate, the credit bureau is updated and there will no longer be any reference to being under debt review.

Will debt counselling negatively impact me regarding my employment?

No, Debt Review should not impact your current or future employment.

How do you manage to reduce the payments?

We renegotiate the payment terms with your creditors so you pay less over an extended period, and also reduce the interest rate on your loans saving you money in the long term.

Do I need to come and see you face to face?

No, the process can be concluded over the phone, via email and through our innovative mobile app.