A lot of consumers reach out to credit providers so they can open accounts like store cards and credit cards so they can meet their various needs to live a comfortable life. Houses and cars are also purchased with the intention to repay in monthly instalments.
But due to the economic climate in our country and the cost of living, most consumers end up defaulting on their credit agreements. Luckily, some will make it up and rectify the defaults, but unfortunately, most people don’t.
I’ve missed a few payments, now what?
In order to recover the monies owed, credit providers will start with the collection process. They may start calling the defaulting consumer to bring his payment up to date. Unfortunately, some consumers don’t answer phone calls from credit providers (This is not recommended! Contact Meerkat and we’ll deal with your credit providers on your behalf so you can deal with what matters most!)
My credit providers have contacted a court of law. Is that legal?
Yes. A credit provider can approach a court of law for an order to enforce a credit agreement if the account is in arrears for at least 20 business days.
If the credit provider has delivered a written default notice informing the defaulting consumer that they should consult a debt counsellor, consumer court or alternative dispute resolution, then the consumer has 10 business days to respond or take the necessary advice to rectify the default payments.
Why do they need to notify me? They won’t stop harassing me!
This is used to notify the consumer that they need to bring their payments up to date before they start the litigation process against the defaulting consumer.
How will they notify me?
The defaulting consumer will be served with a summons by the sheriff of the court at their place of work or place of residence.
I can’t afford to pay – can I hand over my assets to make up for the repayments?
Yes. This is called voluntary surrender. This includes assets like vehicles and furniture that were bought under an instalment sale agreement.
What do they do with my assets once I return them?
The credit provider has to sell these assets (usually at a public auction.)
So what are my rights?
According to the National Credit Act (Act 34 of 2005) there are a number of legal steps that need to be taken before any goods may be repossessed:
Step 1: A letter of demand:
The party collecting the debt has to send you a section 129 letter of demand to pay the debt. Remember – this letter may only be sent by registered mail or delivered to you personally. The party must be able to prove that you have received the letter of demand by means of a Post Office Track and Trace system report or your personal signature.
Step 2: Sue the debtor:
The summons will be served at the debtor’s last known address. If the summons is served at your previous address, it is regarded as sufficient even if it was not served on you personally.
Step 3: Obtaining a judgement:
Once judgement is obtained, the credit provider can continue with obtaining a warrant to repossess the goods. This warrant is issued by the court and sent to the sheriff. Only the sheriff may give effect to this warrant and repossess your goods.
Step 4: Confiscating goods:
When the sheriff arrives at your address, he must hand the original warrant to you. (You are not obligated to sign anything when your goods are taken.)The sheriff will then confiscate the goods and store them for a few days. (This gives the defaulting consumer a bit of extra time to make up the amount due.) However, if the goods remain in storage and no payment is made – the sheriff will sell the goods at a public auction.
Get on top of your debt today!
Avoid the stressful repossession process and make sure your debt repayments are on track. Contact the team at Meerkat and we’ll provide immediate financial relief and protection from creditors. We enable you to pay off debt in an affordable way without losing assets. You pay one reduced instalment and in many cases we can reduce the interest rate. NO upfront fees.Contact us now to get started.