Your rights regarding debt
Debt if not managed properly can ruin your life. For many one of the first red flags is usually receiving countless calls from creditors and debt collection agencies.
So how do you avoid walking this path? One of the things to do is to financially educate yourself about what your rights are when it comes to your debt.
For most debt collection agencies their core business is to get you to pay up. This often means hounding you at home and work, and just generally making your life very difficult. However, remember that you have rights too.
Some key rights are:
- Firstly, if a debt collector is charging you, you have a right to verify whether the company is registered with the Council for Debt Collectors (CDC) This is detailed in the National Debt Collection Act of 1948. Should you find that the company is not registered you have the right to refuse to do business with the debt collector.
- No debt collector may use force or threaten to use force against you or your family. If so, you have the right to report it to the relevant authorities.
- No debt collector may serve you with any false legal documents. To cross-reference any documentation received, contact the CDC.
- No debt collector may threaten to give or give any information regarding your debt situation to your employer, specifically that which may affect any future opportunities as an employee.
- You have the right to report any debt collector that presents themselves as a sheriff, police officer or officer of the court as this is considered fraudulent.
- No debt collector may spread or threaten to spread any false information about your credit worthiness.
- You have the right to request a cost breakdown of the debt collectors’ fees to verify whether it is in line with the fees stipulated by the CDC.
Dealing with debt collectors is definitely not for the faint-hearted, as even the ones who are above board usually come with a lot of administration and incessant hounding. But this is not your only option.
Debt counselling is a unique debt solution designed and instituted by the National Credit Regulator to specifically assist indebted South African consumers.
Through this process consumers are not only given a second chance at life through having their debt consolidated in a manageable way but are also given protection against creditors and debt collectors.
Until next time.
The MoneyShop Team
This article has been prepared for information purposes only and it does not constitute legal, financial, or medical advice. The publication, journalist, and companies or individuals providing commentary cannot be held liable in any way. Readers are advised to seek legal, financial, or medical advice where appropriate.