Credit act could be good for those who have been blacklisted
What benefits will the National Credit Act bring in June?
The National Credit Act, which comes into effect in June, will provide some relief for people who have been blacklisted.
Manie Van Schalkwyk, the credit information ombud said that section 73 of the National Credit Act makes provision for specific information to be removed from the credit bureau by June.
Adverse credit information in respect of debt of less than R500 will be removed from the credit bureau according to Van Schalkwyk.
Consumers won't have to apply or contact a credit bureau for the removal of this information; it will be done automatically, Van Schalkwyk said.
If a consumer has not paid an outstanding debt for two years up until September 2006, and the credit grantor has not handed the account over to attorneys for collection or judgement, then all the information relating to that account will also be removed come June this year.
Furthermore, judgement information, which the credit bureau received from the courts, may be removed for debt of up to R500, unless the consumer has more than two unpaid judgments on his or her credit record.
Judgement information, which the credit bureau received from the courts, may also be removed in respect of a debt of up to R5 000, if the judgement is older than 18 months as of September 2006. This is unless the consumer has more than two unpaid judgements on his or her credit record.
In both instances, there is no pre-requisite for the debt to be paid in full for the information to be removed from the credit bureau - the information will be removed automatically without the consumer having to apply for its removal.
"It is very important for the consumer to understand that only the judgement information will be removed from the credit bureau and that consumers still have an obligation to repay the outstanding debt to the credit grantor as the credit grantor can still exercise his rights for example to repossess furniture or to garnish the consumer's salary," Van Schalkwyk said.
Any judgement under R50 000 which has been paid or will be paid by September 2007 will not be displayed on the credit bureau for a period of five years.
"Consumers must see this as an opportunity to pay the outstanding debt in terms of the judgement to get this information removed from the credit bureau," adds Van Schalkwyk.
"This also saves consumers the trouble and money to get the judgement rescinded or abandoned in a court of law to get the information removed from the credit bureau. Consumers must contact the credit bureau with proof of payment to get this information removed and it must be paid before September 1 2007," he said.
It's important for consumers to also check their credit record at the bureau regularly. This makes it easy for consumers to identify information, which has been listed incorrectly and unfairly, which may prevent the consumer from sharing in the benefits intended by the credit act.
Business Report: 20 April 2007
PS. Seems like Christmas is coming early this year?