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Thread: Corporate Bullies

  1. #1
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    Corporate Bullies

    Right - today I am on the war path.

    My domestic worker had her cellphone and wallet stolen by a pickpocket about July last year. This has set of a chain of events culminating in this rant!

    At that stage (and I was still blissfully unaware, she was deeply in debt) Absa had lent her R20 000 - twenty thousand, (no typo) Morkels had given her R6000-00 credit and Edgars had given her R8000, Woolworths kindly granted her R7000 credit, she had a Cell C contract and a current account with Capitec Bank - I reiterate she is a domestic worker and she has no other form of income. Her salary is below R3000 per month and she has 3 dependents at home - she is widowed.

    Because her phone was stolen, I became aware of the problem as I started getting the calls on my cellphone (her back up number) - realising the magnitude I told her to sort her problems out and go and see a debt counsellor. She did.

    She went under debt review and this counsellor has given me proof of all the agreements that the various creditors have signed agreeing to this lady going under debt review.

    So this SHOULD be the end of it - except that she will continue to pay this off for ever and ever and ever.

    Except that since October when all this took place the calls from the creditors have not ceased. And since January this year the debt collecting calls have without a doubt escalated again.

    So today I take the phone and a collection clerk from Edgars tells me that my domestic worker MUST pay more as the amount they are getting from the Debt Review company is not sufficient for them.

    Me "I beg your pardon"
    Them " She MUST increase her repayments to us as the amount from the Debt Review company is not sufficient"

    Me 'So you have received the disbursements?"
    Them "yes, but as we said we need another R800 from her by the end of February!!!"

    Me ".........silence....." *gobsmacked* - for 30 whole seconds before I utter words that may not be repeated on this here, decent, forum.

    Them "Did you hear me?"

    Well at this point I told them go and jump, (haha believe that if you wish) , never to phone here or any number on or off my premises or related to anyone I know, ever again, as I will go and lay a harrasment (sp?) charge against every person in this particular clerks upline until I reach the CEO of Edcon.

    At this point noticing how angry I am the domestic worker timidly tells me ABSA had phoned her neighbour last week and given the neighbour exactly the same story!! (The neighbour was obviously used as a referee at the time of opening that account)....

    So I phoned the Debt Review guy and he says...HE is ready to jump off a bridge and quit the industry because this behaviour from the banks and corporates is escalating dramatically, especially since Jan 2011. He feels that their behaviour has negatively affected at least 2 of his own clients (putting their jobs in jeopardy) in the last few weeks and he understands why there are so many debt related suicides.

    Bottom line is the corporates KNOW and they don't CARE and if we don't educate ourselves as the public and stand up to these bullies we will continue to lose forever. PS! He also said that exactly the same thing happens with prescribed debts. They are going back to their books of 10 and 15 years ago and trying to recoup THOSE debts.

    I think they are in deep dwang and we, as a people, need to recognise this and arm ourselves with knowledge and paper trails of agreements!

    *PS Dave, this forum does not have enough of those emoticon thingies to express what I am thinking and feeling at the moment*
    Regards

    Debbie
    debbie@stafftraining.co.za

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  2. #2
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    What is proving troublesome is the debt restructuring provisions of the NCA hasn't been solving the over-indebted problem for many people.

    Late last year a formula was developed as to what was a viable debt restructuring case. I think what is happening now is a lot of existing agreements are being revisited based on that formula.

    What I find curious though is if a case isn't viable i.e. debt restructuring clearly isn't going to work out, what then? Good old insolvency proceedings?

    On average, would the creditors be better off in that situation?

    I suppose the secured creditors might be...
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  3. #3
    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    I think those people "Creditors" are missing the point as they are to blame. How did she accumulate the debt in the first place? They gave her access knowing her situation as a credit check must be done before credit can be given.

    Clearly they acted unlawfully by allowing this person credit in the first place. I find it strange that the debt counsellor didn’t point that out in the beginning?

    I have a friend with a similar situation, he got himself in a world of trouble and sometimes I feel that the credit checks being done is not enough because it doesn’t paint the full picture, secondly he is to blame because he wanted the credit to start with.

    If they phone again tell them that it is not your problem and “click” if they phone back you slap them with arrestment as it is NOT YOUR PROBLEM! If they agreed to the amounts as you said they did and you saw the proof then remind them that they did agree to the amount and that this is pure intimidation and that you will take action because it is NOT YOUR PROBLEM!

    That will shut them up I am sure.
    peace is a state of mind
    Disclaimer: everything written by me can be considered as fictional.

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debbiedle View Post
    ........various creditors have signed agreeing to this lady going under debt review.

    So this SHOULD be the end of it - except that she will continue to pay this off for ever and ever and ever.
    That phrase led me to think that insolvency might have been a better option. If they persist down the restructuring road I doubt she'd have anything to loose.
    Maybe just point that out to the person on the phone next time they get pushy about it.
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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyD View Post
    That phrase led me to think that insolvency might have been a better option.
    I would love to hear the result of that conversation
    peace is a state of mind
    Disclaimer: everything written by me can be considered as fictional.

  6. #6
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    One other aspect is I'm given understand the administration order needs to be reviewed annually.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  7. #7
    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    I think a proper investigation is in order; a credit check must be done by the creditor before credit can be given. Now the system was designed to stop people from borrowing more then what they can handle. So start with ABSA and the R20000 Morkels with R6000. Edgars R8000, Woolworths R7000 and the Cell C contract. So in total you are looking at R41000 excluding interest.

    Now where was the line drawn?

    If the Creditors are not happy with the small payments then they can demand more money but in her case that would be financially impossible. So what other alternative is there?

    AndyD is right in the end insolvency might be the better option.
    peace is a state of mind
    Disclaimer: everything written by me can be considered as fictional.

  8. #8
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    Being slightly calmer today - it is just painfully obvious that the systems are not being adhered to right from word go (the granting of the credit - a matter I did challenge with the debt review dude, but it falls outside his mandate??), through to the proposed solution (debt review) and thereafter.

    To top all of this off - this person has a grade 3 education from a farm school, she is totally illiterate. She cannot and does not begin to understand the precarious position she is in. She was given her RDP house 18 months ago and I will be most surprised if ABSA don't lay a claim to it. I am also willing to bet my bottom dollar that this is the case for at least 40% of the people in our townships.

    Our people are sitting ducks! From a business viewpoint the behaviour is totally unethical. From a legislation viewpoint I guess they will have to have a committee to look into the possibility of starting a process! Sorry going to stop now as I am again!
    Regards

    Debbie
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  9. #9
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    I see this time and time again with my staff taking on credit.It has got so bad that I have told them before they sign anything,they must bring the paperwork to me so that I can explain to them exactly what they are signing for.If they want to sign after that, then so be it.

    Last year I had a brief word with one of the potential creditors (Furniture Company) and asked what interest my staff member would be paying.She said the 'normal' ,so I asked what the 'normal' was .........32% plus the club fee and insurance.I don't know how these guys sleep at night preying on the poor illiterate people out there.After telling my staff member not to sign,she signed and now we are a step away from the garnishing order because payments have not been made.

    I wish there was some form of recourse for these guys.

  10. #10
    Email problem solweb's Avatar
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    Take the legal option

    Contact the nearest Law School and ask if they can assist. Usually they have law clinics for the students to gain experience. The companies involved here were irresponsible and deserve to be rapped over the knuckles.
    Michael Vella
    Web Presence Solutions - www.solutionsweb.co.za

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