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Thread: Incidental credit agreements

  1. #1
    Silver Member Eugene's Avatar
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    Incidental credit agreements

    An incidental credit agreement (ICA) is any agreement in terms of which a charge is levied for payment of an invoice after a specific date OR where 2 prices are quoted to the consumer and the lesser applies to payment on or before a specific date and the higher applies for payment after such date – therefore an extra charge or levy for late payment.

    The NCA contains certain exemptions in respect of such incidental credit agreements:

    - Credit provider under an ICA does not have to register with the NCR;
    - Provisions relating to reckless credit (specifically the assessment to be done by the credit provider as to whether consumer can afford the credit or is over-indebted) do not apply to the credit provider under an ICA; and
    - An ICA does not have to adhere to the Act’s requirements as to the form and contents of a credit agreement.


    The definition of an ICA is clearly very wide. The NCA may thus apply to most businesses who are in the practice of charging a fee for late payment of accounts to their clients (significantly also e.g. municipalities in the case of overdue amounts on periodic statements – see sec. 4(6)(b) above).

    Some comments on an ICA:

    - An ICA is deemed to have been concluded 20 business days after (i) the fee for late payment was levied or (ii) the date a pre-determined higher price for full settlement of the account first becomes applicable, unless the account is fully paid by the consumer before that date;
    - Credit provider may only recover certain costs and fees, and the maximum interest is limited in terms of the Act;
    - If a consumer defaults under an ICA, and before he/she receives a default letter, the consumer may apply to a debt counselor to be declared over-indebted – if confirmed by a magistrate / magistrate conducts own investigation the consumer’s obligations under the ICA may be rearranged;
    - A supplier seeking to enforce an arrangement which has become an ICA will initially have to send the consumer a default letter proposing a referral of the matter to a debt counsellor, alternative dispute resolution agent, or a consumer court, with the intention of resolving a dispute or agreeing on a debt payment plan. The supplier may only approach the Court for enforcement if:
    The consumer is in default for 20 business days;
    10 days have elapsed since a default letter;
    Consumer has failed to respond to the letter or rejected the proposals in the letter;
    The matter is not pending before any tribunal, consumer court or debt counselor; and
    The agreement is not the subject of a debt re-arrangement. (See sec. 130)

  2. #2
    Email problem
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    Hout Bay
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    I really think that the Incidental Credit Agreement requirements are OTT and overly onerous on Small Business. If you are a one person firm, say an artisan such as a plumber, and your customer should pay you at the end of the job but doesn't, I think that it is really unfair that after 20 days of the customer breaching their obligations the plumber is suddenly sucked into complying with the NCA. There should be a means of small businesses being granted exemptions from compliance with the Act.

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    Dave A (05-May-09)

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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