Consumer Friend and NCR Webinar
Consumer Friend have organised another interesting webinar for those in the debt review industry.
This month the webinar is based around the 2009 NCR Task Team and the agreements that arose out of the 2010 Task Team report.
On Thursday 10th March 2022 at 9 am a webinar for Debt Counsellors will be hosted by Consumer Friend featuring speakers from the NCR.
14 years ago debt counselling was in a tough spot. The fairly new National Credit Act mandated that credit providers cooperate with debt reviews but that cooperation was far from perfect and the National Credit Act was written in such a way that many gaps and loopholes existed. Many Debt Counsellors were really frustrated and eventually the NCR had to get involved to try smooth out the process. The result was a task team to try and recommend some steps that would cover over the worst of the glaring issues at the time. The task team would then issue a report and people would be encouraged to cooperate with the suggestions to try to bridge some of the biggest gaps in the NCA.
It would be fair to say that some middle ground and concessions were agreed upon by the biggest banks and major credit providers that helped improve the debt review process. Large strides were made that benefitted many consumers looking for help. True, not all the arrangements were 100% in line with the Act (many went way beyond the Act or ran counter to the proposed purpose of the Act) but they were decent solutions for the most part and thus the NCR were happy to try force credit providers to sign and agree to listen to these voluntary steps. By signing the findings as an agreement, many credit providers locked themselves in and by not signing anything Debt Counsellors sidestepped any requirements other than those they wanted to.
5 Years Later
By 2013 the NCR was pretty tired of registrants still ignoring the findings of the report and suggestions made and so they made a move to turn the agreement into something more binding. They did so by issuing guidelines in 2015 based on the, now more than half a decade old, report. Fortunately, by then most of the main issues that existed way back in 2009 had been sorted out and were now ‘non issues‘.
For the most part the other rather problematic or labour intensive solutions proposed in the report were simply ignored by most parties (like full reckless credit investigations into every account coming into consideration during a debt review). So, the good stuff was already in place, most of the old issues had been addressed in one way or another and the inconvenient or impractical stuff was mostly just ignored.
‘the banks lead the way in saying they would continue to stick to the agreements’
Once again in 2013, the banks lead the way in saying they would continue to stick to the agreements. Admittedly it was that or risk the ire of the NCR. Debt Counsellors only had the guidelines as suggestions since they were non-binding (the NCA allows the NCR to issue their opinions on matters in non-binding guidelines) and were once more able to enjoy the benefits but mostly ignore things they did not want to do.
13 Years Later
Fast forward 13 years and the old Task Team findings and report are being dusted off and discussed once more in the upcoming webinar.
You might wonder: Why bother to discuss a really old and mostly outdated report and guideline from so long ago? Well, the 2009 task team is the foundation for [BASA’s] DCRS rules set which helps Debt Counsellors make prompt proposals to the banks that they can expect to get agreement to without too much push back (in theory no pushback or counter proposals) though this is still an ongoing issue as some credit providers do not always stick to these so called ‘rules’.
‘they are now a very commonly used way to try work out proposals to the courts’
Still, they are now a very commonly used way to try to work out proposals to the courts. Almost all Debt Counsellors use them from time to time if not exclusively.
The Manager of Debt Counselling at the NCR, Ms Kedilatile Legodi will be joined by NCR Legal Advisor, Mr Timmy Van Der Grijp. As Timmy will be leaving the NCR at the end of March 2022 it will for many be a last opportunity to engage with him before his departure.
For more information or to sign up for the webinar (which is not to be missed if you work in the industry) you can click below: