On the 5th of March RCS held their Annual EDC Awards Celebration for 2020. This year, the event was held in a virtual fashion and highlighted top outsourced debt collection organisations that have made a considerable impact in recovering funds on behalf of RCS.
Consumer Friend was once again announced as the winner of the prestigious EDC of the year (specialised) award, which was accepted by Director, Scott van Staden. Consumer Friend provides RCS with specialised business support services for debt rehabilitation and debt review. A key focus of the business is ensuring cash flow optimization, through unique collections and debtor management strategies.
"We appreciate the recognition from RCS and are pleased to have had the opportunity to provide stellar service to RCS for over 13 years," said van Staden.
NCR Circular on Standardised Court Orders
Towards the end of 2020, after deliberations with various related stakeholders, the NCR issued a circular developed by the CIF with proposed operational solutions to standardize debt review court orders. It further addresses the inability of debt counsellors to comply with the 2012 Regulations due to delays by the courts to make the granted court orders available within 5 working days.
The following must be included in a debt review court order:
Name, surname and NCRDC number of the debt counsellor
Name, surname and ID number of the consumer/s
Name and NCRCP number of the credit providers
Credit agreement details (type and account number)
Clauses in the Order should align with the prayers in the notice of motion
A clause confirming the consumer/s to be over-indebted
When the Order refers to annexures, all annexures to be clearly marked and attached to the order.
Payment related inclusions in the court order:
A copy of the debt re-arrangement proposal
Estimated starting date of payment
A clause confirming that the distribution is subject to the principle of cascading repayments.
The final debt re-arrangement proposal acceptance letters of the credit providers.
The circular goes further to address general exclusions from court orders. The Circular refers to 2 clauses that should be excluded and not be referred to in the court order. They are:
A clause referring to a PDA because a PDA is not a party to the court order
A clause referring to the appointment of the debt counselor because a debt counsellor is subject to change. This is simply to avoid variation applications when a consumer is transferred or a debt counsellor is deregistered, dies or their registration has since lapsed
The final part of the circular remedies the inability of debt counsellor to comply with the 2012 Regulations due to courts not providing the court order within 5 working days.
The following working days have been extended:
Regulation 2(3) and Regulation 3(3)
The debt counsellor must collect a copy of the court order from the clerk of the court and deliver it within 15 working days from the date of issue to the affected consumer and each credit provider.
Should you require a copy of the Regulations, please don’t hesitate to let us know.
Industry Ready to Commence After Festive Season
Whilst most of the bigger debt counsellors remained open with skeleton staff during the festive season, all debt counsellors are due to return to work between the 1st and 2nd week of January 2021.
The courts are due to open the 2nd week of January 2021.
UPDATE: 08 January 2021
Towards the end of January 2021, the NCR issued a circular wherein they authorised the transfer of several consumers from debt counsellors who have been deregistered or whose registration has lapsed.
They provided the details of the debt counsellors to whom the consumer will be transferred. Whilst the circular stated that we will be contacted by the new debt counsellors to facilitate the transfer, we have proceeded to get in touch with the new debt counsellors to obtain a list of the affected consumers.
Once we have these details, we will proceed with the transfer on our system.
A message from our CEO at the Virtual 2020 Debt Review Awards
Consumer Friend wins "Best Retail Finance Credit Provider" at the Debt Review Awards 2020.
Consumer Friend appointed to Administer EDCON (RCS Book) Debt Review Portfolio
Consumer Friend, the largest subsidiary of the Upstream Group, provides comprehensive outsourced services for accounts receivables that have become part of the Debt Review process.
Consumer Friend has recently been appointed to take over the Debt Review administration process for a significant portion of the RCS-Edcon portfolio.
ABSA recently sold its Edcon store card portfolio to the RCS Group. This includes the Edgars' and Jet Stores consumer credit portfolio. RCS has been a client of Consumer Friend since 2008 and as such this newly acquired RCS portfolio becomes an extension of the existing and long-standing RCS and Consumer Friend business relationship. "We are fully satisfied with the working relationship that we have with Consumer Friend," said Unati Manyela, Recoveries Manager at RCS.
Through a combination of skilled people, efficient processes and leading-edge technology, Consumer Friend performs at the forefront of the Debt Review industry consistently providing superior, relevant and professional solutions.
ISO 9001:2015 Certification for Consumer Friend
The quality policies of Consumer Friend span the entire breadth of its operations. From our Client service and recruitment policies through to the core service of outsourced Debt Review management, Consumer Friend is committed to consistently delivering the highest quality service.
This has once again been evidenced by the recent ISO 9001 2015 certification award to Consumer Friend.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a national network of Institutes of 147 countries with a central secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland. The organization establishes best practice standards for companies and certifies them after a successful audit of their systems and processes.
The significance of ISO certification is two-fold.
The documentation of operating procedures ensures that Consumer Friend operates at the most efficient levels.
The certification assures clients that Consumer Friend's quality standards are amongst the best in the world.
Bi-annual independent audits are conducted to ensure that Consumer Friend continues to meet the ISO 9001:2015 standards. Consumer Friend is a proud member of the Upstream Group of Companies.
KWAZULU-NATAL, 18 June, 2020 - Lendcor, an established leader in the prudent financing of home improvements, operating mostly in rural areas, has mandated Consumer Friend, the leader in outsourced Debt Review solutions, to manage their Debt Review portfolio.
Consumer Friend will provide Lendcor with Debt Review administration in the form of workflow management and the related customer services. The Consumer Friend offering to Lendcor includes Credit control and the services of receipting, balance management and collections.
All Industry participants in this process will have access to the DReX™ platform, which provides an intelligent and omni-channel integrated portal for managing Debt Review workflow, credit control and related compliance.
"We are committed to assisting Lendcor with the Debt Review process, and necessary compliance in terms of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) and the National Credit Act (NCA), via our unique DReX system. We are also confident that we will be providing world-class service to their customers and the debt counsellors involved in the process," said Scott Van Staden, a Director of Consumer Friend.
RCS 11th Annual EDC Awards 2019 EDC of the Year
On the 13th of March RCS held their Annual EDC Awards Celebration for 2019 at Steenberg Estate in Cape Town. The awards highlight top outsourced debt collection organisations that have made a considerable impact in recovering funds on behalf of RCS.
Consumer Friend has once again won the prestigious EDC of the year (specialised) award, which was accepted by Director, Scott van Staden and Head of Collections, Meloshini Naicker.
Consumer Friend provides RCS with specialised business support services for debt rehabilita-tion and debt review. A key focus of the business is ensuring cash flow optimisation, through unique collections and debtor management strategies.
We the management and staff at Consumer Friend are extremely proud of this award and appreciative the recognition from RCS.
Best Retail Finance Credit Provider Award 2019
Dear Friends and Valued Partners.
I'm happy to share with you our recent success in winning the "Best Retail Finance Credit Provider Award" at the 2019 Debt Review Awards held recently in KwaZulu-Natal.
The Debt Review Awards is an industry Awards Program which is specific to the Debt Counselling and Debt Review Industry. Each year, all NCR Registered Debt Review Industry Parties are invited to participate for a chance to win an award for their outstanding service. The Debt Review Awards then gathers and reviews feedback on the various Payment Distribution Agencies - more than 2500 registered Debt Counsellors and over 5000 registered credit providers - to reflect the current level of performance of various industry role players.
We are extremely proud of the recognition given to us by the industry at this year's awards, even more so as we have now retained this title for the past 6 consecutive years!
In addition to this, we are excited to announce that our very own, Justin van der Linde, was awarded the "Significant Contribution to the Debt Review Industry Award" - an accolade that is well deserved!
We believe that the cutting-edge developments currently in the pipeline for our business, will enhance the overall experience for all stakeholders in the review process, and we can't wait to share these with you as they roll out.
As always, it is an absolute privilege to represent you in our industry and we thank you for entrusting your business to us.
Annual Review Sub-Committee – CIF
Justin van der Linde will be representing the National Clothing Retail Federation (NCRF) in an annual review sub-committee, which aims to provide procedural and legal solutions for the annual review of debt arrangements and court orders by the debt counsellor. We believe that the annual review process would assist with achieving the purpose of the National Credit Act, more specifically the speedy rehabilitation of the consumer to ensure future access to the credit market.
We will aim to ensure that the annual review achieves the following purposes:
Mitigate the discrepancy in outstanding balances of credit agreements between the credit provider and debt counsellor / payment distribution agent (hereinafter referred to as “PDA”).
Ensure that the consumer’s budget (living expenses) remain realistic.
Ensure that increases or decreases in income are catered for.
Ensure that the increase or decrease in insurance premiums is catered for.
Ensure that additional sources of income (bonus or SARS refund) are taken into consideration and distributed accordingly.
Assist with early rehabilitation and the issue of clearance certificates.
Ensure that the consumer has not applied for additional credit or has made use of his / her credit facilities.
Assist with continual lifestyle changes for the consumer (for example the sale of luxury items).
We will provide an update on this post the meeting date set down for mid-March 2019.
The Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) is currently holding public hearings in order to ascertain if the Bill is in line with the Constitution – this in an effort to ascertain the possible impact.
Genesis Analytics has been tasked to independently assess the socio-economic impact that the Bill may have. Seeing as debt intervention is aimed at low affordability consumers and may impact debt review, debt counsellors have been urged to participate in a survey.
Parliament has confirmed that the National Credit Amendment Bill has been passed by the National Council of Provinces plenary.