PRETORIA – The National Credit Regulator (NCR) cancelled the registration of two debt counsellors.
This follows an investigation by the NCR into the business activities of Liezl De Klerk, a debt counsellor in Clubview, Pretoria.
"It emerged that the debt counsellor failed to comply with the provisions of the NCA (National Consumer Tribunal), its regulations, as well as her conditions of registration as a debt counsellor," said Obed Tongoane, COO at the NCR.
According to a statement released by the NCR, the debt counsellor failed to meet the necessary requirements in a number of ways and also excluded vital information as prescribed in terms of the NCA.
In addition, the debt counsellor charged consumers a fee to the amount of R75 in respect of obtaining a credit report, failed to maintain adequate records to demonstrate her compliance with the NCA, or to refer matters to court in order to obtain court orders within 60 days from the date of the application for debt review, the statement said.
He added that a second debt counsellor, Charmaine Moonasamy, practicing in Lenasia South, Johannesburg, but now residing in Durban Chatsworth, also had her registration cancelled.
The investigation followed numerous complaints lodged against her.
It was brought to light that the debt counsellor had provided the NCR with false information, a criminal offence in terms of the NCA.
Moonsamy allegedly failed to update the database designed by the NCR and also received payment directly from consumers who were under debt review with her.
This is also a contravention of her specific condition of registration.
The National Consumer Tribunal ordered the cancellation of both the debt counsellors’ registration with immediate effect, that their conduct of providing the NCR with false information be declared prohibited conduct, and that the files be handed over to a new debt counsellor, in respect of the consumers who were under debt review with the debt counsellor.
"However, the NCT reserved judgment in respect of an order to refund consumers. This means that the NCT would hand down the judgment in respect of the refund to consumers at a later stage", concluded Tongoane.