The removal of adverse credit information and information relating to paid up judgements.
The Removal of Adverse Consumer Credit Information and Information Relating to Paid Up Judgements Regulations, 2014 (‘the Regulations’) comes into effect on 1st April 2014. As per the Regulations, credit bureaus are required to remove the following information, held on the database as at 1 April 2014, from their records:
- All adverse credit information of consumer behaviour such as “delinquent”, “default,” and “slowing paying information.”
- All adverse credit information of enforcement action taken by the credit provider such as “handed over to collections” or “write-off.”
- All adverse credit information (as defined in a and b above) contained within the payment profile of a consumer.
- Credit bureaus are further required to remove all paid up civil court judgements where the consumer has settled the capital amount.
- As at 1 April 2014, the adverse consumer credit information, as defined above, as well as all paid up civil court judgements, will no longer be displayed on the credit bureau records. Consumers should take note that debt review information, sequestrations, rehabilitations and administration orders are not included within the Regulations and will not be removed.
- The once-off removal applies to the information as held on the consumer’s credit report as at 1 April 2014. It should be noted that any new behavioural or enforcement default or judgement incurred after 1 April 2014 will be recorded on the bureau database as per the normal process followed by credit and service providers.
- Consumers should also understand that their payment history information, will remain on their credit record. Notwithstanding the removal of adverse consumer credit information, credit providers will continue to conduct a thorough risk and affordability assessment to assess if a consumer can afford the debt, before it is granted.
- Consumers are also reminded that they are still legally liable for their debt. The Regulations require the removal of adverse information from the credit bureau records and does not mean that the consumer’s debt will be erased. The Regulations are in no way a debt pardon and consumers are urged to continue servicing all their debt obligations.
- The Regulations also require that from 1 June 2014, all paid up judgements are to be removed from the credit bureau records on an on-going basis which gives consumers an incentive to pay off their debts.
- Currently, judgements are removed after five years, or earlier if rescinded by a court. Under the Regulations, from 1 June 2014, when a consumer has paid up their debt and proof of payment has been provided, the judgement will be removed within seven days after the credit bureau has received notification of proof of payment from the credit/service provider. The consumer will no longer need to go through a court process.
For the on-going removal of paid up judgements effective from 1 June 2014, the process is as follows:
- Once the judgement has been paid up, the credit / service provider has an obligation to send confirmation thereof to the credit bureaus within 7 days;
- Thereafter the credit bureau will remove the judgement from its records within 7 days of such notification from the credit / service provider;
- Consumers may also contact the credit bureaus to provide proof of a judgement being paid up. To do so, a consumer will need to provide the credit bureaus with a copy of their ID, proof of residence and a confirmation of proof of payment letter from the credit/service provider (“the confirmation letter”);
- The credit bureaus will send the confirmation letter to the credit / service provider for verification, whereafter, provided the confirmation letter is valid, the judgement will be removed from the consumer’s record;
- Within 3 days of the removal of the judgement from the consumer’s record, all credit bureaus will be advised of the removal after which they will also proceed with the removal;
- If a consumer is not satisfied with the outcome, they can lodge a complaint with the Credit Ombudsman on 0861 622 837.
- Consumers are encourage to take advantage of the free annual service provided by the credit bureaus as prescribed by the National Credit Act, which gives them the right to access their credit reports once a year at no cost.
Credit Bureau Details:
The credit bureaus may be contacted as set out below:
- TransUnion mytransunion.co.za – 0861 51 41 31
- Experian S.A creditexpert.co.za – 0861 10 56 65
- Xpert Decisions Systems (XDS) credit4life.co.za – 0861 482 482
- Compuscan compuscan.co.za– 0861 51 41 31
- Consumer Profile Bureau c-p-b.co.za-010 590 9505
Courtesy Credit Bureau Association.
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