There are numerous consumers who do not know what debt control institutions and what their purpose is. Debt control institutions are organisations where consumers in debt problems can go for the necessary assistance they need. Help and support is needed for those who are stuck with their money problems and need solutions to get out of the mess.
There are a number of institutions in South Africa that focus on effective debt control management. The promulgation of the National Credit Act (NCA) in 2007 allowed these institutions to set up business and begin helping consumers form solid debt control management plans.
The biggest institution is the National Credit Regulator (NCR). It works hand in hand with the NCA to promote the consumer protection values entrenched in the act. They oversee the registration and control of debt counselling, creditors and the various bureaus. In a sense they are like a watchdog on credit activity, making sure that all the rules are strictly adhered to.
The NCA also provides for debt counselling services with trained and certified experts who will provide debt control manage through negotiations with creditors, as well restructuring a consumer’s budget. The Debt Counsellor’s Association of South Africa (DCASA) serves as the guardian of these businesses by regulating them and setting up a code of conduct for all debt counsellors to work under. It also serves as the primary liaison between the government and these agencies.
Another form of debt control management institution exists in the form of credit bureaus. These are companies that collect credit data on consumers and use it to assess whether they are credit worthy or not. These institutions are an invaluable tool to help both creditors and consumers keep track of credit histories, payments and possible fraudulent activity in their name.
Lastly the credit ombudsman is the champion of the consumer when they are the victims of unfair credit practices. If a consumer, when planning a debt control management strategy comes across fraudulent activity or credit practices that will fall outside the scope of the law – they are advised to contact the credit ombudsman, as they will investigate and assist the consumer in confronting this kind of behaviour.
Since the inception of these institution, debt control management is finally within the grasp of the average consumer.