The Draft National Credit Amendment Bill has proposed changes, which are aimed at affording consumers greater protection.
These proposals include:
* One preventing the arbitrary termination of debt review proceedings by credit providers, as is currently the case.
* Those allowing the National Credit Regulator (NCR) to apply for credit agreements to be declared reckless by the National Consumer Tribunal. At present, only a court can declare that a credit agreement is reckless, following a proposal to the court by a debt counsellor on behalf of a consumer. “This means that the NCR will be better enabled to investigate and prosecute cases of reckless lending without the intervention of a debt counsellor,” Logan says.
* One giving the NCR the power to refuse to register unsuitable credit providers and debt counsellors. “This will give the NCR greater discretion as to who should be allowed to provide these services,” Logan says.
* A provision to protect spouses of credit applicants who are married in community of property from being liable for their spouse’s debt without their written consent.
* Those relating to the debt review process, enabling the magistrates’ courts to change the interest rates applicable to credit agreements and avoid many of the technical arguments which are currently employed to circumvent or undermine the debt review process.
We support the proposals and look forward to there finalization.