I got a Sec129 letter – What Now?

Section 129 Negotiations & Dispute Resolution

 

Before you default

 

Speak to your credit provider and request that your repayments obligations be restructured. Most credit providers are willing to do this if you approach them early.

 

When in default

 

At this point the credit provider can issue a letter in terms of Section 129 of the National Credit Act to a defaulting consumer under a credit agreement before the credit provider is able to approach a Court to enforce the credit agreement.

 

The purpose of the S129 Notice is to advise a consumer that he may refer the credit agreement to a debt counsellor, alternative dispute resolution agent, consumer court or ombud with jurisdiction, with the intent that the parties resolve any dispute under the agreement or develop and agree on a plan to bring the payments under the credit agreement up to date, before the expiry of a period of 10 business days from receiving the letter.

 

When you as the consumer receive a statement or letter stating that your account is in arrears/default, DO NOT WAIT for the S.129 Notice before you request assistance. Be pro-active and make necessary arrangements directly with your credit provider. If the negotiations with the credit provider fail CONTACT the NDMA immediately for assistance.

 

If an account has been in default for at least 20 business days, and where 10 days have elapsed after the credit provider has drawn the default of an agreement to the attention of the Consumer by giving notice in writing and proposed that the consumer refer the agreement to an alternative dispute resolution agent, debt counsellor, ombud with jurisdiction or consumer court with the intent that the parties resolve any dispute and/or develop a plan to bring the payments under the agreement up to date (the S.129 Notice), a credit provider may approach the court for an order to enforce a credit agreement.

 

Where the consumer has not yet received a S.129 notice, that agreement may be included in the debt review process in terms of the law, but after the credit provider has issued a S.129 Notice, it is important to note that the Consumer must approach an alternative dispute resolution agent (ADR), ombud, debt counsellor or consumer court without delay with the intent to bring an account up to date or resolve any dispute and/or develop a plan to bring the payments under the agreement up to date.