Behind in your vehicle repayments? Here are your options

Vehicle finance arears is a staggering R4.77 Billion, as per Experion South Africa’s latest report.

Consumers are afraid of being left without transport which in most cases, their livelihood depends on. Do you know your rights as per the National Credit Act. If you have missed payments and think that if a debt collector comes knocking your only option is to give up your vehicle, you are incorrect. With 12 years experience in the debt review industry, I have assisted many consumers in looking for the alternative to handing back their vehicles.

Let's take a look at Section 127 of the National Credit Act. A consumer has the right to terminate the agreement with the credit provider and to surrender the goods (vehicle). This is commonly known as voluntary surrender. This means you have decided to give the vehicle back and you were not legally obliged to. When approached by someone who states they are coming to collect your vehicle, ask for identification to prove they are a Sheriff of the Court. A copy of the warrant of excitation should be given to you and you may seek legal assistance immediately. If this cannot be provided, then you do not have to hand your vehicle over. Unfortunately, if the Sheriff of the Court is the one collecting your vehicle, there is little that can be done. If you would like to keep your vehicle, I recommend that you seek professional assistance if you are unable to make debt repayments, don’t wait for legal action to be taken against you. Have you received a Section 129 notice? This is a notice stating you have defaulted on your debt repayments or have been in arrears for more than 20 business days. This is the final chance to do something before legal action proceeds. Section 129 should state that you have 10 business days to rectify the situation. Failing to get your arrears up to date or to get assistance from someone like myself, a debt counsellor, the credit provider may proceed to institute legal proceedings. This can lead to the credit provider taking the steps to issue summons on your vehicle.

If you decide to surrender your vehicle, something you must be aware of is that it may be auctioned off for much less than what is owing to the credit provider, and you will still be liable for this as I discussed in my Link FM Money Matters Interview.

If your outstanding amount on your vehicle is R250 000 and it is put on auction and sold for R100 000 you will still have to pay the remaining R150 000. Not only are you left to pay every month towards this outstanding balance, but you will also have a judgement against you that lasts for 30 Years, meaning getting more credit later will be extremely difficult as you are “ladled” as a “high risk consumer”.

It has taken you some time to find yourself in the situation you are in if you are struggling with your finances, no 5min quick fix will be viable in the long run. I advise that you approach our offices for a full evaluation of your financial situation and a detailed strategy on how to get you out of the stressful situation you find yourself in. If you are happy to proceed with our services a notice will be issued to your credit providers and no legal action can take place thereafter if the process of debt review is followed correctly. Every individual situation is different, and this is why the assessment is vital for us to be able to assist you in your unique situation. Here are some of our happy clients.

Casper le Grange is a Registered Debt Counsellor with the National Credit Regulator NCRDC1560


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