The National Credit Regulator (NCR) has announced that it has referred Wesbank a division of FirstRand Bank Limited to the National Consumer Tribunal for alleged breaches of the National Credit Act 34 of 2005 (NCA) following an investigation into Wesbank’s debt collection practices.
The NCA allows consumers under an instalment agreement, lease or secured loan to surrender the goods that they have purchased under these credit agreements.
“The typical example is motor vehicles that are bought under instalment sale agreements which can be returned voluntarily by defaulting consumers to credit providers,” says Jacqueline Peters, manager investigations and enforcement.
“The investigation by the NCR revealed that Wesbank through its debt collection agents coaxed defaulting consumers into relinquishing possession of their motor vehicles. This procedure undermines the voluntary nature of the surrender process, added Peters.
“The voluntary surrender procedure provided in the NCA is one of the options available to a consumer who is in default under a credit agreement. The consumer also has the right to apply for debt review”, says Peters.
“Consumers are reminded that a credit provider can only repossess a motor vehicle from the consumer if there is a court order authorising the credit provider to do so”, concluded Peters.