National Credit Act Change Summary 2015

4 Years Ago
Cred-it-data Support Team
Compliance Help

Changes to the National Credit Act

Amended: 2015, Signed into law May 2015


Automatic removal of adverse consumer credit information 

All adverse information recorded on a credit bureau must be removed once the debt has been settled.

Retention Periods for displaying information on the credit bureaus  

Category

Description

Maximum Period

Change

Details and results of complaints

Number and nature of complaints lodged and whether a complaint was rejected. No information may be displayed on complaints which may

6 months

Enquiries

Number of enquiries made on a consumer’s record, including the name of the entity/person who made the enquiry and a contact person if available

1 year

Previously 2 years

Payment Profile

Factual information pertaining to the payment profile of the consumer

5 years

No change

Adverse classification of enforcement action

Classification related to enforcement action taken by a credit provider

1 year (or deleted when settled)

Previously 2 years

Adverse classification of consumer behaviour

Subjective classification of consumer behaviour

1 year (or deleted when settled)

Previously 1 year

Debt Restructuring

As per section 86 of the Act, an order given by the Court or Tribunal

Within the period prescribed in section 71(1) of the Act or until a clearance certificate is issued

Previously until a clearance certificate is issued

Civil court judgements

Civil court judgements including default judgements

The early of 5 years, rescission or abandoned by the credit provider

Previously 5 years

Maintenance Judgements in terms of the Maintenance Act

As per court judgement

Until the judgement is rescinded by a court

This is a new category of data not previously held by the credit bureaus

Sequestration

As per the court order

5 years or until rehabilitated

Previously 10 years

Rehabilitation

As per court order

5 years

No change

Administration order

As per the court order

5 years or until order is rescinded by court

Previously 10 years of until rescinded by court

 

Prior to default/adverse listing with Credit Bureau/s

Previously

New Regulations (15/03/2015)

-

No prescribed debt may be loaded on a credit bureau

-

Minimum installment has not been paid for a minimum of 3 consecutive billing cycles before actual listing **

Consumer must be given 20 business days notification of intention to list

Consumer must be given 20 business days notification of intention to list

No adverse maybe listed if the consumer pays any arrears owing on an account are settled within the 20 business day’s notification period.

 

If the arrears is settled subsequent to the listing – it must be removed from the credit bureau in the next data submission

** Does not prevent you from taking legal action in the normal course of business – such as a letter of demand, cancellation of services, court action.

Affordability assessment requirements  

The affordability criteria are applicable to all consumers, credit providers and credit agreements. There are a number of exceptions, which include where the consumer is a juristic person (inclusive of a sole proprietor and a trust) and developmental credit agreements, study loans, incidental credit agreement, emergency loans and temporary increase of credit under a credit facility. Credit providers should determine the consumer’s current financial means and prospects (income), as well as the consumer’s existing financial obligations (expenses). There is an obligation on credit providers to calculate a consumer’s discretionary income and the credit provider must take reasonable practicable steps to validate gross income by requesting three months’ bank statements or payslips. If a consumer is not a salary earner, the credit provider should request the latest three documents confirming proof of income or the latest three months’ bank statements. If a consumer is self-employed, the credit provider should request the latest three months’ bank statements or the latest financial statements.

The consumer is obliged to provide authentic documentation to the credit provider to allow the credit provider to conduct the affordability assessment. Note: This is interpreted to mean either an original document or a certified copy. When calculating the consumer’s discretionary income, the credit provider must take the gross income, statutory deductions and minimum living expenses, as per the expense norm table (as published in the Regulations), as well as all debt obligations into account. In certain exceptional circumstances the credit provider will be allowed to accept lower declared expenses, provided that the consumer completes a questionnaire (which is contained in a Schedule to the Regulations). As mentioned, the credit provider should also take the consumer’s debt repayment history into account. This enquiry must be performed within seven business days prior to approving credit or increasing the existing credit limit, or within 14 business days for mortgages. Enhanced disclosure requirements are now a requisite from credit providers. The credit provider must disclose the credit cost multiple and the total cost of credit in the pre-agreement statement and in the quotation to the consumer. If the credit cost multiple is disclosed for credit facilities, the credit cost multiple should be based on one year’s full utilisation of the proposed credit limit. The total cost of credit should include (but is not limited to) the principal debt, interest initiation fee, service fee aggregated to the lifespan of the loan and credit insurance (also aggregated to the lifespan of the loan).

Consumers can lodge a complaint with the credit provider if they are aggrieved by the outcome of the assessment, after which the consumer can approach the NCR if they do not agree with the outcome of the complaint.

Prescribed reason for information employment

A consumer credit record may not be accessed by an employment agency, recruitment consultant, staffing company or employer unless they certify that any and all requests for consumer credit records relate to positions requiring honesty in dealing with cash or finances and the job descriptions of such positions are clearly outlined.

 


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