Voluntary withdrawal from debt review

You can withdraw from debt review if your financial situation has changed significantly or you only have your mortgage left to pay.

debt reviewEarlier this year new guidelines were issued as part of the National Credit Amendment Act (NCAA) around when a person may exit debt review.

Previously you could exit debt review only once you had paid all your re-arranged debts in full and had received a clearance certificate. This also included your home loan, if it had formed part of the debt review application.

A significant change is that you can now exit debt review even if your mortgage is not fully settled, although you would have to demonstrate that you have the financial ability to meet those future mortgage repayments – or any other long-term agreement. There must also be no outstanding payments on the mortgage and all your other outstanding debt must have been settled. This includes vehicle finance, which is not considered a long-term credit agreement and if it forms part of the debt counselling re-arrangement order, it has to be paid up in full before a clearance certificate is issued.

You can also apply to exit debt review if you have had a significant change in your income. If your financial situation has improved to the extent that you are able to meet your financial obligations as they were prior to debt review, and if you have not fallen behind on your debt review payments, you can apply to the courts to consider your withdrawal from debt review.

How to withdraw

It’s important to note that a debt counsellor does not have statutory powers to terminate or withdraw the debt review process. The consumer has to go to court to obtain this permission.

You would have to approach the court to rescind the order or to apply for an order which declares that you are no longer over-indebted. Once the order has been issued, you must receive a clearance certificate from the debt counsellor within seven days. Upon receipt of the order, a debt counsellor will notify the credit providers of the withdrawal by means of Form 17W.

Making direct payments to creditors

Some consumers who are considering debt review are concerned about how to ensure that the payments they make are correctly paid to the creditors. The good news is that in terms of the NCAA, a consumer has the right to make direct payments to credit providers and not make use of the services of a Payment Distribution Agent (PDA). According to the National Credit Regulator, if a consumer chooses to make direct payments to credit providers, this cannot be construed as non co-operation and should not be used as a reason for suspension of debt counselling services.

When you apply for debt review, you would need to sign Form 16 in order to apply for direct payment.

  • You remain responsible to make all payments as re-arranged, in full and on time.
  • You would have to provide proof-of-payment to the debt counsellor on a monthly basis for record keeping and to enable provision of aftercare service, as a consumer cannot be under debt review without a debt counsellor.
  • If you miss a payment or pay late, you will still risk termination of the debt review by the credit providers
  • Debt counselling fees are payable to a debt counsellor for services rendered and this includes payment of aftercare fees.
  • For a debt counsellor to issue a clearance certificate, all after care fees must be up to date. Where the debt counsellor has suspended provision of service, a consumer must provide proof of settlement letters from credit providers for a debt counsellor to issue a clearance certificate.

80 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Hi Maya. I was paying my accounts through a debt counsellor and I have settled them in full. I have received letters of settlements and clearance certificate. What will be the next step now?

  • Good day, a few years back a went under debt review. how do i get my name clear as i can’t remember who the debt counsellor was

    • You can ask the National Credit Regulator to check their system to see who your debt counselor was. Alternatively you can ask a new debt counselor to take over your case and help you exit

  • I have paid off all my debt and left with my car and my salary has doubled since I went into debt review. Please, can you recommend any lawyer that can assist with this?

    • Staniland Attorneys – costs between R4000 – R6000. Compare that to whether it makes sense to just stay in debt review and accelerate your car repayments so that your car is paid off and there is no cost to exit

  • Hi..I have obtained a court order to rescind the debt review but my debt counsellor is refusing to update the DHS system with NCR even after I provided them with the court order. It has been two months now. I complained to the NCR since the beginning of May but nothing is happening. On enquiry they just tell me they are assessing. I think it’s unfairly a long time. What ca I do

  • Please assist.
    My debt review payment are being returned to PDA. Standard bank stated that my account had being written off in Jan 2017. However, payments to this account have only being returned to hyghen PDA since march 2018. My credit councillor refuses to answer my calls and emails.

    • You can lodge a complaint with the National Credit Regulator, although they are not great at responding. Also contact the Debt Counselling Association – if the counselor is a member they could assist. You could also transfer to another debt counsellor

  • Hi Maya i entered debt review in 2015 and over the years I’ve been climbing the corporate ladder and I’ve been getting promotion with a better salary and I’m only left with my two personal loans in my debt review process and i want to withdraw because i want to buy a house now please help

    • I am in the process of writing up an article. basically you must get the court order from your debt counselor and approach a lawyer who can get it rescinded in court. It costs about R9000. It would be much cheaper to accelerate your debt repayments in debt review and just finish debt review sooner

  • Good day,i put myself on debt review in 2017. Firstly i was paying well but based on my debt review statement my accounts were not going down. I have not been paying through debt review for more than a year now. I would like to be removed from debt review. What is the process of getting out of debt review because it is not working for me. I need a lawyer or someone who can assist me get out of debt review.

    • Unless your affordability has improved it is impossible to get out. I would suggest you meet with your debt counsellor to understand why this is happening and if you are not happy to transfer to another debt counsellor

  • Hi

    My husband is currently under debt review with a debt counsellor.
    He was taken in under the current salary that he had when he signed up. As he travels a lot, the company used to give him a rental to use, but that amounts to a lot of money that the company is paying. They decided to pay him extra an extra set amount of money every month to buy a car on his name, which is obviously not possible. Is there a way that he can come out under debt review to do this, or to still be under debt review and buy the car? Your help will be appreciated a lot.

  • Hi, I entered into a telephonically agreement of debt review and now they have sent me documents which I must sign and they will then take these documents to court. The thing is I recently found out that one of my accounts that I had is in arrears and with that I feel I shouldn’t withdraw from debt review because previously it was not in arrear, I have not signed any documents yet. can I still come out?

  • Hi,

    My mom was put in debt review without her permission she has been given the run around and she has made two payments to these people that keep giving her thr run around and still she has not recieved any help and still under this cloud.

    The scammers are Credit Cure, Debt Partners which are the same company on the NCR website registered to a Martin Mbah Njah – another company is Good Hope Mediation.

    What advise do you have for us?

  • Hi m under dept review but just terminated it last week they send me email wth documents that i have to fill and sign now the thing is just got a better paying job hence i want to pay creditors directly. I just started working at this company i dnt have payslip yet what should i provide

  • Hi Maya

    I have been under debt review now for almost 5yrs, it was supposed to be shorter as by August 2018 they said i was finished with the payments. Then in December i received a notification that i have not paid my accounts…so contacted the debt council only to then tell me that one account didn’t agree (PLEASE NOTE THEY ALSO ADMITTED THAT THEY UPGRADED SYSTEMS AND LOST ALL MY INFO?!?) So i have now carried on making payment but i am very concerned that this is maybe just a way they taking more money from me.

  • I went under voluntary debt review in 2009 and lost my job in 2010. I have recently gotten a job but when i apply for credit – it shows that i am under debt review – what should i do and what happened to the credit i had previously?

    • I can assist you. I am a registered debt counsellor . I have access to the NCR System .
      I can first transfer you to my profile and the withdraw you from debt review at a minimal cost.

      • Hi Noxolo

        Can you assist me, i am under debt review and will be taken to court in June but I want to withdraw from it and pay creditors directly.

      • Can you please help me I was tricked into a debt review. I never used the services and I now want to withdraw they sent me a form but I want this entry to be remove from my name and credit file. Please help.

        • I am working on an article about exiting debt review – the NCR has taken the position that if it has not been approved by the courts or National Consumer Tribunal then you can exit. It is best to contact the NCR
          0860 627 627 (call centre) or +27 (11) 554 2700 (switchboard)
          Fax +27(11)805 4905
          E-mail complaints@ncr.org.za

      • Good day
        I have been put under debt review by msa consultant two years ago as they contacted me telephonically which I didn’t agree first two months they deducted money which I reversed it pays my creditors directly even now I am paying directly since that that but my home loan payment is less by 1000rands since I wanna and my bank talled me I am reflecting debt review which I don’t want I am not filling to pay my credits, what must I do to be removed from debt review and pay my home loan like I used to before?

        • Find out if your debt review is actually court approved. If it is you would have to go to court to show that you are no longer over-indebted. This requires an attorney and costs between R4000 – R6000.
          If not, there is a court ruling taking place at the end of the month that may allow a debt counsellor to remove you without applying to court – keep an eye on this website for updates

      • Hi Maya. I was paying my accounts through a debt counsellor and I have settled them in full. I have received letters of settlements and clearance certificate. What will be the next step now?

  • Hi i need assistance i enquired about debt review over the phone 2007 but never joined recently i find out my name is under debt review. there was no payment of sumsort to debt councilors as well please help how can i get my name out

              • Trying to cancel my debt review, no court order has been made yet.

                According to my debt counsellor….to my request for cancellation.

                She states in her email…
                “Please find attached withdrawal guidelines(2015 issued by the NCR, we have not received any updated guidelines to date.

                Further she states….
                Yes you can exit the program if you can prove that you are able to afford to pay your debt outside of debt review, the document you will need to obtain is a declaration order from the magistrate but without the order, once your 17.2 has been sent you are then declared over-indebted and may not exit the process, this can also be found on the NCR guidelines.”

                Just who exactly declares that you are over-indebted. She says I am
                but No court order exist and I can prove that I can afford it, I am not sure what game NDA is playing but I suspect they don’t want to cooperate because I pay +R400 to them for after care fees each month.
                I’d rather spend that money to distribute towards my debt.

                • I have spent the last two weeks trying to figure this out! The bottom line is that technically you should be able to exit debt review before a court order if you can prove affordability. BUT this is up for interpretation and according to the NCR a debt counselor cannot remove anyone at this stage without going to court. HOWEVER there is a court case being heard at Pretoria High Court end July that should clarify all this and hopefully allow a DC to remove you from debt counselling if you can prove affordability and do not yet have a court order…

      • Omg good luck with lodging a complaint with the NCR. We lodges 2 complaonts and it toom them 6 months to just acknowledge receipt and issue a case number. Now we getting no feedback from them, we send follow up emails and call but no replies and answers.

        The debt councellor are not intimidating us to withdraw the matter.

  • Hi,

    I was under debt Review and lost my job. I paid up all my creditors except for vehicle but now i can’t get clearance certificate from my debt counselor. they wanted me to provide them with proof of payment on accounts which were paid up by them (PDA).

    I have tried to get the information and i forwarded to them but still not getting any news. DebtBusters was my counselor.

  • I would like to know I have payed up all my debt but still have only my car left. I now want to exit debt review as I am able to afford the car payment but they said that I still will have a red flag on my name as the car is not payed up, and if I want the red flag to go away I would have to sell the car I have at the moment. I want to know if my lawyer goes to court will he be able to remove the red flag as well as the debt review ?

    • There have been some changes since this article which has created more confusion about when you can withdrawal. It seems now you have to go to high court! I was given this attorney by a well reputed debt counsellor. Maybe ask for advice:
      Staniland Attorneys

  • Hi, did you manage to find a more reasonable company to assist you to exit. I also have R8k which I think is too much. Thank you kindly

  • I just need help to.understand what if you find out that some of your accounts was not payed by your debt console,or your find yourself in arrears but you pay each month your require amount to your debt councillor…what do you do

    • I would raise the issue with the debt counselor in writing and get a paper trail of their response. If they cannot resolve it and they are a member of the Debt Counselors of South Africa (DCASA) you can report them. Alternatively lodge a complaint with the National Credit Regulator

  • I was under debt review in 2011 and decided to terminate it as they were taking more money and I was left with little to pay for my basic needs and I stopped paying and it was terminated. Now all my creditors are fully paid and I am left with the vehicle instalments which are I am able to pay on a monthly and now I can afford. The problem is that some banks are still listed me under debt review but there is nothing on my credit profile. Pls advise as I need a house and cannot be approved due to that status of debt review.

    • You need to send your paid up letters to the credit bureaus who still show you as under debt review. I do know that FNB Housing Finance is quite good at investigating further so you could try them and show your paid up letters. I will see if we can get DCASA to comment

    • In terms of Section 71 of the NCA your Debt Counsellor can issue a Clearance Certificate once all your debt (including your vehicle) has been repaid in full. When you “terminated” your Debt Review you “suspended” the services of your Debt Counsellor but he/she remains your Debt Counsellor on record. The banks will not be able to lift your Debt Review status until they receive a Clearance Certificate (Form 19) and your Debt Counsellor, in terms of the NCA, can only issue a Clearance Certificate once you have repaid your vehicle debt as well. Suggest you increase your monthly vehicle repayment to enable faster repayment. You have the right to pay more every month.

    • I am also under debt review since 2016 and I feel like it is taking too long to finish my debts and I stopped paying the PDA and now they are threatening me that they will advice my creditors to take me to court and claim for legal fees and back dated services which must be collected within 30 days is that even allowed? I have vehicle finance

  • I am Zuko Shenxane and I have two personal loans on deterrent banks but I was Up to date on payments..I had reached a parsonal agreement with Edgus (Clothing shop) to pay Installments of R480 and already have Cut my Balance to R4000..i had 3 months missing my payment of R99 with Vodacom..I applied for Dert Counseling..But when I Asked what the Costs would be for the Job they Already DONE..I was told they are still NEGOTIATING but they went ahead without giving me an Option. 25/07/2018 was the START of this process. I still want OUT what must Do.?

  • I am currently on debt review and have been making additional payments directly to my creditors. Will I be able to get off the program without going to court and getting a lawyer if all my short term debt is paid and I have the home loan only outstanding?

    • Hi Kholofelo,

      Once all your short term debt are paid up and the only outstanding debt is a large credit agreement (Home Loan), you are entitled to a clearance certificate. Therefore, you don’t have to apply to court to be declared no longer over-indebted or rescind the debt review court order (if your debt review has been made an order of court)

      You can contact us at 072 6681 307 / mabasalias@yahoo.com

  • Im under debt review and PDA is paying for me. Can i be able to change to paying my creditors? As the balances from my creditors and PDA differs a lot. Balances from PDA are so high.

    • That is what I also did, payed my creditors directly instead of PDA. The PDA balances were not reducing and more to this they paid creditors on the 9th which is after interest has been added opposed to the 1st of the month. I am now done. 3,5 years later and I am sure it would have taken much longer should I not have taken matters into my own hands.

    • Good morning,

      For you to get the correct balances you must contact your creditors directly. However, your creditor providers may refuse to provide you with the statements as you are under debt review. Should you want to make payment to your creditors directly, you firstly need to apply to court court to be declared no longer over-indebted and not under debt review. Once the court order is granted, your creditors will accept payments directly from you.

      You can reach us at 072 6681 307 / mabasalias@yahoo.com

  • If I exit debt review and pay my creditors on my own as per initial agreement with them, after the court has declared me financially stable will the flag on my name at the credit bureau be removed as well?

  • hi im still on debt review but my outstanding amount is under R70 000 please can you assist me in a step forward to pay my creditors direct and be removed from debt review

  • I wanted to voluntarily withdraw from debt counselling but still can’t because it was done over the phone the is nothing from the coirt, what else can I do

  • Good Day

    I want to voluntarily withdraw from Debt Review and need recommendation of a lawyer. I have found 1 who has quoted me R8K, I would like to know if there are cheaper ones , as you mentioned in the region of R3K – R5k

    • If you have settled all your debts then you can get a letter from your debt counsellor and debt review is terminated. However, if you wish to cancel debt review before your debts are finalized, you can only do so if you are able to prove affordability and that you can meet the repayments before you went into debt review. You have to go to court to cancel debt review and that does cost money as you have to hire a lawyer which would cost in the region of R2500 to R3500. If the case is opposed and goes to the high court that could cost in the region of R9000.

    • I would like to withdraw from debt review. My salary has increased and my wife also got a job. Please tell me what I can do. I want to make payment arrangements directly with my creditors.

  • Good morning, I am currently under the debt review and personally I feel like is not helping because for example they take R 15043 every month and when I check the way they distribute the money to the credit providers at the end of the month is too little as compared to what they take for them now I feel I have taken another loan for the next 5 years and there’s no way I will finish paying these debts in 5 years I will be still owing a lot of money. Now I think It will be better if I get a way out of this really because is delaying everything. Now please assist if you can I want the way out.

  • There are payments that do not reach some credit providers, can that be reason enough to terminate service of debt counselor

  • Good morning I’m currently under debt review and I feel that it’s not helping me at all and I’m now on a right position to pay my creditors. Do I need to go to any court to to get permission to cancel my debt review.

    • yes you do and you have to hire a lawyer which could cost R3k – R5k. You also lose any interest reductions which means your repayments would increase to the original amount. The court would only approve it if you could afford this.
      It may be more cost effective to increase your repayments via debt review and pay off the debts faster and exit debt review that way

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