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Video: How to exit debt review

Mar 10, 2020

You can apply for debt review if you are unable to meet your debt commitments. However, in some cases, your finances may improve and you may wish to exit debt review. Whether or not you are able to exit will be determined by where you are in the process.

When you apply for debt review, a debt counsellor issues form 17.1(b) which protects you from further legal action by your creditors. Creditors must provide a certificate of balance and the debt counsellor then assesses whether you are over-indebted.

Once this assessment is completed, the debt counsellor issues form 17.2 (b). This includes a repayment plan which could include interest rate concessions from your creditors. Although this agreement still requires court approval, you can start the new repayment schedule. All credit bureaus are notified, and you are effectively under debt review.

The next step is to apply to the Magistrates Court and the magistrate declares you over-indebted.

If you have applied for debt review and the debt counsellor has issued form 17.1(b), you can still cancel the process. Be aware that creditors can immediately act against you, if you are in arrears with repayments, as you are no longer protected.

Once form 17.2(b) has been issued, you are under debt review, but a magistrate has not yet issued a court order. If your financial circumstances have changed, then you can provide this information in the court application. If the magistrate agrees that you are no longer over-indebted, this terminates the debt review.

Once a magistrate has issued a court order placing you under debt review, you cannot exit until all your debts, apart from your mortgage, are settled as per the court order. This means even if your financial circumstances change, you will not be able to exit debt review.

The only way to exit in this case is to accelerate all your debt repayments and settle as quickly as possible. If you received an interest-rate concession in the debt review agreement, you would settle your debts sooner than if you were not under debt review.


  1. how can i exit my name on debt review

      • What is the prescribed period for the attorney to instruct the court on my debt review application? Should if happen that the document were filed later than the prescribed date do I have any recourse?

        • I’m not sure – I think it is around 6 months. I haven’t seen anything in the Act that provides for recourse

  2. Hi. If the order was by the NCT and not a magistrate can that be rescinded if the customer is no longer over indebted?

  3. Hi Mala,Where can I complain if I was previously on Debt review and has since settled all my debt and have obtained a certificate confirming that,but still unable to obtain credit as there are flags that were not removed,whenever I apply for credit,am declined and currently have no debt in my name ?

    • If you have the clearance certificates then you can raise it directly with the credit bureaus. But your debt counsellor should do that for you – have you asked them to sort it out?

  4. Hi Maya
    I will have soon paid most of my Creditors.(am under debt reviewsince 2012). The last creditor is standard bank on 3 bonds over our house. The normal total payment on the bond per month is about R6000 per month on the bond (if we were not in debt review)
    ….Per debt review , we are now paying about 10,000 per month to std bank, and after the 2nd to last creditor is paid, we will be paying monthly 12k to standard bank for the bond. The bond is no longer in arrears either. is there a way to get out of the debt review record system and pay standard bank a lower monthly bond payment, which can still be higher than the normal interest rate ?

    • You can exit debt review if the only remaining debt is your mortgage. Your debt counselor should be able to assist you in getting the clearance certificates

  5. Hi Maya

    How will the interest rate drop announced by the Reserve bank affect people who are currently under Debt Review?

    • It depends on the court agreement. If you received a significantly lower interest rate (eg: 2%) then it is unlikely that it will impact you. However, if your interest rate remained the same, then this should be fed through. Speak to your debt counsellor

  6. @ Bruce Mhingaz. The fact that the Court Order has been granted is noted by your Debt Counsellor on the National Credit Regulator’s Debt Help System (DHS). The status change to “Court Order obtained i.e. D4” is made by your Debt Counsellor. The National Credit Regulator does not have a copy of the Court Order or proof that it is actually granted.

    Who has copies:
    1. Your Debt Counsellor (DC). A DC cannot withhold the Copy of the Court Order from you and should provide you with one as soon as it is granted. The only delay may be that the corresponding Attorney appointed to obtain the Court Order may not have forwarded it to the DC yet. If you have difficulty obtaining a copy of the Granted Court Order, you should definitely lodge a compliant with the National Credit Regulator (NCR).
    2. National Consumer Tribunal (NCT) – If certain criteria are met a DC can approach the NCT to obtain a Tribunal Order for Debt Review. i.e. Not through the Magistrates Court. This is an inexpensive way of obtaining a Debt Review Order without having to approach an attorney and pay exorbitant Legal Fees. The NCT does have copies on record.
    3. Your Credit Providers – if the DC submitted a copy to your Credit Providers. This is a requirement, but doesn’t always occur.
    4. The Attorney appointed to obtain the Court Order. Although they may refer you back to the DC.

    Lauren Heekes – Registered Debt Counsellor (Negociate Credit Solutions)

  7. Hi Maya.This subject has caused a lot of contention in my business as a debt counsellor and the ability to explain this to my clients.
    I am therefore very interested to know where you obtained this information? I know that there were recent discussions around this issue and when last I left this debate, the consensus was that a Magistrate/High Court could not rescind the court order. There was mention of the Tribunal potentially taking on this role.
    However, I am not aware that the Magistrate can determine that a consumer is no longer over indebted if this affidavit is submitted before the Court Order is granted. I would really love your feedback. I follow your articles regularly and they are extremely valuable.

    • This reading of the court case came from both DCASA and NCR. You can read this
      Basically it is just an option available if the customer’s circumstances have changed significantly since entering debt review BEFORE the court order. The debt counselor would most likely need to agree with the assessment that the individual is no longer over-indebted as I doubt the magistrate has time to do their own investigations. I can only think it works this way so that unscrupulous debt counselors are not paid by desperate people to report them as no longer over-indebted when they still are. The Tribunal is also an option to save the consumer the court costs. But DCASA should be able to provide clarity

  8. Good morning
    About the about topic how will I know that the court order have been issued about my debt review?

    • Your debt counselor should provide you with the information but it should also be lodged with the National Credit Regulator so worth asking them


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Maya Fisher-French author of Money Questions Answered

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