The purpose of the Credit Ombud is to provide a safe haven in which consumers and credit providers can resolve their disputes. How did this body fare over the past year and what was the most common cases dealt with?
The Annual report indicates that during the 2019 year under review, the Credit Ombud assisted 37 269 consumers by telephone, logged 29 510 general enquiries, 4 937 disputes were closed at the average cost of R3 250 per case and the monetary value of corrections/adjustments in favour of consumers amounted to R6 949 865.90.
“Having closed 4 937 disputes in 2019, the office has assisted with a plethora of issues over the past year,” Lee Soobrathi, Head of Case Management and Dispute Resolution reports. The most common cases dealt with by the Credit Ombud range from disputes regarding consumers’ incorrect statements of account, emolument attachment orders, prescription of debt, unfair credit bureau listings, fraud cases, and alleged reckless lending cases. The office resolved 57.5% of the disputes in consumers’ favour, signalling that more than half of consumers’ disputes were fully or partially upheld.
One of the case studies in the report, illustrates the non-compliance to section 103(5) of the National Credit Act 31 of 2005. In the case, the complainant disputed the outstanding balance on an account claiming that the credit provider has been overcharging on interest and fees. Upon investigation it was found that the interest charged was in breach of S103(5) of the National Credit Act 31 of 2005. The account was adjusted accordingly, resulting in a refund to the value of R1 686.62.
Click here to download the report that highlights more cases.