If you thought that your negative listing on credit bureaus was going to be automatically removed after the publishing of the regulations made in terms of Section 73 of the National Credit Act, think again.
In terms of Section 73 of the NCR of 2006, Mandisi Mpahlwa, the trade and industry minister, was expected to publish regulations on how information held by credit bureaus must be reviewed, verified, corrected and removed.
These regulations, expected to provide guidance on the nature, time-frame, form and manner in which this information may be verified, reviewed, corrected or removed, have been published.
According to the regulations, the following consumer credit information must be removed:
l Adverse consumer credit information in respect of a debt of less than R500;
l All consumer credit information relating to accounts, excluding credit facilities and any accounts where there was no contractual requirement for monthly payment to be made, that have been dormant for at least 24 months on September 1 2006;
l Consumer credit information related to civil court judgment of up to R500, except if a consumer has more than two unpaid judgments;
l Consumer credit information related to a civil court judgment of up to R5000 if the judgment is older than 18 months, provided the consumer has not more than two unpaid judgments;
l Consumer credit information related to a civil judgment of up to R50000 if the full amount in respect of the judgment was paid by September 1 2006;
l Consumer credit information related to civil court judgment of up to R50000 reflected on a consumer's records on September 1 2006 if the full amount in respect of the judgment is paid by September 1 2007.
A registered credit bureau is expected to submit an audit report conducted by an independent auditor by the end of August to the NCR dealing with and assessing issues covered by these regulations.
A further audit must be done by the end of next March. This will among others, verify if all information relating to the published regulations have been removed.
Also, recommendations for further interventions must be made for further implementation to ensure full compliance with these regulations. In terms of the regulation relating to the credit bureaus, these institutions are expected to remove or correct this information by the beginning of June.
The regulation will help consumers make more informed decisions. It was promulgated because of concerns about rising levels of over-indebtedness, reckless lending and the exploitation of consumers by micro-lenders, intermediaries, debt collectors and administrators.