Ombudsman to probe creditor's garnishee orders

Thuli Zungu Consumer Line
Ellen Mthombeni claims she has repaid more than R100000 for a R5000 loan and the credit provider is demanding more payment. /Thuli Zungu
Ellen Mthombeni claims she has repaid more than R100000 for a R5000 loan and the credit provider is demanding more payment. /Thuli Zungu

The Money Market Credit Provider Group is accused of abusing the garnishee order system after repeatedly attaching an employee's salary without proof of loan agreements.

But this practice could soon come to an end as the office of the credit ombudsman has agreed to look into the alleged abuse.

Ellen Mthombeni, 54, of Tzaneen in Limpopo, said she took a loan of R5000 from the Money Market Credit Provider Group, which is based at 6 Morgan Street, Tzaneen, in 2009.

Mthombeni claimed that although she had paid more than R100000, she still had a balance of R12000 to repay.

Though she stays and works in Tzaneen, the court order was issued in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, she said.

Her problem started when she could not service her debt as expected, resulting in this credit provider attaching her salary, she said. The mother of three said that within a few months of paying off her debt, Colin Zietsman Attorneys reinstated the five attachment orders.

"These attachment orders add up to R36000 for debts I don't know."

Though she demanded to be shown contracts she signed when taking subsequent loans, her creditor failed to produce them.

She said she later approached her employer, the Department of Education, to demand attachment orders that were served on it and discovered that there was only one.

"No one could explain why money was deducted even though there was only one court order issued in 2011, authorising them to pay only R2656," Mthombeni said.

Colin Zietsman Attorneys did not respond to these accusations when sent an inquiry.

However, Rene Pretorius, of the Money Market Credit Provider Group, said Mthombeni took five loans from her company between February 2009 and March 3 2010.

She provided only two contracts with questionable signatures. Mthombeni denied taking a loan from them in 2010, as alleged.

Copies sent to Consumer Line showed that the loans were taken on February 6 2009 and 2010, respectively.

When asked about the varying signatures, Pretorius sent a loan schedule that Mthombeni signed between 2007 and 2010.

This showed that they gave her 60 loans between January 2007 and March 2010.

In some instances, she had taken a loan of R100 but repaid R10060, according to her loan schedule sent to Consumer Line.

Pretorius failed to explain when asked why loans were advanced to Mthombeni without contracts.

"According to our office, there is nothing wrong with the signatures, and if there is any doubt regarding the signatures, the debtor is welcome to get the advice of a signature expert, at her own cost," Pretorius said.

The office of the credit ombudsman said it would consider Mthombeni's complaint against the Money Market Credit Provider Group.

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