How to Get Out of Debt Review Fast
There is no ‘fast’ way to exit your debt review, is the short and only answer. It is hugely important to properly understand how the debt review process is structured, so you know where you are in the process and when/if you are able to exit debt review.
Debt Review can be promoted to you by unscrupulous debt counsellors under the pretence that it is a relatively quick and easy way to quash all your debt, with attractive terms, and promises of being able to exit debt review fast and when it suits. This is definitely not the case, and like with anything in life, if it seems too good to be true, it is probably because it is. Do your research and be the one in control.
After you enter into the debt review process, there are various reasons as to why you may want to get out of it; your finances might improve during your debt review, or you could get cold feet, grappling with the idea of being over-indebted and committing to seeing the process through. Severing ties with credit provider links could be another anxiety-inspiring exercise for you, making debt review a big step with big implications for your lifestyle.
The Debt Review Process and Your Exiting Options
Once you begin to apply for debt review, your debt counsellor will issue a Form 17.1 (b) and Form 17.2 (b), which means you are now flagged across all credit bureaus, and you now have the protection of the process and your creditors have to halt all legal action against you. You have been confirmed over-indebted by your debt counsellor and your repayment plan has been drawn up, all that is left now is to apply to the magistrate’s court for a court order confirming you are over-indebted.
Once Form 17.1 (b) has been issued, you can still exit your debt review. When cancelling at this point, bear in mind that creditors can now act if you have outstanding monies owed, as the debt review process’ protection is no longer valid.
You are officially under debt review once Form 17.2 (b) is issued, and it’s within 5-7 days that the certificate of balances from your creditors reaches your debt counsellor and he/she is able to see whether you are over-indebted; but the magistrate has not yet issued their court order. It is possible to, at this point, exit debt review should you for example, have a change of financial luck making you no longer over-indebted. You can bring the information of your changed financial circumstances to the magistrate for the court application, and should they agree you are no longer over-indebted, the debt review will be terminated. The court will not declare you debt free just because you do not want to be under debt review anymore, you will have to prove you’re not over-indebted and all payments in arrears are up to date.
It is impossible to exit debt review once you get to the very next stage: the magistrate has declared you over-indebted with a court order, holding you under debt review. Even if your circumstances change now, you will need to honour the court order and debt review process, paying up all your debt, aside from mortgage payments, until you are settled and can be officially declared debt free.
Should you still want to exit debt review, the only way to do this now would be to increase your monthly payments and to accelerate your repayments to settle ahead of your due date. Interest rates negotiated on your behalf by your debt counsellor will mean this is possibly a much cheaper option than paying off debt while not under review.
How do I know when a court order has been issued?
Your hearing date in court will depend on the court roll, and this could take anywhere between 2 and 6 months, however, your application must be set down at court within 60 business days. You will need to sign a confirmatory application to go ahead, but do note that if you delay this and the application exceeds the 60 day period, credit providers can step in and take legal action against you effectively terminating your debt review agreement.
Your debt counsellor should keep open lines of communication with you, so you are aware of where your application is in the process. Keep in close contact with your counsellor to ensure you track the status and progress of your application. You will also receive a copy of your court order from your counsellor. Should you not be getting the service you deserve from your counsellor it is possible to lodge a complaint with the NCR and switch to a better-suited counsellor.
How to check if your name is under debt review?
Your credit report has all your details regarding your debt review status and this can be checked to confirm whether your name is flagged or not – this will be on the front page of your report. You can approach any of the credit bureaus to check your report, and should you still be flagged after having completed your debt review then you can call a dispute centre or credit bureau customer services to correct the error.