CONSUMER CREDIT: CBA Warns Against Offers to Reverse Â‘Credit Black ListingsÂ’
Recent Gauteng Business News
Credit repair agencies are governed by the Harmful Business Practices Act of 1988, which provide a clear definition of the parameters of lawful engagement with consumers. As per the Act, harmful business practice is defined as: Â“The receiving of any money or other valuable consideration for the performance of any service that a credit repair entity has agreed to perform on behalf of a consumer before such a service is actually performedÂ”. Therefore any legal credit repair agent would have to provide a service to the consumer before accepting any fee.
Credit repair agencies are directed by the Act to avoid applying harmful business practice ever. Furthermore, the Act stipulates that: Â“Credit repair agents are required to make consumers aware of their right to engage directly with the credit bureaux.Â”
Credit Information Must be Retained
Credit Industry expert and CBA Spokesperson, Sharon Coppola explains: Â“Consumers are encouraged to take advantage of the free annual service provided by the credit bureaux as prescribed by the National Credit Act. Consumers have the right to access their credit reports once a year at no cost. Call centre agents are also on hand at the relevant bureaux and are trained to assist consumers with better understanding their reports and with advising them on possible courses of action for correcting any uncertain or negative information.Â”
South African credit bureaux do not maintain credit blacklists in any shape or form. This is because bureaux record both positive as well as negative credit information Â– meaning no matter how poor someoneÂ’s lending conduct might have been in the past, their positive behaviour and actions have also been considered accordingly, making a one-sided negative report an impossibility.
Credit Report Appeals
Credit information must be held by the credit bureaux for a defined period of time, as per the National Credit Act. Consumers have the right to dispute the data contained in their reports should they feel it is incorrect. The responsibility is then on the bureaux to investigate that data and remove it from the consumerÂ’s record should they find credible evidence exists in support of that information not being correct.
If a consumer wishes to appeal a judgment on their credit report, they are advised to work with a reputable firm of admitted attorneys who can make an application to the courts on their behalf.
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