The National Credit Regulator (NCR) register and monitor registrants under the National Credit Act such as Debt Counsellors and Credit Providers. They also issue certificates to show consumers that the person or company they are dealing with is registered with them and thus offering debt review legally.
The NCR recently began issuing Debt Counsellors with annual renewal certificates when they pay their annual fees to remain registered. There are less registered Debt Counsellors these days than ever before as the NCR has been lapsing and deregistering hundreds of Debt Counsellors over the last 2 years. This means that consumers have a lot less choice in theory but statistically, most consumers are only choosing to use the services of one of 20 large Debt Counselling firms anyway, with a smattering of consumers making use of the hundreds of other Debt Counsellors spread across the country.
‘In the past, there was a lot of concern about the NCR being able to send all the registered Debt Counsellors their certificates on time’
In the past, there was a lot of concern about the NCR being able to send all the registered Debt Counsellors their certificates on time to be used in court in the days immediately following the annual renewal date (end July). This year, the NCR has reportedly done a great job in emailing a digital version of the Debt Counsellors annual certificate within this narrow window of time. They have then organised for print copies to be sent via registered mail via the postal service. These certificates should be accompanied by a Sticker to be displayed outside the office.
Some courts demand that a Debt Counsellor prove they are registered with the National Credit Regulator and that their fees are paid up to date when they make an application on behalf of the consumer and credit providers for debt restructuring. Thus if the Debt Counsellor didn’t have their certificate fast enough it could cause delays and dangers in the case.
When visiting a company offering debt restructuring assistance or dealing with one online ask to see their certificate of registration with the NCR to ensure you are dealing with a legal, NCR registered individual. If they do not have one then it is best to go to someone who operates within the law so as to better protect yourself from possible abuse or fraud. Make sure you are dealing with an NCR registered company (this also applies when accessing credit).