I have been under Debt Review since 2009. The Creditors were informed and the court order was issued in March 2010. ABSA Bank failed to meet the court order issued interest rate for months and when they did, they also restructured the Debt. I have been querying the balance that has increased at least 3 times despite my monthly payments being made as per the court order.
I requested a statement of all the payments I had made since 2010 and the branch said I would have to pay R32 per statement, per month for the past 4 years. I did not do this as it was quite a financial lay out. I printed out all the statements I had received where the balance had increased and sent these to my Debt Counsellor. ABSA in turn sent them a statement showing the balances; I was quite surprised to see that what ABSA said I owed on their statements to me and what was owing on ABSA’s statements to them were different.
I highlighted this to the Debt Counsellor and I received a letter today stating that ABSA say that the balance difference in 2010 would be different as 5 months had passed from application to court order. This does not tell me why the balance has increased more than once. My questions are:
How can a statement that ABSA sends to me each month, be different to what they send the Debt Counsellor?
ABSA say that the Debt Counsellor has the responsibility to ensure the correct balance is sent for the court order. I informed them of the interest rate issues and the balance issues but I did not get assistance. They said that ABSA was being very difficult with all their clients. What action should I be taking with them as none of the other credit providers have done what ABSA has done.
My latest statement shows that I have paid off close to R5000 since 2010, With a monthly payment of R592 with an interest rate of 12%, what should my balance be? Bearing in mind that the initial debt on the court order SIGNED document was just under R36000. My latest statement shows I owe just over R33000.
I have no problem paying my Debt but I am disgusted by ABSA’s absolute disregard of the court order and the way that they assume all their clients are idiots who wont take matters further.
I would appreciate feedback as soon as possible as I feel I need to be taking some sort of legal action against either the Debt Counsellor or ABSA. Something is not adding up and I feel that I am part of some strange activity going on between the Debt Counsellor and ABSA.
Thank you for the question. Let me first asure you there is not conspiracy between your debt counsellor and ABSA. The balance differences is a real issue that the industry is trying to address through various forums. It is cause by very practical problems that we also feel is not being addressed quick enough by the banks.
What happens with regards to your personal statement being different from the statement provided to the debt counsellor is the fact that ABSA passes your account to their debt review department, who is then supposed to talk to your debt counsellor. In the meantime, they keep the account active on the other side and false data is recorded. They are not able to adjust interest rates etc on their front end system, they can only do that in their debt review department. ABSA is not supposed to send you personal statements anymore, and they will always reflect the incorrect balance.
Then there is the matter of interest rate calculations. ABSA is within their right to run interest rates at the original percentage until such time that they are ordered by the court to make adjustments. Every bank has a different opinion on how this should be implemented, and that is what poses the biggest challenge.
Your debt counsellor can provide you with the most accurate statements from the PDA. he can also ask for statements directly from the credit provider.
If you feel that the credit provider has not been lawful in their dealings you can always lodge a complaint with the National Credit Regulator (www.ncr.org.za) or the Credit ombud (www.creditombud.org.za). They will investigate and once they have made a finding rule that the bank correct all errors on your account.
Please let me know should you require further assistance.