Johannesburg - Since mid-January this year, Nedbank Group [JSE:NED] has
helped more than 13 000 struggling clients save their homes from foreclosure,
said SA's fourth-biggest bank.
This followed the bank's launch of a payment solution
website which assists customers failing to keep up with their mortgage
The website, www.nedbank.co.za/HomeLoansHelp, allows clients
to educate themselves about the best options for their circumstances.
The bank's struggling clients can use this tool to assess
their situation and make the best decision accordingly.
Debi Mišura, general manager of Nedbank home loans
collections and recoveries, said by making the right choice the bank's clients
would be able to recover from difficult situations in the quickest possible
The website has four main options available to its clients,
including paying back any missed payments over time and restructuring the loan
over a longer period.
Other options including paying back a smaller amount each
month and selling the house on the open market using a process called Nedbank
assisted sales (NAS).
Miyelani Shikwambana, Nebdank's media relations officer,
would not give a rough indication of how many clients the bank's home loans
unit serves and how many of these stand to benefit from the website.
"Unfortunately we cannot provide this information at
this time (because the bank) is in a closed period," Shikwambana told
At the end of the second quarter last year, according to the
National Credit Regulator, the total outstanding gross debtors' book of
consumer credit surged by R15.9bn from R1.2 trillion to R1.23 trillion.
Topping this debtors' book was R773.37bn in mortgages.
The banks' share of the outstanding gross debtors' book was
R1.10 trillion, about 89% of the entire book.
The site also provides an indication of when each option is
most suitable, and an estimator that shows the financial impact of each option
on the client's finances.
Once clients have an idea of how they would like to proceed
or if they require additional information, they can contact a fully trained
debt specialist equipped to provide advice and support for the client's
"Many clients have incorrect information about what
happens at a sheriff auction. Our experience has taught us that these clients
end up losing the most money," Mišura said.
"Our hope is that by providing information through this
website and building a team of specialists to provide support, those clients
will make better decisions earlier on in the process."
The two most popular options used by indebted clients
include restructures and assisted sales.
Restructures are ideally suited for clients who still have a
regular income but are struggling to make ends meet. By allowing the loan to be
repaid over a longer period of time, the monthly repayment is reduced.
The NAS is suited for clients with severe affordability
problems, typically due to a major drop in income.
Nedbank helps clients sell their property in the normal way
on the open market, making use of an approved estate agent.
This gets a much better price than through a sheriff's
auction. So, both the client and the bank benefit.
If the price achieved is below what the client owes the bank
- and it often is - Nedbank offers appropriate terms to enable debt repayment
while keeping a clear credit record.
Nedbank is currently helping between 100 and 150 people to
sell their property this way each month.