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Most debt mediation queries resolved

Nov 27 2012 15:36 Sapa

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Johannesburg - Ninety-nine percent of debt mediation queries received during the third quarter of 2012 have been resolved, the National Debt Mediation Association (NDMA) said on Tuesday.

Of the 704 enquiries, only seven (one percent) remained pending, it said in a statement.

The third quarter also saw an almost 30% reduction in the number of requests for debt mediation when compared with the second quarter.

"The declining trend is seasonal, as the first two quarters of each year are the busiest," the NDMA said.

Just over two-thirds of complaints were lodged by consumers, almost 30% were from debt councillors and the rest were non-specified referrals.

Almost a quarter of cases were requests for debt mediation and, of those finalised, half were successful. A fifth of these were unsuccessful and almost the same number withdrew from the process.

These withdrawals were attributable to the consumer receiving assistance from family, or the consumers' refusal to make necessary lifestyle changes.

The reasons behind requests for assistance included loss of a spouse, loss of employment, illness and maternity leave.

Chief executive Magauta Mphahlele said the high proportion of successful resolutions were an indication of the positive results yielded through mediation.

"If the out of jurisdiction, withdrawn and referred cases are excluded, the percentage of instances where we found in favour of the consumer increased to 67%."

She said there had been a decline in the number of complaints regarding vehicle repossession and termination from debt review.

According to the NDMA website, this termination referred to the process whereby a credit provider withdrew from a debt review process after 60 business days.

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