Debt counselling was first introduced to South Africans about two-and-a-half years ago, as the global economic downturn and the National Credit Act both starting having an effect on the local market. Now the proceess has gone online with a new offering from Octogen.
The new system will be made available to all registered debt counsellors in South Africa.
Mel da Silva, debt counsellor and director of Octogen, says the launch of the online system comes more than two and a half years after debt counselling was first introduced in South Africa. “During this time, many teething problems associated with such a concept have been addressed and resolved. The online offering is therefore based on a debt counselling process which is now settled and certain.
"Currently, about 9 000 consumers apply for debt counselling on a monthly basis and this trend is expected to continue for the remainder of 2010," Da Silva adds. "With such strong demand forecast, Octogen and debt counsellors who use its system will have a need for a product that enables them to proceed through the complete debt counselling process in a secure, workflow-based and user-friendly way.”
When the National Credit Act was introduced fully in 2007, the debt counselling process was defined in this legislation, but no processing and workflow system existed at that time.
Da Silva says Octogen became involved in the design and development of a suitable debt counselling process. “During 2007 and in early 2008 a work stream agreement was concluded between debt counsellors and credit providers, and this formed the basis on which Octogen could then develop a debt counselling system. The design was also influenced by court judgements relating to the debt counselling process."