Monday, March 31, 2014

CREDIT INFORMATION AMNESTY - DEADLINE "TODAY"


The Credit Information Amnesty takes effect Tuesday, 1 April 2014.
TPN has made important changes to the TPN consumer and TPN company enquiries.
REMINDER
On 1 April the following information will be removed from all the credit bureaus:
  • All adverse listings (there is no Rand value limit)  irrespective of whether or not the debt has been paid up; 
  • All “paid up” judgements

Importantly only judgements which are “paid up” will be removed – effectively the debt has been repaid and the consumer will benefit from having the judgement removed from the credit bureau. It is TPN’s view that removing “paid up” judgements and “paid up” adverse listings incentivises consumers (tenants) to settle arrear debt and they should be rewarded with its removal from the credit bureaus.

Unfortunately the Credit Information Amnesty has been applied to all adverse listings irrespective of whether the debt has been settled or not. However, the Amnesty does not extinguish the debt and the consumer (tenant) remains liable to repay the debt albeit the adverse listing will no longer reflect on the credit bureaus.

THE GOOD NEWS
The Credit Information Amnesty does not apply to [Rental] Payment Profile information; currently TPN’s Rental Payment Profile information indicates a monthly rating which reflects how that month’s rent was paid (Paid on Time, Paid Late, Partially Paid and Did not Pay).

1. Rental Payment Profile working harder

From the 1 April - the Rental Payment Profile information will now also reflect:
  • The balance date and the outstanding balance
  • The last payment date and the amount paid
Consider a tenant who has a 12 month history of Partial Payments – this could be as a result of not paying R200 in the first month and never catching up this small amount; or as a result of the tenant paying the rent but not the monthly electricity meaning the total amount in arrears could be R6,000, substantially more than the R200 in the previous example. The new “balance data and outstanding balance” and “last payment date and amount paid” information contained within the Rental Payment Profile lines will enable our members to distinguish between the tenant with a R200 arrear balance vs. the tenant with the R6,000 arrear balance.

2. Convert adverse listings to judgements

As previously mentioned, the removal of an adverse listing does not extinguish the debt. Nothing prevents our members from taking legal action to collect outstanding debt (which has not prescribed).

TPN has negotiated with a national firm to assist in converting adverse listings to judgements at a fraction of the usual price. One of the many benefits includes the ability to collect on the debt for 30 years. In addition, at no further cost to our member, the collection process will commence to recover the debt including the cost of the judgement listing.

TPN will release further details in due course.

3. Removal of Paid Up Judgements – Judgement Monitoring Service

Once a consumer settles the capital amount of a judgement, he is entitled to have the judgement removed from the credit bureaus.

Practically, credit providers, as defined in the National Credit Act must inform all credit bureaus within 7 days of receipt of the payment that the judgment has been paid up and the credit bureaus must within a further 7 days delete the judgement from its database. 

In addition consumers are also entitled to approach the credit bureaus directly with their proof of settlement and request the judgement be removed. Unfortunately judgements are taken by a host of other service providers who are not credit providers, for example landlords or body corporates which may or may not be a member of the specific credit bureau which the consumer approaches with “proof of settlement”.

For example a consumer may approach TransUnion to have the judgment removed; the plaintiff (landlord), Mr X is not a TransUnion client. If TransUnion is unsuccessful in tracing Mr X, the landlord within 7 days to confirm the authenticity of the proof of settlement, the judgement will be deleted. Once a judgement is deleted from one credit bureau; that credit bureau must inform all other credit bureaus within 3 days of the deletion and all other credit bureaus must similarly delete the judgement.

The opportunity for fraudulent deletion of judgements is of grave concern; as a result TPN has developed a Judgement Monitoring service.

For our members who have taken the time and cost to take a judgement against their client; it would be a travesty of justice if the consumer where to approach a credit bureau with a fraudulent proof of payment and be successful in having the judgement removed.

The Judgement Monitoring service will be available shortly on www.tpn.co.za

4. TPN Director Default

TPN has added a new enquiry module to the company enquiry options: TPN Director Default

When performing the TPN Company Enquiry, TPN previously listed the active members / directors. In addition TPN now also flags which active member / director has TPN Lease or Levy information or adverse information in their personal capacity.

When performing the TPN company enquiry, please look out for the Principal Account and Principal Default line items in the Summary Report – if either of these line items indicate member / directors with account or defaults perform the additional enquiry: Director Default.

HOW CAN YOU HELP

TPN Credit Bureau, like all credit bureaus, base our model on data reciprocity; the concept is simple, all our users who access the credit bureau do so with the hope of finding quality information to make an informed decision. Data reciprocity means the probability of finding quality information is not limited to a handful of companies submitting data but to all members submitting their data no matter how small or how big their portfolio may be.

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