Can a debt counsellor terminate or withdraw debt review process?

If this headline drew your eye, chances are you are currently undergoing debt counselling, but have been considering withdrawing from the process. At Libertine Consultants, we have assisted overindebted consumers from all walks of life, so we realise that there are situations in which withdrawal from debt review becomes a talking point around the dinner table.

date: 07/11/2017Author:

There are a few situations in which withdrawal from the debt counselling process is a viable idea. This includes:

• If all accounts have been settled in full earlier than expected due to larger or more frequent repayments. • If all accounts, except a home loan or large credit agreement, has been settled in full and you are not in arrears on the repayments on the outstanding account.

Technically, you can also rescind a debt review order that was made an order of the court. If you choose to do so, you will have to renegotiate payment terms with your creditors and make payments in respect of outstanding amounts personally. In cases like these, you have to be aware that your creditors may not be willing to renegotiate payment terms, since they don’t have the guarantee as underwritten by the debt counselling firm.

As for whether a debt counsellor can terminate the debt review process, the answer on that is a clear no. According to the official withdrawal guidelines as set out by the National Credit Regulator, "A debt counsellor does not have statutory powers to terminate or withdraw the debt review process. This means that a debt counsellor can no longer issue Form 17.4 and update DHS with status G (Voluntary withdrawal by consumer) or H (Withdrawal by a debt counsellor)."

As such, the choice to withdraw from the debt review process will always have to be spearheaded by the client themselves.

It has to be noted that withdrawal from debt counselling is not recommended if you haven’t settled the bulk of our debts (aside from a sizeable one like a home loan), or your financial situation has changed due to an increase in salary or a steadier income. We know that it can be hard to tighten the belt and that you would do almost anything from some financial relief, but you’ve done all the hard work up until now – keep at it and reap the rewards of a clean credit record. It will be worth the wait when you can face the world with a clear financial slate.

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