What is Prescription?
Prescription is a legal principle in terms of which a debtor’s liability to pay an outstanding debt is extinguished after the passing of prescribed time periods.The above will apply, provided that the debtor has not during such prescribed period, in any way acknowledged his/her liability to pay such debt.If the creditor served a summons during the prescribed period or where the debtor acknowledges liability, the prescription period will be interrupted and will start to run afresh from the date on which the summons was so served or the liability acknowledged.
What does it mean for you?
If you believe that your debt has become prescribed, you need to inform us accordingly.
Your claim of prescription will be assessed, and if found that the debt has in fact prescribed:
You will be notified of this fact on the contact information available (so please ensure that these details are updated when you submit your claim).
You will no longer be liable to pay the debt.
No further action will be taken to collect on the debt.
You will not receive a “paid-up” letter as the debt has not been paid up.
If your claim is assessed and found not to have prescribed, you will remain liable to pay the debt and attempts to collect the outstanding debt will continue either by way of our call centre or the matter may be handed over to our attorneys for legal action.
Stopping the use of Emolument Attachment Orders as a collection method
In accordance with the principals of treating customers fairly, we have a responsibility to ensure that all collection strategies employed by Nimble and its subsidiaries are fair, free of abuse and result in sustainable outcomes for all affected persons.
Accordingly, Nimble made the decision to no longer use Emolument Attachment Orders (or “EAO’s” as they are commonly referred to) as a strategy to collect debt. Nimble has instructed all employers to immediately cease deducting amounts from their employees’ salaries in terms of these EAO’s.
If you are still experiencing EAO salary deductions in relation to an account with us please contact our offices on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Debt Review vs Debt Administration
Nimble supports ethical and lawful collection practices and wishes to ensure that you are aware of your rights in respect of the processes utilised in collecting outstanding debts. The legislation that has been passed to assist consumers in dealing with over-indebtedness is not always clear and easily understandable for the man in the street. We have tried to set out some basic guidance to help you in navigating through the financial challenges that you may be facing.
An Administration Order is obtained in terms of Section 74 of the Magistrates’ Court Act (Act 32 of 1944). This procedure was designed for individuals who could not be sequestrated and whose total debt does not exceed R50 000-00.
In terms of this process, the person who is over-indebted (the debtor) applies to be placed under administration. If the application is successful, an administrator is appointed to renegotiate payments with creditors. The debtor will pay monthly payments to the administrator who will then distribute amounts to the creditor at regular intervals, as agreed.
While this process is designed to distribute the money on an equitable basis, one of the challenges that it creates is that the administrator is entitled to charge a fee for collection and distribution of funds. Thus the total amount available for distribution is reduced.
Debt Counselling and/or Debt Review
Debt counselling is a type of alternative dispute mediation for over-indebted consumers. A consumer can seek the assistance of a debt counsellor who will assess all of the consumers’ indebtness and propose a renegotiation of monthly installment amounts with creditors on behalf of the consumer. The intention is that all parties compromise to achieve an outcome that is affordable to the consumer. The process differs from administration in that the total amount of debt may exceed R 50 000.00. However, it should be understood that the process should stop the consumer from accessing new credit during the period when old debt is being paid off.
The main purpose of debt counselling and/or review is:
To assess a debtor’s state of indebtedness and to facilitate a monthly debt repayment plan with the credit providers which is affordable.
To make recommendations to credit providers and/or Magistrates’ Courts on behalf of over-indebted consumers for a consent order if they have reached an agreement how the debt must be paid back and the term.
The debt counsellor assesses a debtor’s state of indebtedness, then declares that the individual is over-indebted or not. If the debt counsellor finds that the borrower is not over-indebted, a letter of rejection will be given to the debtor, and credit providers will be allowed to continue with the legal proceedings.
What constitutes “Collection Costs”?
We are entitled to charge certain fees as prescribed in Annexure B of the Regulations to the Debt Collector’s Act (Act 114 of 1998).
What is a Section 129 Notice?
This Notice is required by law prior to legal action being taken and must inform you:
Of the amounts which are due by you and the source of your indebtedness (i.e. type of account);
That you may refer the account to a debt counsellor, an alternative dispute resolution agent, consumer court or ombudsman with jurisdiction to help develop and agree on a payment plan for your debt and the account or to resolve any dispute pertaining to the credit agreement, or
Alternatively, you may contact us on to enter into a suitable payment arrangement.
We required by law to deliver this notice to you either by registered post or by hand and therefore need you most up to date contact details at all times. If you do not provide us with these details, you may not receive the notice which may be to your detriment.
We will at all times whilst processing your personal information abide by and comply with the relevant provisions of the Protection of Personal Information Act.
The debt collection industry is regulated by various industry bodies. You can easily find out more about these organisations by accessing the links we have added here:
There are several important pieces of legislation which set out your rights and obligations. Just click on the link below to get the full details:
National Credit Act as amended (“NCA”)
*National credit amendment bill currently under discussion to incorporate Debt Forgiveness into the NCA
Regulations and/or Codes of Conduct
In addition to the regulatory bodies and the Acts that govern our industry, there are prescribed codes of conduct which we are required to follow to ensure that we maintain a healthy balance between the rights of the debtors and the rights of the credit grantors:
Treating Customers Fairly
Credit Providers Code of Conduct
Code of Conduct – Council for Debt Collectors
Debt Relief Bill
Good news for over-indebted consumers - Debt Relief is finally here! Nimble welcomes the signing in of the new long awaited National Credit Amendment Bill which aims to provide relief to over-indebted consumers. The process will be administered by the National Credit Regulator although no implementation date has been set yet nor has the step by step process been finalised. For now it seems as though the window for applying will be four years from implementation date.
1. Why was the Debt Relief Bill introduced?
To provide relief to over-indebted consumers
More rigorous enforcement of the Act for credit grantors
2. Who qualifies for Debt Relief?
Earn a gross monthly income of R7,500 or less over the last six months
Unsecured debt (excludes car finance & home loans) is not more than R50,000
Do not qualify if sequestrated or subject to an administration order
3. What is the proposed application process?
Step 1: Apply to the National Credit Regulator (NCR)
Step 2: Debt Intervention Officers will consider the case & inform creditors & bureaus of the application
Step 3: Assessment done on your financial situation
Step 4: If the assessment shows you are able to settle your debts, your application will be rejected. If your assessment shows you are unable to settle your debts, NCR will determine if you can pay off your debts with 5 years & all or some of your debts repayments may be suspended for up to a year
Step 5: 8 months later review your financial situation and:
- If you are able to repay your debts within 5 years, NCR will consider restructuring the remaining debt
- If you are unable to repay your debts within 5 years, you may get another 12 repayment months free.
Step 6: 8 months later review your financial situation and you still can’t pay off your debts, your debts may be written off in part or full.
4. What happens after your debt is written off?
Cannot apply for credit for up to a year
Your credit record may reflect the status that your debt was distinguished which may impact your credit score