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The much anticipated Removal of Adverse Consumer Credit Information, with implementation date of 1 April 2014, has finally arrived. Millions of consumers across the country have eagerly awaited the day they will receive a 'pardon' for their credit sins and start afresh, with hopes of once again being able to access much needed credit.
The purpose of the Credit Information Amnesty is to assist consumers who are blocked from obtaining employment or from obtaining new credit, although they can afford it, due to adverse information or information about paid up court judgements appearing on their credit records.
There will be a once off removal of adverse information and also ongoing removal of paid up judgement debts.
Credit bureau will once off, by 1 April 2014, removal all adverse information from consumers' credit records.
What is adverse information?
Adverse information refers to phrases listed by credit providers on consumers' records when they default; like the following phrases:
It also refers to information regarding disputes lodged by a consumer with a credit bureau regarding their credit records, irrespective of the outcome.
What does this mean for consumers?
It is important that consumers understand that it is only the adverse information that will be removed. The information amnesty does not erase debts or release consumers from paying off their loan agreements and other debts.
All your debts and how you pay off your debts will still appear on your credit records in your payment profiles.
Credit providers will still be able to see your payment behaviour and if you have debts that are in arrears; which is important when determining your affordability when you apply for a loan.
From 1 April 2014, and in future on an ongoing basis, credit bureaux will remove information regarding court judgments from a consumer's credit record once the consumer has paid up that judgment.
What does this means for consumers?
Consumers who have paid up a judgment debt will no longer need to go to court to have a judgment rescinded in order to clear the judgment from their credit records. This will be removed automatically.
The Credit Information Amnesty does affect paid up debts other than judgment debts.
However, once the National Credit Amendment Bill comes into effect credit bureaux will be required to also remove adverse information listed next to any debt (and not only judgment debts) once the consumer has paid up such debt.
What will this mean for consumers?
If a consumer has defaulted on a loan and a credit provider has listed adverse information next to that loan, the consumer can settle this debt and the credit bureau will remove this adverse information.
To find out more about the Credit Information Amnesty and to get a free credit report visit your nearest Old Mutual branch.
Terms and Conditions
The content of this webpage is for general information purposes only. Please refer to the specific contents of the Removal of Adverse Consumer Information and Information Relating to Paid Up Judgments Regulations, 2014 for completeness. Old Mutual Finance does not give any guarantees or make any representations of any kind regarding the accuracy, applicability or content of the information of this document. Although Old Mutual Finance exercised reasonable care in the compilation of the information in this document, Old Mutual Finance does not accept liability for any loss, damage or expense that may be incurred as a direct or indirect consequence of reliance placed thereon.
Soré Cloete, Legal Manager at Old Mutual
Derick Ferreira, Head of Product Management at Old Mutual