The room seems to darken. It feels like something is closing in on you -
Don’t worry! There is a way out of loan fraud.
Let’s start with a reminder that any form of lender fraud is illegal. This means the law will be on your side as long you didn’t conspire with these online loan scams. You don’t need to be afraid of the things to come. Obviously every situation of fraud is unique. It is, therefore, hard to give a step by step process to follow. The basic remedies remain though.
Two Acts exist in South African Law through which matters concerning credit fraud is handled.
- The National Credit Act, 2005.
- The Consumer Protection Act, 2008.
These acts differ a bit, but they share a common goal - to establish a fair and safe credit market in South Africa. We are dealing with criminals, so they won’t go down without a fight. It is important to know that the long arm of the law will rule in your favour before you enter into a possible long drawn out costly legal battle.
South Africa’s justice system works on the basis that someone is innocent until proven guilty. The law will have to intervene to get you out of this situation. Therefore, the National Consumer Tribunal exists to enforce a ruling on this matter.
The NCT is an independent entity that oversees hearings regarding matters between consumers, providers, debt counselors and credit bureaux. The NCT started in 2006 as a means through which the National Credit Act – and from 2008 the Consumer Protection Act as well - could be implemented. It has the authority to make orders provided for in the Acts listed above. It can also grant orders for costs provided in the Acts. The NCT’s ruling carries the same weight as that of a ruling by the High Court of South Africa. Should you not be satisfied with the ruling of the NCT you may apply for a hearing in the Supreme Court of South Africa. Click here to visit the National Consumer Tribunal website.
Before a dispute can be opened, you have to file an application with the Registrar (at the NCT). The application forms itself can be acquired via the NCT resources.
File an application through one of the following procedures:
- Through an application delivered to the physical address of the NCT.
- Through registered mail to the postal address.
- By fax.
- Or by e-mail.
Please note that for your application to be noted it will receive a unique reference number for the matter and the Registrar will send an acknowledgement of receipt of the application to you and the fraudulent lender (within 5 working days).
This may seem like too much detail, but the NCT will guide you through the process. It is after all their business to protect you!
Our final word of advice is to not tackle this on your own. Seek the assistance of a professional. A lawyer trained in this field will mean a world of difference to this whole process.
“Personal loans, pay day loans, students loans. They are all covered in the National Credit Act and Consumer Protection Act. You are not alone. You have the backing of the law!”