National Credit Act Update - Proposed Amendment Bill Gazetted

The Department of Trade and Industry published the following documents in the Government Gazette of 29 May 2013:

  • a policy review of the National Credit Act (Act) undertaken by the National Credit Regulator (Regulator) [Policy Review] the draft National Credit Amendment Bill (Amendment Bill) which seeks to amend the Act in line with the proposed Policy Review.

Written comments to both of these documents are required to be submitted no later than thirty days from the date of publication thereof. 

By way of summary, the Amendment Bill, proposes to amend the Act by:

  • amending certain definitions (for example it is proposed that the definition of "lease" no longer requires the passing of ownership)
  • allowing the CEO of the Regulator to delegate certain functions to other officials of the Regulator
  • tightening measures relating to debt counsellors and the conduct of their practices as debt counsellors
  • allowing debt counsellors to voluntarily cancel their registration empowering the Regulator to cancel the registration of any registrant without reference to the National Consumer Tribunal (NCT), where the registrant fails to comply with a condition of its registration or fails to meet a commitment contemplated in section 48 of the Act empowering the NCT to suspend reckless credit agreements
  • tightening the requirements that credit providers must adhere to in respect of marriages in community of property, by requiring the written consent of the spouse to a credit agreement
  • providing for the registration and accreditation of alternative dispute resolution structures and providing for matters connected therewith, in this regard no specific guidelines or requirements are set out

In addition the Amendment Bill proposes to amend the Insolvency Act by providing that an application for debt review by a debtor must not be regarded as an act of insolvency.

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