Credit Instalment –
If you missed your last credit instalment; or more than one instalment, we suggest you visit your post-box.
- Do you have a loan agreement or credit account and ever thought that the personal contact info you gave, are a just the norm for official documents?
- Have you missed an instalment before, and avoided the letters of demand or legal notice by overlooking the registered post sent to you?
If you answered yes to either of these questions then you should reconsider your approach to your monthly payments. In regards to debt, ignorance is not an excuse for law in South Africa today.
Recently the case of Kubyana v Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd (CC) shows that the method with which the credit providers are obligated to notify customers of their missed credit instalment, limits the costumer in such a way, that claiming ignorance of such a notice will not be accepted in the Constitutional Court.
Mr Kubyana a customer of Standard Bank, was sent a notice with registered post which he failed to collect. When Standard Bank received the returned notice, they issued a summons to Mr Kubyana, whom responded to the summons with a plea claiming ignorance based on section 129 of the National Credit Act 34 of 2005 (“NCA”). According to the NCA, the responsibility lies with the credit provider, to at the least inform the costumer of their missed credit instalment.
This is a common misconception. Customers think that the processes in which they are notified of their missed credit instalment are more difficult for the Service provider, and that they can claim ignorance at the attempts of the Service providers notifying them.
In the case of Kubyana v Standard Bank the Constitutional Court ruled that Standard Bank was not responsible for any additional notices. The ruled that if the NCA required this condition to be met, they would have to provide such a service. The Constitutional Court ruled that it is adequate if the notification is written and made accessible to the customer at his chosen address. If the customer does not react to the notification, the credit provider is allowed to continue with legal action.
Concluding this piece, only if the notice was sent to the complete incorrect address, would you be able to try and claim ignorance of not receiving the notice in the Constitutional Court.
Rather see your credit provider and find out what your options are. You could also go for debt counselling or get appropriate legal advice for your situation, take control of the situation before legal actions is necessary and make sure you collect all of your post.