Credit Bill aims to help consumers – ParlyReport

Private member’s Bill calls for hearings

In an interesting development in terms of the newly introduced National Credit Act far as consumer protection is concerned, one ofmario oriani-ambrosini the first private member’s Bills to be seen for a number of years seeks to make some important to the anchor legislation.

The National Credit Act Amendment Bill is being tabled by IFP member of Parliament, Mario Oriani-Ambrosini;  an explanation within the background of the Bill stating that the move is necessitated in order to avoid unintended consequences of existing legislation and bring debt relief in specific deserving cases.

A private member’s Bill is treated, if accepted by the Speaker, in the same manner as any Bill introduced by a minister. The last private members Bill was introduced by MP Edwin Conroy some eight years ago.

The preamble of the Bill says the new proposals include the need to clarify the definition of the use of the word “consumer” in order to avoid some of the unintended applications that might occur in transactions with consumers at the retail level or as end users, particularly so as to exclude business-to-business transactions or, for example, a mortgagee applying for a loan and a number of other such purchasing situations.

Also the preamble includes a statement regarding a perceived need provide economic relief to deserving consumers under debt rearrangements by giving the discretion to a magistrate acting on the recommendation of the relevant debt counsellor to suspend the accrual of interest on a debt or debts for a period of up to five years, if serving such debt becomes in itself beyond the debtor’s financial capabilities.

Such is presumably perceived by the originators as being important during the current period of economic downturn.

Comments are invited to the portfolio committee on trade and industry at Parliament.

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