What Happens When You Miss a Debt Review Payment?

For many South African customers who are drowning in debt, debt review provides a structured route to both legal protection and financial recovery. Even though this process gives people back control over their financial destinies, it’s crucial to carefully follow the repayment schedule that has been agreed upon. But what happens if you fail to make a payment for a debt review? This important query may have far-reaching effects on those negotiating South Africa’s intricate debt review process.

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This post will discuss the ramifications of missing a debt review payment, including what happens to your credit score, what legal action creditors might take, and whether the debt review procedure is suspended. For anyone going through a debt review to successfully navigate the path to financial stability and a future free of debt, it is imperative that they comprehend these factors.

What is Debt Review?

Debt review is a legal debt relief program in South Africa established under the National Credit Act (NCA) of 2005. It is a structured debt management solution aimed at helping individuals who are unable to meet their financial obligations due to excessive debt. Debt review offers over-indebted consumers a lifeline by creating a repayment plan that is affordable and sustainable.

The Process of Debt Review

Debt review is a systematic and regulated process designed to protect consumers and creditors. Let’s delve into the steps involved in the debt review process:

1. Application

To initiate the debt review process, you will need to contact a registered debt counselor. DebtSafe, one of the leading debt review companies in South Africa, offers valuable insights into this process. According to their website, you’ll need to provide the following information during the initial consultation:

  • Personal details
  • A list of your creditors and the amounts owed to each
  • Proof of income
  • Your monthly expenses

2. Evaluation

Once your debt counselor has gathered all the necessary information, they will evaluate your financial situation to determine if you are over-indebted. Being over-indebted means that you are unable to meet your monthly debt obligations.

3. Court Application (if necessary)

In some cases, your debt counselor may need to apply to the court to have your debt review formally approved. This typically happens when one or more of your creditors refuse to accept the proposed repayment plan.

4. Debt Repayment Plan

After the evaluation, your debt counselor will work with you to create a debt repayment plan that is affordable and sustainable. This plan takes into account your income and essential living expenses.

5. Negotiation with Creditors

Our debt counselor will contact your creditors to negotiate lower interest rates and extended repayment terms. This is a critical step in making your debt more manageable.

6. Court Order

If your debt review application is approved by the court, a court order is issued. This court order legally binds you and your creditors to the terms of the debt review process.

7. Monthly Payments

As per the debt repayment plan, you will make a single monthly payment to a Payment Distribution Agency (PDA). The PDA then disburses the funds to your creditors in accordance with the court-approved plan.

8. Protection from Legal Action

During the debt review process, you are protected from legal actions, such as repossessions or garnishee orders, by your creditors. This provides peace of mind and ensures that your assets and income are safeguarded.

Benefits of Debt Review

Debt review offers a range of benefits to over-indebted consumers. These advantages include:

1. Lower Monthly Payments: Debt review consolidates your debts into one affordable monthly payment, making it easier to manage your finances.

2. Legal Protection: Creditors are legally prohibited from taking legal action against you while you are under debt review.

3. Debt Reduction: Debt counselors negotiate with creditors to reduce interest rates, making it possible to repay your debts more quickly.

4. Debt-Free Future: Debt review offers a structured path to becoming debt-free, helping you regain control of your financial future.

5. Peace of Mind: Knowing that you are actively addressing your debt issues and have legal protection can alleviate the stress and anxiety associated with financial troubles.

Missing a Debt Review Payment

While the debt review process offers numerous advantages, it is crucial to adhere to the agreed-upon repayment plan. Missing payments can have serious consequences. Let’s explore what happens if you fail to make a debt review payment, drawing insights from DebtSafe’s FAQs:

1. Legal Action: If you miss a debt review payment, your creditors have the right to commence legal action against you. This can lead to asset repossessions and garnishee orders.

2. Loss of Debt Review Protection: Missing payments can result in losing the legal protection provided by the debt review process.

3. Suspension of the Debt Review Process: Your debt counselor may suspend the debt review process if you fail to make payments. They will then have to inform the court, and you may need to reapply for debt review, incurring additional costs.

4. Default Listing: Creditors may list you as a defaulter with the credit bureaus, making it difficult to access credit in the future.


Debt review is a vital tool for South African consumers struggling with over-indebtedness. It provides a structured and regulated process that helps individuals regain control of their finances. The steps involved in debt review, including evaluation, court applications (if necessary), creating a debt repayment plan, and negotiating with creditors, are essential for achieving a debt-free future. The legal protection offered during the debt review process is a crucial advantage, ensuring that individuals can focus on rebuilding their financial well-being without the constant fear of legal actions by creditors.

However, it is essential to understand the importance of adhering to the agreed-upon repayment plan. Missing debt review payments can lead to legal actions by creditors, suspension of the debt review process, and potential damage to your credit score. Therefore, it is imperative to commit to the debt review process and make regular, on-time payments to reap the benefits and secure your financial future.

In conclusion, debt review is a valuable resource for those struggling with overwhelming debt in South Africa, offering a path to financial recovery, legal protection, and peace of mind. To embark on this journey, seeking assistance from a reputable debt counselor is the first step toward a debt-free future.

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