Can I list a debtor as a bad payer with the credit bureaus?

A credit-granting business client can list a business or individual who has defaulted on payment following the National Credit Act (NCA) regulations directly onto several Credit Bureau Default Listing databases.

This listing will immediately appear on the person’s Consumer Credit Report as adverse information under Default listings. In the case of a business, the Default listing will immediately appear on the business’s Business Credit Report under Default listings.

Default listings will negatively influence the person or business’s credit rating and reflect on their credit report for at least two years.

These are the steps to follow:

  • In terms of section 72 of the NCA, a creditor is obliged to give the consumer 20 business days’ notice of its intention to list any default information on a consumer’s credit report.
  • The written notice is sent via registered post or in an e-mail. The onus would be on the creditor to prove that the consumer received such written notice. 

It is important to note that the aforesaid applies to “default” (aka adverse information as defined in Regulation 17 – such as a failure to pay) and would not apply to information listed under the consumer’s payment profile as such information is classified as account information which is essential information that relates to how a consumer pays their account every month.

During those 20 days, the consumer can challenge the accuracy of the information proposed to be reported to a credit bureau or the National Credit Register.

A creditor can list judgment information on a consumer’s credit report without being obliged to give the consumer written notice of its intention to do so.

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