Do not be bullied by debt collectors

2221367 AP FILE - In this March 5, 2012 file photo, consumer credit cards are posed in North Andover, Mass. The rate of severely late credit card payments dipped nationally in the first three months of the year, even as banks issued more cards to borrowers with less-than-stellar credit, according to an analysis by credit reporting agency TransUnion. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

Caryn Dolley

IF JM Attorneys demands money you don’t owe, there are various channels available for sorting out the matter.

Responding to a query about the law firm, Jaco Fourie, a senior legal official in the Law Society of Northern Province’s disciplinary department, said if an attorney persisted in sending numerous demanding SMSes or letters to a debtor, while the debtor disputed the alleged claim, the debtor could:

l Lodge a complaint with the law society.

l The complaint would have to be referred to the society by way of an original affidavit, which needed to contain details of the harassment as well as copies of the letters received and/or the SMSes.

l Complaints needed to be addressed to The Law Society of the Northern Provinces, Disciplinary Department, PO Box 1493, Pretoria 0001.

In an emailed response to the Cape Times, credit bureau TransUnion said it was important for a person to get a copy of their credit report and then to review it to ensure it was accurate.

“The first thing that you should do if you notice that something on your credit report does not seem right is to contact the credit or service provider involved,” it said.

If this did not help, Trans- Union could be contacted on 0861 886 466 and they could initiate a dispute for the debtor.

“In terms of the National Credit Act, a credit bureau must investigate and find credible evidence to support a disputed listing within 20 business days,” it said.

If the item could not be verified within the time frame, it would be removed from the report. If it was verified, it would remain on the debtor’s report as part of that person’s history.

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