Individual cases may be found by a court to have been reckless lending.

Durban - Were the banks thart financed the 24 000 Satinsky “699” deals guilty of reckless lending?

The first step towards establishing that - the Port Elizabeth High Court application to have the 699-ers declared a class - has been dismissed, but individual cases may be found by a court to have been reckless, given that so many of them are unable to afford their instalments now that the scheme has collapsed.

In fact, KwaZulu-Natal-based debt counsellor Philippa Davis is to take her first 699 case of reckless lending before a magistrate in the coming weeks.

“The client had had crazy debt, mostly unsecured.”

Davis told Consumer Watch: “She lost her job, went into arrears, then got a new job, applied for a R699pm car and was approved for finance, despite being quite obviously over indebted, with all her debts recorded at credit bureau ITC and clearly available to the bank concerned.”

Consumer Watch will be keenly monitoring that case.

Here is Davis’ advice to 699-ers: If it is only the car finance that has upended your ability to make ends meet, and you have no other debt, then a reckless credit application can be made directly to the Magistrate’s Court where you work or live.

You use an attorney or go directly to the clerks of the court, armed with an affidavit setting out your case.

If you had other debt before the car finance was granted, and now battle with all your debt, debt counselling is advised as a very effective remedy.

Under debt counselling, a reckless credit investigation is compulsory and the debt counsellor will take this matter through court.

Choose your debt counsellor wisely.

Ask them about their success rate with reckless credit allegations. If a court finds that a 699 deals was reckless lending on the part of the bank, the contract is then set aside and there are a number of possible options, such as the bank takes back the car and the consumer is let off the hook for remaining payments.

The Star