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How to clear your name from debt review

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Once your debt review is completed or your circumstances have changed, you and your debt counsellor can approach the court to have it removed from your name.

Overview

Debt review is a process aimed at helping people navigate over-indebtedness and take control of their financial circumstances. There are ways to complete or exit the process and clear your name from debt review.

What happens when you are under debt review?

Debt review is a formal process whereby you, as an over-indebted individual, either voluntarily seek the help or are obligated to seek the help of a registered debt counsellor, who will assist you in restructuring your debt.

The aim of this process is for the debt counsellor to negotiate with creditors on your behalf and draw up a repayment plan to help you pay off all your remaining debts, as well as to help you regain control over your personal finances. While you are under debt review, your credit report will be flagged with this information and you will not be able to incur new debt for the duration of the process, as it may hinder your progress in your repayment plan.

How to clear your name from debt review

Once you have completed this process, it is important to know how to remove the flag from your credit report, so that you can apply for new lines of credit without creditors being deterred by you having been placed under debt review in the past.

There are three main ways that you can clear your name from debt review and these are:

  • Once you have completed the process and paid off all your outstanding debt, you can apply for a debt review clearance certificate.
  • You can also apply to exit the debt review process if your circumstances have changed and only if you do not have a court order for the debt review in place.

How to clear your name if you have completed debt review

When you have paid off all your debt and completed the debt review process, the following steps can be taken to clear your name from debt review:

Step Description
Step 1 Contact the National Debt Review Center and complete the necessary forms
Step 2 A registered debt counsellor will call you to review your debt and financial situation
Step 3 The debt counsellor will start the legal process and contact your creditors
Step 4 Creditors will send your paid-up letters to the debt counsellor
Step 5 Court documents will be drafted
Step 6 Your case will be referred to your nearest magistrate court
Step 7 You will receive your debt review clearance certificate, your debt counsellor will inform the National Credit Regulator (NCR) that you are no longer under debt review, and they will inform all registered credit bureaus to update your credit report

How to clear your name if your circumstances have changed

It can be difficult to remove a debt review status from your name if you have not completed the process. However, it is possible in some cases. It is important to note that you can only withdraw from debt review, in this case, in very specific instances.

If you do not have a court order in place and you and your debt counsellor can prove through an income and expense report that your financial circumstances have changed and you are no longer over-indebted, you can remove the debt review from your name

Although, if you have a court order under debt review in place, you will not be able to approach the court to rescind your debt review and you will need to complete the process before you can clear your name from debt review.

How long will it take for your name to be cleared?

Whether you have completed the process, or your circumstances have changed, clearing your name from debt review will take some time.

The registered credit bureaus may take up to 21 business days from when they are notified by your debt counsellor to clear your name from debt review. However, the steps involved in the process prior to this one, such as getting the information from your creditors and finding a court date, can take quite some time. That being said, the total timeframe to remove this flag from your name may take about three to six months to complete.

Final thoughts

You may enter debt review if you have become over-indebted or if you have been ordered by a court to do so. The only ways to exit this process once it has started is to complete the process, or through a change in financial circumstances, but either way, it may take some time.

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