The past quarter has seen disputes opened in the Credit Information Department increase by 18.46% when compared to the previous quarter, while the number of disputes closed also showed an increase of 53.61% for this period. Year to date, we have opened 1 325 disputes which represents a decrease of 7.5% compared to the same period for 2013. We closed a total of 1 518 disputes for the year to date which is a decrease of 13.9% when compared to the same period last year.
One of the major trends during this quarter was that 19% of all disputes closed fell within the category of removal of negative information due to the new regulation on the ‘Removal of Adverse Consumer Credit’. These removals included all default information – paid or unpaid, as well as paid-up judgments. A number of consumers lodged disputes with our office to obtain the benefit of the new regulations, and in other cases the new regulation had an impact on existing complaints that we were working on.
Going forward, the process involving the removal of paid-up judgment information will change. Credit providers will now have the duty to inform a credit bureau within 7 days of a judgment being paid up and the bureaus will have 7 days to remove the judgment information from the consumer’s profile.
The National Credit Amendment Act will also in due course affect the processes in our office once it is promulgated. Some of the changes relate to the removal of default information once the debt has been paid-up.