I received this email from Mama Buyi’s son. I am sharing it with you so you know how exploitative the garnishee order system is. I am yet to understand why the garnishee orders were left intact when the National Credit Act was introduced. Please forward to your loved ones. I hope you will be ensuring that you don’t get into debt so that you don’t find yourself in this situation
I would like to know what we can do. My mother got a garnishee order from administrators since I was in high school. I passed my matric in 1998. The amount of her debt cost R 11000.00 and they told her that she would be garnished for five years. She is paying R 400.00 towards this garnishee and she went to speak to her HR and they told her there’s nothing they can do. I went with her to a lady that was handling her administration three years ago and she told us she will be done by December of that year but instead, her garnishee order is now being handled by another administrator with different costs. My mother told me that its been more than five administrators handling her account. She has also been paying the creditors directly hoping that this would bring the administration order to an end. Can you guys please assist me with regards to this; my mother is frustrated by this and we don’t know what to do.
CONVERSATION WITH MAMA BUYI
Mama Buyi is 56 years old and works at a laundry. She had 4 debts totalling R11 300. She was advised to go under administration and she did as she was hoping that the administrators were going to help her clear her debts quickly. They told her that her debts would be cleared within 5 years. Instead, she has been paying for over 10 years now and has changed administrators 5 times. She never gets any statement so she has no idea when she will be finally free of this garnishee order. Please see the table on pages 50 -51 of the book From Debt to Riches where I contrast Debt Administration and Debt Counseling. It is NO surprise to me that this is happening to her. As stated in the table, administrators do NOT calculate the total debt owed upfront – meaning you will never know for how long you will pay. People under debt administration are at the mercy of debt administrators. Mama Buyi is just one of millions of poor South Africans paying garnishee orders that never come to an end. She mentioned over and over again how hurt she is that this is happening to her. Such enslaving practices should not take place in a democratic society. All of us have a right to know when we pay debts, when the debt will be finally paid up. In my opinion, the debt administration system and garnishee order system are inherently exploitative and should be abolished.
AFTER SPEAKING TO MAMA BUYI, I DID THE FOLLOWING CALCULATIONS
1. Mama Buyi has paid the garnishee order for at least 10 years and 4 months so far
2. She has so far paid a total of R49 600. This excludes the amounts she had paid before the debt was transferred to the administrators and the amount she has paid directly to the creditors to try and finish off this garnishee order.
I have written to the administrator to find our when this order will come to an end. I will keep you posted on the outcome.
WHERE TO GO FOR HELP
Please note that due to time constraints, I am not able to attend to garnishee orders. For FREE help with garnishee orders, please contact the National Credit Regulator at firstname.lastname@example.org. They offer services free of charge to the public.
Your garnishee order could be invalid. To find out if it is valid or not, you can contact the NCR. You can also read about invalid garnishee order in the book From Debt to Riches pages 32 to 42. Employers should NOT honour invalid garnishee orders, they should send them back and advise the Sheriff that the order is invalid. You can also read about what makes a garnishee order invalid in this article entitled Garnishee orders, modern day slavery?Here is a link to the article https://test1.sdds.co.za/2013/04/09/garnishee-orders-modern-day-slavery/
1. Is it fair that Mama Buyi has been paying for this garnishee order for over 10 years? Yes or No
2. Is it fair that she has paid more than R50 000 for a debt of R11 300? Yes or No
3. Is it fair that the National Credit Act left out administration orders and garnishee orders out of the Act? Yes or No
4. Do you believe that the system should be abolished and replaced with a system that is fair for all concerned i.e. debtors and creditors? Yes or No
I will be sharing with you my humble suggestions on how the garnishee order system can be replaced with a fair system in future articles
REMEMBER to please tune into Cape Pulpit every Monday from 20H30 to 20H50 and listen to Phumelele Ndumo speak about all things money. Do call in with your queries