Consumers should aim to avoid garnishee orders
ABOUT half a million South Africans in the private sector have emolument attachment orders (more commonly known as garnishee orders) against them, according to a recent study by the University of Pretoria Law Clinic.
Kevin Hurwitz, chief executive officer of Wonga.com, said consumers should speak to their credit providers when in danger of defaulting on a repayment, rather than fall into arrears and hope the debt will go away altogether, often resulting in a garnishee order being implemented.
“Credit providers understand that circumstances can change and that there are often valid reasons for consumers not being able to stick to their repayment commitments.
“It is vital for consumers to contact their credit providers and together agree on a repayment ar rangement, rather than trying to avoid the credit provider completely,” he said.
A garnishee order is a courtordered instruction that requires employers to deduct money owed to a creditor from an employee’s salary before it is paid out to the employee.
Recent reports of widespread abuse of this type of debt collection have fuelled debate about the legality and enforcement of these orders.
“We believe a garnishee order should be considered as a last resort, rather than the goto tool for debt collection,” said Hurwitz.
He said that in Wonga’s case, they try to contact the consumer from the day of default via email, SMS and telephone.
“We also urge the consumer to get in touch and to speak to us, so that we can discuss the