Advice and Opinion

Nedbank offers guidance to homeowners facing financial difficulty

Nedbank remains committed to helping clients facing financial hardship. In addition to traditional communication channels like branch and telephony, Nedbank Home Loans also provide a website that aims to educate clients about their options if they fall behind on the bond repayments.

Since its inception in 2011, the Home Loans Payment Solutions website has been viewed by over 37,000 people and has helped many clients conclude the right arrangement with the bank, be it a customised repayment plan, a restructured home loan or an assisted private sale.

Debi Mišura, Head: Nedbank Home Loans Collections and Recoveries notes that clients no longer need to think that selling their home is the only option when in financial distress. ‘In the past when homeowners were unable to repay their bonds, the only option was to stand by as their homes were taken away through legal proceedings, known as a foreclosure. This usually resulted in a financial loss for both the homeowner and the bank, and those homeowners ended up with a bad credit record, which made it difficult for them to get back on their feet.’

‘The website includes a simple calculator to help clients assess their situation and make an informed financial decision. In fact, we’ve seen that clients who used the calculator and stuck to their course of action, were able to recover from the difficult situations in the quickest possible time,’ says Mišura. ‘For example, over 20,000 families have been able to retain their homes as a result of an effective rehabilitation process, called a restructure.’

Another option is the Nedbank Assisted Sales (NAS) programme that helps clients sell their property on the open market. It uses approved estate agents to get the best possible price, and Nedbank may provide a discount on a portion of the loan shortfall if there is one. More than 5,000 families have already benefited from this programme.
‘We believe that knowledge empowers our clients to make the best financial decisions, and that this is particularly important when facing difficult economic times. We also know that people learn in a variety of ways, so we have recently developed a short video which simply illustrates options available to clients in financial distress and encourages clients to come talk to us to find a solution. We’ve added the video to our Payment Solutions website and also play it across our branch network.’

‘We would like to encourage anyone facing financial difficulty to contact the bank as soon as possible to explore the options available to them. For most people, their home is their biggest investment and we will endeavour to help protect that investment where possible,’ concludes Mišura.