Absa is claiming it is owed R1.4-million by a consumer whose outstanding balance on his personal loan was R52,000 at the time of going into debt review seven years ago. The consumer, Herman van Zyl, is a 58-year-old electrician in Welkom, in the Free State. In 2009, he fell on hard times when the mine he was working for stopped paying salaries and closed. In a bid to save his house from repossession, Van Zyl, who is married in community of property, went into debt review with this wife, Willene. The loan was taken out in October 2008 to help the couple's son fund his studies and to do some home improvements, Van Zyl says. He was obliged to pay off the loan in instalments of R1550 a month over 60 months. The total cost of credit, including repayments, fees and interest, was about R93,000. Van Zyl had paid 10 instalments before he lost his job, and in the six months that he was unemployed was unable to service the loan. Ever since then he has been in debt review and has never missed a...

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