Helpful Legal Definitions

Negative Data

Detailed information on a consumer’s profile that shows legal -and enforcement action that was taken against a consumer for poor behaviour on their outstanding debt obligations. Negative data include indications such as:

  • Slow paying
  • Defaults
  • Adverse listings
  • Judgment
  • Administration order


The Credit Provider applies at the court (Magistrate – or High court) for a Judgment against the consumer that failed to make payment towards their debt repayment. The Credit Provider only needs the consumer’s ID, surname and loan agreement to obtain the Judgment listing against the consumer. The consumer does not even need to be present in court for the Judgment to be granted. A Judgment is thus a court order that compels the consumer to make regular payments as set out in the Judgment order. Judgment information are removed from a consumer’s credit report as soon as the Credit Provider provides a paid-up letter to MaxLaw. MaxLaw will then submit the paid-up letter to the Credit Bureaus. It will take 14 working days to remove the Judgment listing from all Bureaus after the paid-up letter was submitted.

Administration Order

The consumer applies for an Administration order through an Administrator. The Administration order will be granted where the consumer cannot afford to honour their debt obligations and where their debt is under R50 000 and they do not own any assets. In terms of the Administration Order, the court will determine how much the consumer needs for basic necessities and how much is left from their income to honour their debt repayment obligations. The repayment amount towards the outstanding debt is then paid by the consumer to the Administrator on a monthly basis. The Administrator will then distribute the payments on behalf of the consumer to the Credit Providers owed every 3 months. Administration orders can stay on a consumer’s credit record for 10 years.

Garnishing Order

Listing by the Credit Provider, who in liaison with the court, instruct the consumer’s employer to deduct the debt repayment amount from the consumer’s salary before the consumer receives their salary pay-out.

Emolument Attachment Order

Listing by the Credit Provider, who in liaison with the court, instruct the consumer’s employer to deduct the debt repayment amount from the consumer’s salary or future earnings (commission, bonus, provident pay-out, dividends, etc.) before the consumer receives their salary pay-out.


Where the consumer fails to make payments towards their outstanding debt obligations. In most cases the default listing will stay on the consumer’s credit profile for 3 payments skipped and then become an Adverse listing after that.


An Adverse listing is a negative listing on a consumer’s credit report that indicates that the consumer did not make regular payments towards their outstanding debt or payments at all. The Credit Provider will then list the consumer’s account as an Adverse account listing.

Bureau Score

The bureau score is a number that represents the associated risk of the consumer’s repayment probability. The score is calculated by using statistical analysis of the negative and positive data on the consumer’s report to determine what risk the consumer holds for the Credit Provider. Scores and the associated risk indicators may differ from Bureau to Bureau as the weights and measures to calculate the score might differ at each Bureau.

Credit Assessment

Also known as an Affordability Assessment. This assessment process includes a full study of the consumer’s credit profile information; as indicated on their credit report, to determine which services are relevant to assist the consumer to improve their credit standing or to determine if the consumer qualifies for a specific loan product.

Debt Restructuring

The process where a Debt Counsellor negotiate with the Credit Provider for an amended repayment amount on the consumer’s outstanding debt amount and terms. MaxLaw will assist consumers to further restructure their repayment amount when the consumer opts to leave/cancel the debt review process or where the consumer is in arrears with their debt repayments. MaxLaw will only be able to restructure loan repayment amounts and terms where the consumer is not yet in arrears, but require the lesser installment negotiation.

Debt Consolidation

A process whereby the consumer’s debt is fully paid-up at each of their Credit Providers by extending a loan to the consumer that fully covers the balance of the debt at each of their Credit Providers. The consumer will thus only have one loan to repay.


The act of getting money from consumers who are not repaying their loans/debt. This process can be performed by an attorney, external collection company or internal debt collection departments at the Credit Provider. The listing is seen as negative on the consumer’s credit report. In extreme cases the consumer first needs to be traced; by obtaining new contact information, before the collection process can be implemented. Collection processes can include a promise to pay from the consumer, debt restructuring processes where the repayment amount and terms are negotiated and settlement amounts requested.

Section 129

The Section in the National Credit Act 34 of 2005 that explains the process that the Credit Provider must follow before legal action (i.e. Judgment) can be taken against the consumer. This section indicates that the Credit Provider needs to ensure tha the consumer understands the wrongdoing in terms of the failure to repay their debt, the consumer’s rights (i.e. see a Debt counsellor / Administrator) and the repercussions if the consumer fails to take one of these options (i.e. Judgment / Emolument Attachment Order / Garnishing, etc.)


The settlement refers to the either the full payment of the outstanding balance or where the consumer pays the arrears amount to bring the payments on the account up-to-date or to close the account.

Credit Bureau

An institution that collects data from various sources (i.e. credit providers, collection agents and public sources) that is related to the consumer’s credit history and contact information. The Credit Bureau then validates, verify, load and host the positive and negative data and display it in a useable format by means of a Credit Report for each individual consumer.

Credit Provider

Institution that provides goods or services on credit. These include institutions like Banks, Micro-lenders, Furniture stores, Clothing retail shops and Telecommunication companies.

Debt Counsellor

Institutions that assist a consumer on their request to determine if the consumer is over-indebted, review the debt and restructure the repayment of the outstanding debt and terms with the credit provider.

Legal Advice

Legal advice or formal opinion from a professional regarding the requirements set out in a law / act.

Matrimonial Matters

Cases relating to issues/ disputes arising between two parties who are married. MaxLaw offers advice on uncontested divorces and child support claims.

Personal Injury

Cases where the subscriber was either in a car accident and were hurt in the process or where they lost quality of life as a result of a doctor or surgeon treating them with the incorrect process, procedure or medication.

Labour Matters

Cases relating as a result of employment where the employer and employee cannot reach an agreement or understanding.

Credit Legal Matters

Assistance to the subscriber who needs advice in order to understand their credit report. This form of personal upliftment and knowledge transfer will aid the consumer in understanding how to improve their standing with the credit bureau and the benefits they will receive in the credit industry.

Criminal proceedings

Cases relating to procedures that should be followed in events where the subscriber find themselves in a situation where they need to apply for bail, parole or where they need advice regarding procedures to follow when they receive a summons for a traffic fine.

Civil Matters

Cases where the law will require that the wrongful party compensate the victim for his / her injury or damage to property.

Property Law

Cases relating to the full understanding what an offer to purchase means as well as advice on a fair lease agreement and the full understanding of the terms relating to property leases.

Immediate Family

The direct family members of the subscriber, including the spouse, children under 21 years or bona fide students up to 25 years of age.


The consumer who pays the monthly subscription fee and who agreed to the subscription either telephonically or by signing the Legal Eagle service documentation, in order to receive the benefits that is offered under the service.

Immovable Property

Fixed assets of a property; i.e. house

Power of Attorney

The permission and authority that the consumer gives MaxLaw to act on their behalf in specified and legal or financial matters.


The subscribing consumer appointed MaxLaw to carry out the terms of their will in accordance with the last will and testament in the event of death.


Personal or real assets like money, property or other valuables.

Will and Testament

Legal documentation that stipulates the last will of the individual about what should be done with their assets and how it should be distributed after the event of death.

Culpable Homicide

Act that resulted in another person’s death, but is not murder.

Delictual Civil Matters

Delictual civil matters are cases where the subscriber is the wrongful party who committed the wrongdoing or crime.

Credit Assessment / Affordability Assessment

A study of the consumers’ debt obligations (what they must pay) in terms of their income. This type of analysis that MaxLaw performs will determine what payments the consumer can afford to pay towards their debt obligations after their basic needs (Rent/bond, food, etc.) are provided for.

Power of Attorney

A mandate that the consumer signs as an agreement that MaxLaw can act on behalf of them with regards to their debt negotiations and restructuring.

Debt Restructure / Debt Negotiation

The process where MaxLaw negotiate with the Credit Provider for an amended repayment amount or terms on the consumer’s outstanding credit at the specific Credit Provider. MaxLaw will only be able negotiate to restructure loan terms where the consumer is not yet in arrears, but require the lesser installment negotiation over an extended period.

Loan – / Credit Terms

The period that the agreement is in place for the repayment of the outstanding debt at the Credit Provider.

Installment Amount

The minimum amount that the consumer is supposed to pay towards their outstanding debt, as per the agreement between the consumer and the Credit Provider. (i.e. R325 every month on the 7th of the month)