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Post-Purchase FAQ's
Once finance has been approved, all the forms have been signed, insurance has been arranged and you have driven out of the showroom, you may think that our relationship will be confined to a monthly payment for the life of your contract.  Not so.  Circumstances can change, and we are here whatever is over the horizon. For example, if you get a promotion, you may want to get a larger car; or if you lose your job, you may need to cut your motoring costs. Perhaps you might want to get a new car before your existing loan expires; or if there is a balloon payment, you might want further finance so you can hold on to the vehicle once the original loan expires. If these circumstances arise, don't worry. We are used to all these changes, and we are here to guide you through them. We have also provided explanations of some of the technical terms and processes which might confuse or worry you, and on the steps which may need to be followed if your loan is expiring or your circumstances change.

How will I be affected by interest rate changes?

Your contract may provide for a change in the amount of your monthly payment if interest rates change.  Normally the amount you pay will be linked to the Prime Interest Rate, which in turn is linked to the rate set every two months or so by the Reserve Bank. If you are due to pay your next instalment more than 15 days after interest rates change, your next instalment amount will be affected by the rate change - as will all your future instalments. If you are due to pay your next instalment less than 15 days after the change, the amount of that instalment won't be affected – but the change will happen the following month, and will also affect payments after that. Some contracts have a fixed interest rate, and these are not affected by changes in the official interest rate.

What is a Capital Balance?

The Capital Balance is the amount of the loan, not taking interest into account, and will therefore be unaffected by any rate changes.

What is a Contract Balance?

The Contract Balance includes all interest on the agreement, so any changes to the prime interest rate will affect this balance. When the Prime Interest Rate increases there will be an upward adjustment to this figure, and in a similar way there will be a reduction when interest rates are cut.

What is a paid-up letter?

A paid-up letter is a letter confirming that your account has been settled in full. It can be issued once all instalments and all amounts due have been paid. 

How can I get my paid-up letter?

You can request your paid-up letter online if less than 3 months have passed since you settled your account in full.

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You then register for Account Services, and log a request for the letter. It will be automatically created and will be available on the website.

This online version of the letter is available only in the first three months after your account has been settled. If more than 3 months have passed since you settled your account, simply e-mail or fax us your request: Email: service@lexusfinancialservices.co.za or Fax: 011 632 3792. Mark your request for the attention of our Admin department, and give us the e-mail address or fax number to which you would like us to send your letter, and we'll send it to you.

Remember to include your Lexus Financial Services account number with your correspondence.

What is a settlement letter?

This is a letter which provides a quote for the amount you need to pay in order to settle your account in full. The quote is valid for a specific period - usually 7 calendar days - a period that is in line with the rules of the National Credit Act. The settlement letter will also show you the most recent instalment you paid, and this instalment will have been taken into account in the calculation of the settlement amount. For the settlement quote to be valid, you would need to pay any monthly instalment that might fall due during the 7-day period. Details of the monthly instalment amount will also be included in the letter.

How do I request a settlement letter?

You can request and print a settlement letter from our website.

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You then register for Account Services, and log a request for the letter.  

Or you can e-mail or fax your request to us: E-mail: service@lexusfinancialservices.co.za or Fax: 011 632 3792. Please mark your request for the attention of our Admin Department.

You can also request your settlement via SMS. Simply SMS the letter “S” followed by a space, then add your account number, to 31329 e.g. SMS S 86123456789 to 31329

What is early settlement, and when is it required?

Early settlement is when you pay off your loan and settle your account earlier than had originally been agreed.  For instance, you would need to settle early if the vehicle changes ownership through a sale, or a trade-in if you decide to buy your next Lexus before the end of your loan. It would also apply where the vehicle has been written off, stolen or damaged beyond normal repair, or where the account-holder has been declared insolvent or has passed away.

What is a border letter and why and when is it required?

A border letter is a letter that you need to present to officials at South Africa's border posts when you want to drive into a neighbouring country in a vehicle that has Lexus Financial Services as its title-holder. The letter would confirm that Lexus Financial Services has authorized you to cross the border in the vehicle for a specified period. Even if you have already settled your Lexus Financial Services account in full, and owe us nothing, you will still need the border letter if the vehicle is still registered to Lexus Financial Services. You should be aware that border officials are able to access vehicle information from the licensing system, and the letter will avoid any unnecessary delays, confusion or inconvenience and ensure you are able to legally make the crossing.

There are several ways in which you can request a border letter.

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Or you can e-mail your request to us at: service@lexusfinancialservices.co.za  or fax it to us on 011 632 3792.

Please mark your request for the attention of our Admin Department and specify the e-mail address or fax number to which you'd like us to send your border letter. Please give us at least 3 days to process your request.

If the vehicle is registered in your name, a border letter is unnecessary, but you may be asked by border officials to produce the vehicle's original NaTIS document. This, together with your passport, will prove you own the vehicle.

You are obliged to arrange additional comprehensive insurance to cover the vehicle for the period it is outside the country, and for the specified country/s of destination outside South Africa.

I would like to cancel my debit order facility. How much notice do I need to give you before my next instalment is due to be processed?

Your cancellation request should reach us 5 working days before your next instalment is due – and if it doesn't, the next debit order will be processed as usual.  Please e-mail or fax us your request for a debit order cancellation, and include your reason for wanting the cancellation, and an explanation of how you plan to pay your remaining instalments. E-mail us on service@lexusfinancialservices.co.za or fax us at 011 632 3792. Please mark your request for the attention of our Admin department. Please note that if you later decide to resume paying by debit order, you will need to send us a fresh request for this reinstatement.

My banking details have changed. How much notice do I need to give you to update my details before my next instalment is processed?

Your request, together with proof of your new bank details, should reach us 5 working days before your next instalment is due.

There are several ways you can send us your request:

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Or: you can e-mail or fax us at: service@lexusfinancialservices.co.za or at 011 632 3792. Please mark your request for the attention of our Admin department.

How often are statements available?

Statements are available each month, but you can ask for them to be drawn up every two or three months.

How can I receive my statement?

You can receive your statement by e-mail or MMS. We only post statements by special request.

I requested a detailed statement and see that it features a break-down of specific amounts of interest, and additional debit amounts. Can you explain this?

Detailed statements are more comprehensive than the normal statements you regularly receive, and are only available on request. We break down your full instalment amount into its various components. For example, if you included an insurance product or extended warranty on your finance contract, this will be listed as a separate item on the detailed statement. The interest portions for the relevant items will also be shown separately. Your instalment amount for a particular month is the sum of all these separate amounts.

In some cases, people buy insurance after they've signed an agreement with us. If this sale has gone through us, we will then also reflect this amount as a separate item on all of your statements.

If I have paid an instalment amount by mistake, how can I request a refund?

First, you must prove that an error was made before we can process a refund. Here is an example of a payment made in error:  Your account has been settled in full, but the next debit order instalment goes through automatically, even though the account has been settled. In this case you can send us a refund request and we will process your refund. Note that we don't need proof of the payment in the case of your usual debit order, as we will have a record of this, but if you made payment in another way, we will need you to send us a clear, legible proof of payment. It's important to remember that should you realise a debit order is about to be made when it shouldn't be, you don't call your bank and ask them to stop the debit order. Firstly, you may be charged a fee for this, and secondly, our practice is always to automatically refund you the debit order amount if an unnecessary payment was made. If you ask your bank to reverse the debit order, and we are busy refunding you the same amount, you will have the hassle of having to pay back the extra amount we refunded you.

To request a refund, send your request (and proof of payment if necessary) to us at service@lexusfinancialservices.co.za or fax it to us on 011 632 3792, marking your request for the attention of our Admin Department. In your request please confirm that you will not be asking your bank to stop the debit order and that you will ensure that there are enough funds in your account to cover the debit order.

I have made a payment, but after a reasonable period of time it still hasn't shown up in my Lexus Financial Services account. Why is this?

This could be because the payment has gone missing. A payment which is not reflected on your Lexus Financial Services account after the expected clearance period is known as a missing payment. When requested, we investigate, trace and properly re-route such payments.

Please send your request for us to investigate, trace and allocate your payment to service@lexusfinancialservices.co.za or fax it to 011 632 3792. Mark it for the attention of our Admin Department and provide clear and legible proof that you made the payment.

If you paid by electronic transfer and used your account number as your reference, the payment should automatically find its way to us, but there have been instances where inter-bank system errors have caused payments to go missing. Your proof of payment therefore provides us with the evidence we need to locate your payment and ensure it is properly reflected in your account.

I'd like to request a copy of my contract/agreement. How do I go about this?

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Register for Account Services and log your request.

You are also free to e-mail or fax us your request at service@lexusfinancialservices.co.za or 011 632 3792.  Please mark your request for the attention of our Admin Department.

Returning the vehicle to us:

If you have a rental agreement with us, its Terms and Conditions will specify that the vehicle must be returned to us at the end of the period. The vehicle must include any accessories that were included with it when you signed the agreement - for example, the spare key, the service book, the jack and spanner, the spare wheel and the radio. As long as you haven't exceeded any kilometer limits, and have met the conditions specified in the agreement – such as maintaining the vehicle in good running condition, servicing it according to the manufacturer's specifications and ensuring only normal wear and tear has occurred - you will not be held liable for the residual value. In many instances, however, a final monthly rental instalment will be due on expiry of the agreement, and you will be liable for this final instalment. Your agreement will specify the charges for any extra kilometers, and you will be liable for any vehicle repairs which are needed due to damage over and above normal wear and tear, such as accident damage. Remember that you are responsible for the payment of any outstanding or arrear amounts on the account.

What if I don't want to hand back the car, but want to make a payment and take full ownership of it?
You can certainly ask to exercise the ownership option, and settle the full outstanding balance – in line with the Repurchase Undertaking, the Special Offer to Purchase, or Buyback Agreement.  This ownership option is treated as a normal settlement. You can request a settlement quote by visiting our website.

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Register for Account Services, and log your request. Or you can send your settlement letter request to service@lexusfinancialservices.co.za or fax it to 011 632 3792.

What if I need fresh finance to cover the settlement?

You can apply to re-finance the residual value under a new agreement – according to the Repurchase Undertaking – the Special Offer to Purchase, or Buyback Agreement.

Your fresh finance application would need to be approved and the finance amount would exclude any outstanding amounts such as arrears or arrear interest. Please contact us on 0861 053 987 to arrange the financing of the residual value.

It is very important that you contact us at least one month before your agreement expires if you want to arrange re-financing for your residual value, or balloon amount. We will also attempt to contact you before your agreement expires, to check whether you want to apply for re-financing. If for any reason you haven't heard from us, you are required to contact us at least a month before your agreement expires to make your re-financing request. If we don't hear from you, and you don't return the vehicle, settle the account, or re-finance the outstanding balance, you will put us in a really difficult position. We won't have any option but to proceed with the process of repossessing the vehicle and sending a report to the credit bureau. You will also be held liable for any shortfall that may arise when the vehicle is sold at public auction. So it is vitally important that we get in contact before the loan period expires to plan the best way forward.

My agreement is about to expire and I have to pay the balloon or residual value. What are my options?

When an agreement expires, the final balloon payment is due immediately. In order to cover this balloon payment, or residual value, and keep the vehicle, you can apply for a new agreement with Lexus Financial Services – to re-finance the residual, or balloon amount. The finance application would need to be approved, and the amount would exclude any arrear amount or arrear interest. If you would like to discuss re-financing the vehicle, it's essential that you contact us at least one month before your agreement expires. You can call our Residual Refinance Department on 0861 10 17 45. It's very important for you to understand that if you fail either to settle or to re-finance the outstanding balance, we will have no alternative but to proceed with a repossession process and will be obliged to make a report to the credit bureau. You will also be held liable for any shortfall that may arise if the vehicle is sold at public auction.

How is an early settlement amount calculated?

For agreements that involve finance of less than R250 000 and that fall within the ambit of the National Credit Act – we call these intermediate agreements – the settlement amount is the total of the current outstanding capital balance and the daily interest. For agreements that involve finance greater than R250 000, and that fall outside the scope of the National Credit Act  – which we call large agreements – the settlement amount is the same as above, but extra interest, known as an early termination fee, will also be charged.

What is the difference between the outstanding capital balance and contract balance?

The outstanding capital balance is the amount you borrowed (the principal debt) excluding all future interest. The contract balance is the amount you borrowed plus all pre-calculated interest, over the full period of the agreement.

What is an Outstanding Debt Policy (ODP)?

Insurance:

The Terms and Conditions of the agreement that you signed with us specify that a vehicle under finance must be comprehensively insured at all times throughout the contract period, and that we may request confirmation of this insurance at any time. By signing these Terms and Conditions, you agreed that Lexus Financial Services is entitled to protect its financial interest by arranging insurance cover if necessary.  The standard ODP process is as follows:  We will send you a letter requesting confirmation that your vehicle is currently insured, and if necessary, we may also attempt to contact you by phone, by e-mail or by SMS. If we don't get confirmation from you within 30 days of the date of our letter to you, we will send you a second letter to inform you that ODP premiums will be charged to your account. In this second letter we will make it clear that ODP is not comprehensive insurance, and covers only the outstanding balance on the account should total loss occur, through theft or if the vehicle is written off. We will also make it clear that ODP does not cover any third-party damage. If you can show us that you DO have comprehensive insurance, we will cancel the Outstanding Debt Policy. If we receive adequate proof that you were paying comprehensive insurance premiums all along, we will reverse any ODP premiums that overlapped with your comprehensive insurance premiums and will credit your account.

How can I cancel an Outstanding Debt Policy, if there is one?

You need to email us proof of your valid, current comprehensive insurance to tfsinsurance@toyfin.co.za.

We will then cancel the ODP (which is insurance we will have arranged on your vehicle) on your behalf. Please ensure that Lexus Financial Services' interest in the vehicle is recorded in the policy confirmation by your insurer.

Why are the premiums for the Outstanding Debt Policy (ODP) debited to my account?

The premiums are debited to your account because it is your responsibility to have your vehicle comprehensively insured. The Terms and Conditions of the agreement that you signed with us specify that a vehicle under finance must be comprehensively insured at all times throughout the contract period, and that Lexus Financial Services may request confirmation of this insurance at any time. By signing the Terms and Conditions, you agreed that Lexus Financial Services is entitled to protect its financial interest by itself arranging insurance cover if necessary.

If my vehicle is written-off or stolen, do I still have to pay my monthly instalments while the insurance claim is in progress?

Yes. Your agreement specifies that your instalments must be paid (even while an insurance claim is in progress) until the account has been settled in full. When the full outstanding settlement amount has been paid, we will pay over any refunds that are due to you.

Where can I find the Terms and Conditions of the Guaranteed Auto Protection Plan?

The Terms and Conditions are included in the policy document which was sent to you when you took out the policy. The policy document can also be obtained from the underwriter at your request.

What is DCA commission and why might it be raised on my account?

The Debt Collectors Act 114 of 1998 ('DCA'), allows a registered debt collector to charge collection commission on each payment made towards the outstanding balance on your account/s. This is calculated at the rate of 10% of each payment, with a maximum limit as determined by the Minister from time to time. In addition to collection commission, further collection fees are allowed by the DCA. These collection fees are also limited to the capital balance owing on your account or a maximum amount as determined by the Minister from time to time, whichever is lower. Collections Solutions (Pty) Ltd is a registered Debt Collector that collects outstanding debts on behalf of Lexus Financial Services. The Terms and Conditions of your signed credit agreement with Lexus Financial Services state that you are liable for interest and additional collection fees. Please note that these collection charges don't include any legal costs or arrear interest, as these are not covered by the DCA.

Why am I receiving reminder SMSs from you if I have already made a payment?

Certain types of payment only reflect on an account after 48 hours. We might not yet have seen the record of your payment, and may have sent you an SMS asking you to contact Collections Solutions to agree on a payment arrangement to clear any overdue amount.

Is it Lexus Financial Services responsibility to notify a customer of arrears on their account?

No, we are not obliged to do so.  The Terms and Conditions of the signed agreement specify that it is the responsibility of the customer or account-holder to ensure that payments are made to and received by Lexus Financial Services. It's also the account-holder's responsibility to communicate any change of address to Lexus Financial Services in good time, so that the account-holder can continue to receive statements and other communications from Lexus Financial Services. And it's in your interests to keep us up to date.  If Lexus Financial Services sends default payment information to a customer, but receives no response, the account is handed over to Collection Solutions for further action.

Why wasn't I contacted about the arrears on my account?

It is the customer's obligation to contact us if their account is in arrears. It's also their responsibility to ensure that the payments detailed in the signed agreement are made on time, so that your account doesn't fall into arrears.

Why must I hand the vehicle back to you upon liquidation / sequestration? Can't I keep the vehicle and continue with payments even though I have been sequestrated or my company has been liquidated?

No, unfortunately you can't keep the vehicle. Your vehicle agreement was cancelled when the company went into liquidation or when you were sequestrated. All the affairs of the company are now under the control of the liquidator, which means only the liquidator can make decisions about assets which have been handed over to the estate. When an individual is sequestrated, a trustee is appointed to sort out the individual's financial affairs and make decisions about the assets assigned to the estate.

Why wasn't I notified that the balloon/residual was due for payment?

The balloon/residual amount and due date are reflected on your signed agreement, as well as on your statements. It is always worth reading them carefully.

Why do I have to pay arrear interest?

You will have been charged arrear interest if you failed to meet any of your repayments. The Terms and Conditions of your agreement make this clear.

As the account-holder, can I let another party take responsibility for the vehicle and instalment repayments while the account is still in my name?

No, you can't – because this is a legal contract between you and us.  As the account-holder, you would be in breach of agreement if you were to hand over the vehicle and shift the responsibility for payment to another party without Lexus Financial Services' knowledge and permission. Without exception, an account has to be settled in full before there is a change in the ownership of the vehicle. We wouldn't wish to prevent you from selling your vehicle, but before any sale can go through your finance arrangements with us do need to be settled.

Why is the instalment due-date of the very last instalment I have to pay different from all the previous instalment due-dates?

The final instalment due-date may differ, depending on how the instalments were structured in your agreement. The due-date of the last instalment is clearly indicated in your original agreement and is also shown on all your statements.

What is a NaTIS document and why is it required?

NaTIS Documents:

A NaTIS (National Traffic Information System) document is a vehicle registration certificate or, in some provinces the log-book, which is produced when a vehicle is registered with the licensing authorities. All vehicles have to be registered with the licensing authorities. About 20 years ago, a vehicle's registration document was simply handed to the vehicle owner or purchaser when the vehicle was registered. It didn't matter whether the vehicle was being financed or not. Due to an increase in fraud and other criminal activities, however, South Africa decided to create a new licensing system and to implement it in stages throughout the country. Gauteng implemented the new system in 1996. Now, when a vehicle is financed, the registration document is handed to the financial institution which provides the finance. In the new system, the registration document doesn't just give the vehicle-owner's name, it also includes the name of the finance house or bank that is financing the vehicle, and refers to this institution as the vehicle's title-holder. The NaTIS registration document remains in the title-holder's safekeeping while the vehicle is under finance. Without the document, no change of ownership is possible.

I've paid off my vehicle completely. Why is the NaTIS document (i.e. my vehicle registration certificate or log-book) now given to me for safekeeping?

Settling your account in full entitles you, as the vehicle owner, to be registered as both owner and title-holder of the vehicle. It's important you have the NaTIS document amended to reflect that you are now the title-holder, because it means we don't need to be involved in proceedings if your vehicle is stolen or in an accident. Note that you don't need to produce a roadworthy certificate when you apply to have your NaTIS certificate amended.

How do I have my NaTIS document amended to show I am now the title-holder, once I've paid off the vehicle in full?

Within 21 days of receiving your NaTIS document, you should visit the vehicle registering authority operating in the area of your residential address – remember, this is the residential address that you gave the licensing authority and that they have on record for you. Take along the original NaTIS certificate and your identity document. A registration and license fee will be charged at the registering authority which may differ in each Province.  You will then need to fill in a blue form called an RVL and hand it in. The registering authority will then amend your NaTIS certificate and give it to you.

I've paid my account in full. How can I go about obtaining the NaTIS document (vehicle registration certificate/log-book)?

It's important to note that the NaTIS document won't automatically be sent to you upon settlement of your account. In the interest of fraud-prevention we need you to request your NaTIS document from us and to confirm your current address. Send your request to service@lexusfinancialservices.co.za or fax it to 011 632 3792. Please mark your request for the attention of our NaTIS Department, and include the full delivery address to which you would like your NaTIS certificate sent. Our usual delivery method is by post (Speed Services), although we can make special arrangements for documents to be sent by courier services if there is a request for urgent delivery. If, on the date on which your agreement expires, your account is fully paid up, but you made your last payment by debit order, there may be a 10-day clearance period (from the date of the payment) before your NaTIS document can be released. If you settled your account early, before the agreement's expiry date, and the payment was not made by debit order – please send us proof of payment so that we can establish whether a waiting period applies.

How do I obtain a certificate for a private sale?

If you need the NaTIS certificate for a private sale, please be cautioned that we can only release the NaTIS certificate to you, our account holder. We can't issue it to anyone else, such as your buyer, unless a special permission letter has been arranged between you and the buyer, and is presented on collection together with identification documentation and the agreement between you and your buyer confirming the sale of the vehicle. If you make a private sale, we recommend that the payment to fully settle the account is by electronic transfer. We will require proof of this payment, and the funds that you transferred to us must also show in our bank account before we can release the NaTIS document, and before you can hand over the vehicle to the buyer.

If the NaTIS document (registration certificate/logbook) does not reflect my vehicle's current registration number, will this pose a problem when I cross the South African border in the vehicle?

Currently, when a vehicle is registered as new, the first printed NaTIS certificate will not reflect the vehicle's registration number. This omission has been addressed with the National Department of Traffic and all border posts have been advised of the issue. Border post officials are able to access the licensing department's computer system, which means they can perform checks.

My vehicle was stolen or has been written-off. How is the vehicle's de-registration arranged if Lexus Financial Services is still the title-holder?

First, we need to emphasize that de-registration can only be undertaken in cases where a vehicle is stolen or written off. If Lexus Financial Services is still the vehicle's title-holder and the account hasn't yet been settled, you need to report the incident to Lexus Financial Services and give us all the relevant details, such as the police case number (you should always go first to the police station to report the incident and get a case number), the name of your insurance company, and your insurance policy number. Please remember that it's your responsibility to stay in contact with your insurer to see how your insurance claim is progressing. You also need to keep paying your vehicle instalments until your insurer has paid an amount into your Lexus Financial Services account towards the settlement or partial settlement of the balance. Only your insurance company can instruct Lexus Financial Services to attend to the vehicle de-registration, once the degree of damage to the vehicle has been fully assessed. If you settled your Lexus Financial Services account in full, but didn't go to the licensing authority within 21 days of receiving your NaTIS document to have the title-holder name changed, the licensing department will need Lexus Financial Services' approval before it accepts any documentation from you. The licensing authority will assume that the vehicle is still being financed because Lexus Financial Services would still be recorded as the vehicle's title-holder. However, we can still help you with the de-registration.

I need a copy of my NaTIS certificate (vehicle registration certificate/log-book). How can I get this?

If your account is paid in full, you can:

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Register for Electronic Account Servicesand log your request with us.

Or, you can also e-mail your request to us at service@lexusfinancialservies.co.za or fax it to (011) 632 3792. Please mark your request for attention of the NaTIS Dept.

I received my NaTIS certificate after I'd paid for my vehicle in full. Before I could have the title-holder name changed from Lexus Financial Services' name to mine, I lost the certificate. What do I do?

If we at Lexus Financial Services are still the registered title-holder, you can ask us to send you what is known as a duplicate original of the NaTIS document. This is what the authorities call an original NaTIS certificate that has been reissued. This process costs R364.32 if the document is collected from our Fairland Office, or R415.62 if you want us to courier it to you. These amounts were correct on 1 February 2013 but may have increased. When you pay this amount into our account, please ensure you quote your Lexus Financial Services account number as your reference. Send your proof of payment and your request for the “duplicate original certificate” to service@lexusfinancialservices.co.za or fax it to (011) 632 3792, marking it for attention of the Natis Dept.  If the NaTIS certificate has been lost and Lexus Financial Services is no longer the registered title-holder, unfortunately we won't be able to obtain a duplicate original for you, because only the title-holder is allowed to request this.

I would like to put a new engine in my car. I believe I won't be able to get a roadworthy certificate for the car once the new engine has been fitted until I produce the NaTIS certificate and obtain police clearance. Also, if I get a new engine, will the engine number reflected on the NaTIS document need to be changed? Can you advise me what I need to do?

First, please note that the Terms and Conditions of your finance agreement specify that you may not change your vehicle's engine or chassis without our written permission. Before you make either of these changes, we first need to fully approve your replacement engine and ensure that an authorised dealer is undertaking the replacement job. We will then be able to ensure that the authorised dealer attends to the police clearance, roadworthy test and registration of the new engine.

Unless you cross South African borders in your vehicle, it shouldn't be necessary for you to immediately have the NaTIS document amended to reflect the new engine number. Once you've paid off the vehicle, you'll receive the NaTIS document and can go to the licensing authorities and have the engine number amended on the NaTIS certificate at the same time as you have the name of the title-holder on the certificate changed to your name from that of Lexus Financial Services.

However, if you often travel through South African borders in your vehicle, we would advise you to arrange for your NaTIS certificate to be amended at once, so that it reflects your new engine number.

Why do we suggest this?

When the dealer fitted your new engine, he or she logged the new engine number on the e-NaTIS system. When you get to a South African border post, the border officials will look at your vehicle details on the e-NaTIS system and will notice that the new engine number reflected is not the same as the engine number recorded in the copy of your NaTIS certificate that you show them, and they may not let you cross the border.

The best solution is to ask us to arrange for a re-issue of your NaTIS certificate so that it reflects your new engine number. The process is simple: pay R364.32 – this amount was correct on 1 February 2013 – into our account, ensuring you quote your Lexus Financial Services account number as our reference. Send your proof of payment and your request for your certificate amendment to service@lexusfinancialservices.co.zaor fax it to (011) 632 3792, marking it for the attention of the NaTIS Dept, and we'll arrange to have your NaTIS certificate amended. The re-issued, amended certificate is called a 'duplicate original'. If you'd like us to send you a copy of the duplicate original, let us know.

Please understand that we won't, under any circumstances, be able to release the original NaTIS document to you until your account has been settled in full. Luckily, a certified copy of a NaTIS certificate is acceptable for the application of a police clearance and roadworthy certificate.

On my NaTIS certificate, the last three digits of my ID number are incorrect. How can I have this fixed?

Once you've settled your account with us and have received the NaTIS certificate, you can go to the licensing department, produce your new ID and have the correction made. You would be going to the licensing department anyway to have your name registered as the new title-holder on your NaTIS certificate.

How and where is the vehicle's licence registration disk renewed?

Your finance agreement with us clarifies that it is your responsibility to arrange and pay for your vehicle's licensing and registration. Lexus Financial Services can't attend to these on your behalf, even though we're financing your vehicle, because we are not on the system as the vehicle's owner. The licensing authority will send you, as the vehicle's owner, notification of your annual licence renewal. You can go to the licensing department and arrange the renewal. In some parts of South Africa, you are also able to do this at a branch of the post office. You don't need the NaTIS registration document (registration certificate/log-book) to have your licence disk renewed.

The registration number shown on my NaTIS certificate is different to my vehicle's current registration number. Why is this, and how can I have it fixed?

Often, a dealer will first sort out the registration of the title-holder before he or she attends to the vehicle's new registration number. So the NaTIS certificate may have been drawn up before the vehicle's new registration number was secured. This is why, in some cases, the old registration number appears on the NaTIS document. The document is still valid, however.

The registration number can be amended when you've settled your account, received your NaTIS document and gone to the licensing authority to have the name of the title-holder on the certificate changed.

If you still want to get the registration number corrected before you've settled your account, you can arrange it through us at a cost of R364.32 – this amount was correct on 1 February 2013. When you pay this amount into our account, please ensure you quote your Lexus Financial Services account number as our reference. Send your request and proof of payment to us at service@lexusfinancialservices.co.za or fax it to (011) 632 3792, marking your request for the attention of our NaTIS Department. We will attend to your request, and once we receive the amended 'duplicate original' – this is the name that NaTIS gives an original NaTIS certificate that has been reissued – we will send a copy of it to you.

I have married since my vehicle was registered, and have changed my surname. How can I have the NaTIS document (registration certificate/log-book) amended so that it reflects my married name?

Once you have settled your account with us and have obtained the NaTIS certificate, you can go to the licensing department, produce your marriage certificate and your identity document and have your NaTIS certificate amended to reflect your married name.

Why is there a delay before the NaTIS document (vehicle registration certificate/log-book) is released?

Because a NaTIS certificate is a valuable document which has a security function, it can't be recalled once it has been released. So we need to be certain that everything is in order – payment for the document has cleared and so on – before we make it available. As a general rule, therefore, we wait for a 10-day clearance period to pass before we release the document.

If you need your NaTIS certificate sooner, you can pay for it in cash, by electronic transfer or by bank-guaranteed cheque and send us proof of payment. In these cases we can waive the 10-day clearance period. E-mail your proof of payment to service@lexusfinancialservices.co.za or fax it to (011) 632 3792. Please mark it for the attention of our Admin Department.

I can't renew my vehicle license because Lexus Financial Services is registered as both the owner and title-holder of the vehicle. What could have caused this, and how can I rectify the situation?

This error could have occurred when the vehicle was sold to you. The dealer might have accidentally registered Lexus Financial Services as the owner as well as the title-holder. In situations like this, the dealer will help us to rectify the error.

In some cases, the error can occur if a vehicle was repossessed, held by the dealer in preparation for sale or public auction, but it was subsequently returned to the account-holder. In this case we will ensure that the registration is corrected so that the account-holder's name is reflected on the NaTIS document as the owner of the vehicle.

If you discover that Lexus Financial Services is recorded as the owner as well as the title-holder of your vehicle, please e-mail us at service@lexusfinancialservices.co.za or fax us on (011) 632 3792 - please mark your message for the attention of our NaTIS Department.

Debt review:

I would like to apply to be placed under debt review so that I can pay reduced and affordable instalments. How do I go about this?

You should approach a debt counsellor. Please note that Lexus Financial Services can't approach a debt counsellor on your behalf. To find a debt counsellor, visit the website of the National Credit Regulator at www.NCR.org.za or call the NCA on 011-554 2600 / Toll Share: 0860 627 627 or 0860 NCR NCR.

What are my responsibilities while I'm under debt review?

It remains your responsibility, even when you're under debt review, to ensure that we receive the payments on time which have been specified in the accepted payment proposal. This is of extreme importance, as non-paying customers who are under debt review run the risk of having their debt review process terminated, and losing their asset as well as the protection offered by the National Credit Act.   It is also your responsibility to stay in contact with your debt counsellor to avoid any possible misunderstandings. In terms of the debt review process, the debt counsellor is the liaison between you and Lexus Financial Services. We can't be held liable for any lack of communication between debt counsellors and their clients.

Under what circumstances could my debt review be terminated?

The debt review will be terminated by Lexus Financial Services if, after 60 days:

  • no payment proposal has been received/finalised; or
  • no acceptance to a counter-proposal has been received; or
  • the debt counsellor has failed to enrol the matter in Court; or
  • no payment is made; or
  • the payments which have been made are less than the proposed/accepted amounts.

The debt review process may be terminated by Lexus Financial Services even after a consent order has been granted, if:

  • no payment is made in terms of the consent order; or
  • the payments made are less than the payments specified by the consent order.
What does Lexus Financial Services do as soon as it receives a payment proposal from my debt counsellor?

We at Lexus Financial Services will consider the payment proposal and either accept or decline it.

Although the National Credit Act (NCA) hasn't stipulated to credit providers which payment proposals to accept, a set of debt re-arrangement rules has been agreed upon by the credit industry, the debt counselling industry and the National Credit Regulator. Credit providers therefore base their decision on whether to accept a proposal on these rules, and reserve the right to decline a debt review application.

If we decline the proposal from your debt counsellor, we will send him or her a counter-proposal with recommended payments.

Lexus Financial Services has declined the payment proposal that my debt counsellor presented, and sent my counsellor a counter-proposal. What happens now?

Your debt counsellor needs to review your financial situation again, with a view to accepting the counter-proposal.

Once you have agreed with, and accepted, this counter-proposal, your debt counsellor will communicate acceptance of the proposal directly to our Lexus Financial Services Debt Review Centre at (011) 632-7939.

After I visited my debt counsellor and they reviewed my situation, they then sent a payment proposal to Lexus Financial Services and you accepted the proposal. What happens next?

Your debt counsellor's next step is to arrange for payment to be made, in terms of the proposal. The debt counsellor will also make preparations to enrol the matter in Court to formalise the debt review and obtain a formal consent order. During this time, payments should be made and any submissions should be forwarded directly to our Debt Review Centre at (011) 632-7939. The debt counsellor has 60 business days in which to finalise an acceptable payment proposal, failing which Lexus Financial Services is entitled to terminate the debt review process.

My debt counsellor obtained a formal consent order from court confirming the agreed and accepted payment proposal. Lexus Financial Services has received this formal consent order. What is the next step?

Once we at Lexus Financial Services receive the formal consent order granted by the court, we will either reload or restructure your account in terms of the consent order. Once your account has been reloaded or restructured in terms of the order, it should no longer reflect an arrear position.

If my debt review is terminated by Lexus Financial Services, how will I be informed of this?

When a debt review is terminated by Lexus Financial Services, a termination letter is forwarded to:

  • You, the customer
  • The debt counsellor
  • The National Credit Regulator (NCR).
What are the consequences of debt review termination?

Unless you pay the full arrear amount to us immediately, Lexus Financial Services will apply for a court order to attach the vehicle. You need to make a suitable payment arrangement to settle the full arrear amount and to continue with the payment of normal instalment amounts in terms of the original signed agreement. If your debt review is terminated, you still have a chance to approach your debt counsellor within 10 days from the date on which the termination letters were sent, to obtain an acceptable payment proposal to be sent to Lexus Financial Services. The debt counsellor would also need to enrol the matter in Court, for a consent order.

My debt review was terminated and I don't want to communicate with the debt counsellor anymore. May I directly approach you at Lexus Financial Services?

Yes, you may approach us directly to conclude a direct payment arrangement, to repay the arrear amount as soon as possible and to continue paying the normal instalment amount. Remember, though, that if the debt counsellor is excluded, your account will no longer formally be under debt review (as per section 86 of the National Credit Act), and we at Lexus Financial Services won't be in a position to offer you a reduced instalment or extended agreement period.

Can I change to another debt counsellor?

You may change your debt counsellor, although Lexus Financial Services reserves the right to either accept or decline the second debt review application, as the National Credit Act doesn't make any provision for a consumer to change debt counsellors. We will only decline the second debt review application, however, if we haven't been receiving reasonable monthly payments on the account. In terms of Section 86(9) of the National Credit Act, if a debt counsellor rejects an application, the consumer may apply directly to the Magistrate's Court, in the prescribed manner and form.

I am under debt review. Am I allowed to sell my vehicle for less than the outstanding balance due, in order to reduce the outstanding balance and the payments that I need to make under debt review?

This is subject to our approval. A written offer would be required from your buyer, and the sale would also be subject to VAT. Remember that the shortfall amount may still be placed under debt review. If it is, the debt counsellor would need to submit a reduced payment proposal on the shortfall balance.

What does my debt counsellor do once Lexus Financial Services has accepted the debt review application and communicated the financial figures to my debt counsellor?

The debt counsellor first assesses your financial situation. He or she then issues a formal declaration (form 17.2) to confirm your over-indebtedness. Your debt counsellor then makes a payment proposal to the credit providers, or even directly to Court. The counsellor would also submit the payment proposal directly to our Debt Review Centre at (011) 632-7939.

What does Lexus Financial Services do when it receives the debt review application (form 17.1) from my debt counsellor?

We make a note on your Lexus Financial Services account that you have applied for debt review. We do this to avoid any further collection or legal action in terms of your account. We also provide your debt counsellor with the financial figures and account balances that he or she will need in order to review your account.

Why am I charged arrear interest while I'm under debt review?

Arrear interest is levied on an account whenever there is an arrear (overdue) amount. Section 101 of the National Credit Act specifies that default charges may be imposed if you have defaulted on a payment obligation under the credit agreement. Lexus Financial Services is entitled to all interest (finance charges) including arrear interest, until we have received a granted consent order from the Court. Once we've received a formal consent order and have either reloaded or restructured your account in terms of the consent order, we won't raise any more arrear interest on your account – unless payments are not received in terms of the granted consent order, which would result in the creation of a new arrear amount.

What action will be taken by the debt counsellor when I visit him or her to discuss debt review?

The Debt Counsellor will notify all credit bureaus and credit providers of your application for debt review. The counsellor will also submit the Debt Review Application (form 17.1) directly to Lexus Financial Services' Debt Review Centre that can be contacted on (011) 632-7939.

I have been served with a summons. What happens now?

Court Orders:

Lexus Financial Services will have applied to the court for permission to end our agreement with you – in legal language; this would mean a judgment will have been obtained against you. We will also have made a request to the court for an attachment, or a warrant of delivery, which means we will have applied for permission to take the vehicle back.

I have received a summons. What are my options if I want to avoid further legal action?

If you want to avoid further legal action, you need to choose one of the following options:

  1. Pay the arrears on your account, plus any legal costs incurred or;
  2. Surrender the vehicle voluntarily (i.e. agree to give the vehicle back to us); or
  3. Work with us to negotiate a payment arrangement that is suitable to you and us.

If you decide not to exercise any of these options, we will proceed with the attachment of the vehicle – which means taking the vehicle back.

How does being issued with a summons affect my credit record?

In terms of the National Credit Act, we are obliged to submit information to the credit bureaus on how you have managed your account. This might adversely affect your future credit-worthiness.  

Do I still have to pay my instalment/interest after I have been issued with a summons?

Yes. You remain liable for the full amount that is outstanding as well as interest and costs.

The sheriff has removed my vehicle. Can I get it back?

Yes, you can. Your Lexus Financial Services agent will provide you with the required documentation as well as the amount you need to pay in order for the agreement to be reinstated. 

Why was the summons that was served on me sent to my old address?

A summons is served on your last-known home address, which is the physical address you provided on the quotation when finance was arranged. If you have moved since then, you would have needed to let us know in writing of your change of address. You would also have been required to send us the necessary FICA documentation – such as a utility bill not older than 3 months.

If you didn't follow the correct process of notifying us of your change of address, and we subsequently trace you to an address that is different from the address in our records, your summons will still be served on the address that we have on our records. Lexus Financial Services is not allowed to change a customer's address in our system without the customer requesting us to do so and sending us the necessary FICA documentation to support the request.

The vehicle is no longer in my possession. Am I still liable for the legal costs?

Yes. You are still the owner of the vehicle, and the risk is your responsibility until the full amount specified by the agreement has been paid. You will therefore be liable for any costs incurred for the recovery of the vehicle, and for arrears on the account. If the vehicle is being held by a third party, you will be in breach of your agreement with Lexus Financial Services.

What is a 'bad debt' account?

Bad debt

A bad debt account is one where, due to a customer's lack of payment, the outstanding balance on the account is written off to bad debt for further collection.

  • Example 1: a customer does not pay the shortfall that resulted when their vehicle was repossessed and their agreement was cancelled (the agreement can be cancelled before or even after the agreement expires).
  • Example 2: a customer makes an insurance claim and fails to pay the shortfall.
  • Example 3: there is an unpaid balance on a deceased customer's account.
  • Example 4: a customer's vehicle cannot be traced.

It's important to note that if a bad debt account is created, it doesn't necessarily mean that the customer's account conduct will be considered 'bad' in general.

How is interest charged, and the balance calculated, on a bad debt account?

We take into consideration what the balance is on the write-off date, whether there is any applicable interest, and what other costs have been incurred. Interest will be charged on the balance in terms of the original signed agreement until such time as the balance is paid in full. The smaller the amount that you propose to repay each month, the longer it will take you to pay the balance in full – because more interest will be charged over a longer period.

My vehicle was repossessed or sold. Am I still liable for payments?

Repossession

You are liable for any shortfall – the amount still owing - on the account after the proceeds from the sale of the vehicle have been credited to the account, and all costs that you owe have been debited. In most cases, the sale proceeds don't cover all the costs which are still owing on the account, so you would be required to cover the outstanding amount.

What must I do to get my vehicle back?

To get the vehicle back, you would need to contact Lexus Financial Services within 15 working days from the date on which your vehicle was repossessed. You would need to advise us of your intention to pay for, and keep the vehicle, and you would need to make a suitable arrangement with us for payment of the full arrears as well as any other outstanding costs. All of this would be subject to our approval.

What documentation does Lexus Financial Services need before it will release the vehicle?

We need the following documentation from you: your identity document, your driver's licence, proof of payment, proof of current comprehensive insurance, a utility bill (not older than 3 months – unfortunately a Lexus Financial Services or FNB statement is not acceptable), proof of your operating licence, in the case of taxi-drivers.

NOTE: If you pay by cheque or debit order, a 10-day clearance period (10 working days) will be applied to ensure the payment clears successfully. If you pay by cash and send us proof of payment, you won't need to wait for a 10-day clearance period before we can release the vehicle to you. If you pay by electronic transfer from a non-FNB bank account, a clearance period of 3 days will apply. If you pay by electronic transfer from an FNB bank account, the funds will reflect on your statement the following day and therefore a clearance period of 1 day would apply.

Can I collect my vehicle on a Saturday or Sunday?

Unfortunately not, as the safe storage facilities at which the vehicles are kept are not open on weekends or public holidays. Their opening hours are 08h00 – 16h00 from Monday to Friday.

My vehicle has been repossessed. What happens now?

The National Credit Act requires that we at Lexus Financial Services value the vehicle and send you a valuation letter within 10 business days from the date on which we received the vehicle.

What happens if the vehicle was sold for more than the balance owing?

You will be refunded the credit balance, after all costs have been debited to the account, provided no other credit provider has a credit agreement with you in respect of the same vehicle.

How does non-payment of arrears or repossession / sequestration / liquidation affect my credit record?

We may submit information about the management of your account to the following credit bureaus

  • International Trust Company (ITC)
  • Compuscan Information Technologies
  • Experian
  • Xpert Decision Systems
What costs will I incur when my vehicle is repossessed?

Where applicable, the following costs will be charged: storage costs, insurance costs, valuation costs, a tracer fee, a towing fee or driver's fee, repair costs, auctioneers fees, legal costs, as well as any other reasonable costs which we incur. For a more accurate breakdown of costs, we recommend that you contact the Lexus Financial Services agent handling your account.

I have paid the money that was due on the vehicle, and sent   Lexus Financial Services all the documentation it has requested in order to release the vehicle to me. What happens now?

Your Lexus Financial Services agent will give you the details of the safe storage facility at which your vehicle is being kept. You will need to go to the location, taking your identity document and driver's license with you. At the safe storage facility you will be asked to sign a release note and an Agreement of Re-instatement. You can then take possession of the vehicle.

How soon after repossession before the vehicle is sold?

The vehicle can be sold from 15 business days after the date on which we posted you a letter giving you the vehicle's valuation figure. If you had wanted to respond to the valuation letter, you would have needed to do so within those 15 business days. If we didn't receive a response from you within this time, we would then sell the vehicle at public auction to the highest successful bidder.

How do you determine the value of the vehicle?

The valuation, which is undertaken by an independent valuator, is just an estimation of the value of the vehicle. The valuator looks at the physical condition of the vehicle and takes into consideration market conditions and the fact that we sell at auction. On the day of the auction, the vehicle is sold to the highest bidder. The proceeds from the auction are allocated to the customer's account and are used to cover the outstanding costs. Whatever is still owed afterwards - the shortfall - needs to be paid by the customer.

Deceased customers

If the customer has died, can someone else take over his/her monthly instalments/payments?

No. If a customer is deceased, the agreement he or she had with us is no longer valid. We would allow for finalisation of the deceased's estate, however. The account would need to be kept up to date until full settlement is received. The executor of the deceased estate would need to furnish us with the following documentation: a certified copy of the death certificate, a certified copy of the deceased's identity document, and a letter of authority from the Master's Office confirming executorships.

The Lexus Financial Services agent responsible for the account would then contact the Executor and discuss the options available. The only way in which the account of someone who has died could be taken over would be if the executor were to apply for finance in his or her own capacity.