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Thread: What are the legalities when you are summonsed for debt but you are out of the country?

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    What are the legalities when you are summonsed for debt but you are out of the country?

    What does one do or what are your options when you are summonsed for debt but you are not in the country and wont be for at least two years?

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    Hi.

    I believe the debt is prescribed after 3 years so ignore them whatever you do. If you have agreed to anything already it might be too late. However google prescribed debt sa and you will find plenty of information.

    Basically you do not owe anymore after 3 years - this applies to most debt but not house loans (prescribed in 30 years), i am not sure about vehicles

    Also best to only do this to a bank / govt dept as us worker bees are all in the same financial boat more or less

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    let me not forget - you can also use this on a 3rd party debt collector, as they are a bank agent, and are actually even worse than a bank - intimidating tactics, defrauding people, they basically do the banks dirty work for huge profits at the expense of desperate people - sigh

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    Quote Originally Posted by bl4ck-mag1k View Post
    I believe the debt is prescribed after 3 years so ignore them whatever you do.
    I'm a little troubled by this advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Catherine View Post
    What does one do or what are your options when you are summonsed for debt but you are not in the country and wont be for at least two years?
    If the matter isn't defended, no doubt the plaintiff will take a default judgement. Prescription on a judgement is 30 years.

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    Section10 of the Prescription Act reads as follows:

    10. Extinction of debts by prescription.—(1) Subject to the provisions of this Chapter and of Chapter IV, a debt shall be extinguished by prescription after the lapse of the period which in terms of the relevant law applies in respect of the prescription of such debt.
    (2) By the prescription of a principal debt a subsidiary debt which arose from such principal debt shall also be extinguished by prescription.
    (3) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (1) and (2), payment by the debtor of a debt after it has been extinguished by prescription in terms of either of the said subsections, shall be regarded as payment of a debt.

    Section 3 of the act reads:

    In terms of section 11 the prescription period is 30 years for debts secured by mortgage bond, judgment debts, etc; 15 years for certain debts owed to the State; 6 years for debts arising from a bill of exchange, notarial contract, etc; and 3 years in other cases "save where an Act of Parliament provides otherwise".

    SA prescription act: http://pmg-assets.s3-website-eu-west...00905LIM22.htm

    As I mentioned (in not so many words) do your research first, there is plenty of information out there, and make your own decision based on that, or ask someone with some legal background if possible...

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    Hi Catherine,

    So based on what Dave A has linked, and info I have posted means that home loans and judgement debts are 30 years. I judgment debt by my understanding is by court order, as in you lost a claim in court against you. A default judgement is when you did not appear in court, and you lost the case by default.

    You should know if you have ever been summonsed to court and if you did not appear, then you most likely have a default judgement against you - thus its valid for 30 years.

    So home loans the bank will go to court in most cases i believe - as it is a large sum of money - however for lesser amounts the bank will sell the debt at 10 or 20 cents (or something ridiculous like that) on the rand to a 3rd party collector, and this is where you might be able to get prescription in 3 years. The debt collector works on threats and fear, as well as everyone's ignorance of the 'laws'

    If you have agreed in some way to pay the 3rd party collector you now have a contract with them (which you did not before) and it all works differently than if you did not have a contract with them.

    It costs a fair amount of money for a the 3rd party collector (or anyone) to go to court, so the cost might out-weigh the benefit for them.

    Also there are a few things they have to prove, you can start by asking them to validate the debt, which means that they need to prove to you that you owe them the dect. I believe they need to provide full accounting information, and they often are unable to, so the intimidate in order to get you to pay, as they are unable to get a judgement in court

    Again it all depends on the debt (how much etc), and 3 year prescription is a very much a possibility for you since you are out of the country for at least 2 years. If the 3rd party collector intends to go to court you need to be notified of this, and if you have not been notified the chances of a judgment debt are slim.

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    And here is a very useful post on this forum on 'how to claim prescription'

    https://www.theforumsa.co.za/forums/...a-special-plea

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