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Thread: Arrest according to law and National Credit Act for bad debt after emigrating?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Izak Fick View Post
    You will not be arrested for debt. Period. The process that has to be followed includes bringing you to a civil court and I bet you an Aussie dollar that nothing will happen to you. Just keep a low profile and sleep at night!
    Thank you Izak! Insomnia because of debt is a kind of torture and I have 50 shades of dark circles under my eyes.

    But I agree with you, from what I have learned sofar is for unsecured debt, banks will proceed with legal action to bring you to a civil court and may obtain a garnishee order or take your stuff if you have something, and should you come back to South Africa on a permanent basis they can implement the garnishee order on your salary.

    However, if I have received a section 65 notice to appear in court and ignored it, a warrant for my arrest could be out. But this notice cannot be served by affixing, so, I must have accepted it in person from the sheriff. So, if I haven't been served by the sheriff in person because I wasn't even in South Africa and don't even know of such a notice, chances are that there is no warrant out for my arrest. This type of warrant is for contempt of court and not debt. It is not given to the police, but to the sheriff, who has nothing to do with the police. So theoretically the chances of such a warrant popping up on a customs official's computer at the airport is almost zero.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ians View Post
    The only time i have ever heard of a person being arrested at the airport for an outstanding debt...he had an accident which resulted in a huge repair bill to the other drivers vehicle...he left the country for a couple of years and decided to come back to visit his parents...as he arrived he was arrested and had to pay the outstanding debt and fees etc before they released him.

    This is the reason it is never a good idea to use personal assests as surety for a business...and why banks love giving huge personal loans (way beyond your means),,,because they know they can take your R500k house you the R5 k debt you owe them.

    If there is a warrant out for your arrest or contempt of court they will arrest you.
    Thanks ians. Hopefully the person you heard of being arrested at the airport for an outstanding debt, was arrested many years ago when South Africa still had a draconian law (see above post - ominous Latin name: 'Arrest tanquam suspectus de fuga'). But if recent PLEASE let me know?

    I sence that the new National Credit Act and civil procedure in South Africa is a bit more kinder to the small fish debtors without means in that they will no longer be faced with imprisonment, from which they can only be rescued by family or friends. Further, creditors will no longer be able to extend credit on the basis that the debt can be exacted through fear of imprisonment. Credit should be extended only to those who can pay, are creditworthy, provide proper security etc. I always thought it was like TV law shows like Law and Order (but that was criminal law luckily).

    You are right: its never a good idea to use personal assests as surety for a business. I should have read more business books and join forums like this earlier.

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