Collecting Debt Years Later in South Africa – Is it Possible?

When collecting debt, it’s important that debt collectors follow the correct procedure from start to finish to ensure that the process remains ethical and legal.

However, as a consumer, are you aware of the fact that debt can prescribe (become written off) after a certain time period, depending on the type of debt and other specific conditions?

And in fact, in order to legally collect a debt, you need to follow and implement the different ages/stages of the debtor’s book.

 Prescribed debt - debt collectors South Africa

Prescribed Debt South Africa 2019 – What is Prescribed Debt?

Prescription of debt was introduced as a way of protecting South African consumers from exploitative credit providers.

These credit providers have recklessly contributed to the major debt crisis faced in South Africa, while have avoided collecting debt deliberately in order to accumulate interest.

Prescribed debt is debt that has not been recognised or pursued by the creditor, not acknowledged or paid by the debtor for more than 36 months, depending on the type of debt in question.

Collecting Debt That Has Been Prescribed

Additionally, prescribed debt was introduced as a means to ensure that creditors and debt collectors adhere to ethical conduct when collecting debt by prompting them to pursue debtors within a reasonable time frame.

The following debts can be pursued for a period of 3 years after the fact:

  • Credit cards
  • Personal loans
  • Retail accounts
  • Vehicle loans

The following debts can be pursued for a period of 30 years after the fact:

  • Home bond loans
  • Debts ordered by court hearing
  • Money owed to SARS
  • Money owed to the municipality such as TV licenses and utilities accounts

Steps in Debt Collection Process

In order to remain ethical throughout the debt collection process, debt collectors are governed by the Debt Collectors Act.

Additionally, debt collectors must be appropriately registered before they may start collecting debt.

Able Tracers – Professional, Efficient Debt Collection South Africa

We are registered debt collectors in South Africa who offer efficient, professional and ethical debt collection services.

For more information about whether collecting debt years after the fact can be done or not, please feel free to contact us.

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