How can I get my debt written off in South Africa?

Asked by: Prof. Jameson Kris  |  Last update: August 12, 2022
Score: 4.1/5 (49 votes)

You will have to apply – and there's a deadline
The debts won't be automatically written off – you will have to apply to the National Credit Regulator (NCR), who will decide whether your situation is desperate enough. There will be a window of four years to apply from when the bill takes effect.

Can debt be written off in South Africa?

There are two primary ways to write off debt, namely prescribed and void lent. Unless you have been served with a summons issued by your credit provider or there has been no attempt to collect the debt, the debt will only need to be paid.

How can I get out of debt in South Africa?

5 ways to reduce and get out of debt
  1. Cut down on your spending. ...
  2. Pay as much as you can afford (and top up regularly) ...
  3. Choose which debts to tackle first and then become laser focused on your goals. ...
  4. Start a side hustle. ...
  5. Don't sacrifice the things you love the most.

How long can you legally be chased for a debt in South Africa?

A consumer has not made any payments/acknowledged the debt directly or indirectly for the time periods specified below: Personal loans, credit cards, retail accounts and vehicle loans: three years. Mortgage loans, debts by court orders and money owed to the South African Revenue Service (SARS): 30 years.

Can I ask for debt to be written off?

Some people decide to ask the lender for a debt write-off. This is successful in a small number of cases, however there is no legal obligation on the lender to write off any money owed to them. Whether this is the right course of action for you will depend on your personal circumstances.

A legal way to avoid paying off your debt in South Africa according to South African Law.

37 related questions found

How can I wipe my debt?

Ways to clear your debt
  1. Informally negotiated arrangement.
  2. Free debt management plan (DMP )
  3. Individual voluntary arrangement (IVA)
  4. Bankruptcy.
  5. Debt relief order (DRO)
  6. Administration order.
  7. Debt consolidation and credit.
  8. Full and final settlement offer.

Who qualifies for debt write off?

1) Asking a creditor to agree to a debt write-off

You will have to show the creditor that it is within their interests to write-off the debt as your circumstances mean you cannot afford to repay the debt and that your situation is unlikely to change in the long term.

What debt collectors Cannot do in South Africa?

A debt collector is not allowed to:

Use force or threaten to use force against you or your family. Physically threaten you or your family. Give, or threaten to give, information to the consumer's employer that may affect their opportunities as an employee. Serve any false legal documents.

What happens to debt after 3 years in South Africa?

A debt that has not been collected on for an uninterrupted period of 3 years would have accruing interest and collection fees, which the consumer was liable to pay, and which may further lead to a negative listing at a credit bureaux.

What happens after 7 years of not paying debt?

Unpaid credit card debt will drop off an individual's credit report after 7 years, meaning late payments associated with the unpaid debt will no longer affect the person's credit score.

How can I get out of debt without paying?

Ask for a raise at work or move to a higher-paying job, if you can. Get a side-hustle. Start to sell valuable things, like furniture or expensive jewelry, to cover the outstanding debt. Ask for assistance: Contact your lenders and creditors and ask about lowering your monthly payment, interest rate or both.

How do I get out of debt with no money?

Whether you work with a credit counselor or on your own, you have several options for eliminating debt, known as debt relief:
  1. Apply for a debt consolidation loan. ...
  2. Use a balance transfer credit card. ...
  3. Opt for the snowball or avalanche methods. ...
  4. Participate in a debt management plan.

What happens to a Judgement after 5 years in South Africa?

A judgment remains on your credit record for 5 years or until it is paid in full or a rescission is granted by the courts. Although not always the case, in general a consumer is listed as defaulting before a credit provider applies for a judgment.

What happens if you have debt and leave South Africa?

What Happens To Your Debt When You Leave South Africa? You will not lose any debt, technically speaking, when you leave the country. your debt is still yours, and you will still have to deal with creditors and collectors as long as they try to get you to pay it back.

How do I clear my name from credit bureau in South Africa?

The simplest way to clear your name from the credit bureau is to pay off the debt. According to TransUnion, one of South Africa' biggest credit bureaus, this will usually result in your name being removed from the blacklist within 7 – 20 days.

Does your debt ever get wiped?

If a creditor takes too long to take action to recover a debt it becomes 'statute barred', meaning it can no longer be recovered through court action. In practical terms, this effectively means the debt is written off, even though technically it still exists.

Can I be chased for debt after 10 years?

In most cases, the statute of limitations for a debt will have passed after 10 years. This means a debt collector may still attempt to pursue it (and you technically do still owe it), but they can't typically take legal action against you.

Do I have to pay a debt after 6 years?

Debts you're not responsible for

You might not have to pay a debt if: it's been six years or more since you made a payment or were in contact with the creditor. there was a problem when you signed the agreement, for example if you were pressured into signing it or the agreement wasn't clear.

Can debt collectors take you to court South Africa?

If the debtor has no property (movable or immovable) to sell to settle the debt the creditor may proceed with a financial enquiry in court. This is known as a Section 65A (1) Notice for the debtor to appear in the relevant court together with all his/her financial documents as proof of all income and expenses.

Which court deals with debt in South Africa?

Section 65A of the Magistrates' Court Act 32 of 1944 (“MCA”) allows for the recovery of a debt after judgment has been granted. While this form of recourse is only available in the Magistrates' Court, judgments obtained in the High Courts can be enforced through section 65M of the MCA.

Can debt be sold in South Africa?

In South Africa it is common practice for Creditors' to sell their Debtor's Book to Debt Collectors or agencies – who will then collect upon the debt.

How do I ask for debt forgiveness?

I respectfully request that you forgive my alleged debt, as my condition precludes any employment, and my current and future income does not support any debt repayment. Please respond to my request in writing to the address below at your earliest convenience. Thank you in advance for your understanding of my situation.

How do I request a write off?

Write off the debt (sole name) Use this letter when asking your creditor if they would consider writing off your debt. You can choose to send a letter in your own name or in joint names. You may have a debt in joint names, or want to write to your creditors together because you have worked out a joint budget.

How long does it take to write off a debt?

Typically, a credit card company will write off a debt when it considers it uncollectable. In most cases, this happens after you have not made any payments for at least six months.

What do I say to creditors if I can't pay?

- Stay calm. Explain your financial situation and how much of the bill you are able to pay, according to your repayment plan. - Dispute debts in writing. If you believe you don't owe the amount claimed or otherwise disagree, make your reasons known promptly in writing to both the creditor and the collection agency.