What you need to know about prescribed debt...


Sara-Jayne King

459 days ago
What you need to know about prescribed debt... © rocketclips/123rf.com

Did you know that debt doesn't last forever?

There are some cases where, providing certain criteria is met, debt can fall away and creditors are no longer entitled to pursue collection of that debt.

CapeTalk's Jeremy van Wyk asked consumer journalist Wendy Knowler to explain when a debt is prescribed and

Essentially creditors and their debt collectors have three years to collect debt from you if you fell behind on your payments and after that it's 'prescribed'.

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

If the debt has been completely dormant for three years up until the time that you get the demand you are no longer legally required to pay it in terms of the Prescription Act.

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

Knowler says once a debt has prescribed and the creditor tries to collect the debt, the onus is the debtor to claim the defence of prescription.

But, she adds, the prescription of the debt may be interrupted by any acknowledgement of debt or by making any payment towards the debt.

There are lots of different tactics [from debt collectors] to get you to acknowledge the debt...

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

The ombudsman has said people were being told by the debt collector that if they just paid a R20 or R50 payment that would hold off any legal proceedings, but now that payment is towards the debt and they say, oh well now your prescription defence is now over.

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

Listen to the full interview below to find out more about prescribed debt:

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : What you need to know about prescribed debt...

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