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RESCISSION OF DEFAULT JUDGEMENT

RESCISSION OF DEFAULT JUDGEMENT

You borrowed money from a friend or family member and they have since obtained Default Judgement against you for non-payment of an amount owing to them, which led to you being blacklisted. What can you do now?

If you didn’t defend a summons issued against you for payment of money to a Plaintiff (Creditor), the Plaintiff will ask the court to grant a judgement against you (Defendant/Debtor), which remains valid for 30 years. In the event that you feel dissatisfied with the judgement or you as the Debtor has since repaid the outstanding debt and interest in full, you are permitted/allowed to apply for Rescission of Judgement, rescinding the judgement that was handed by court.

Rescission of Judgement in the High Courts:

Rule 31(2)(b) of the High Court Rules determines that an Applicant (Debtor) may within 20 days after he has knowledge of default judgement taken against him, apply to court upon notice to the Respondent (Creditor) to set aside default judgement and the court may upon “good cause” shown set aside the default judgement. The Applicant has to prove 3 elements to the Court to comply with the words “good cause”.

The first element is the Applicant must give a reasonable explanation for his default. The Applicant must show that his default was not wilful, and wilful default exist where; firstly the Applicant has knowledge that the action is being brought against him; secondly the Applicant deliberately refrains from entering an appearance to defend; and thirdly the Applicant has a certain mental attitude to the consequences of default.

The second element is the Applicant must show the existence of a bona fide defence. Once the Applicant satisfied the court that he was not in wilful default, he has to demonstrate that a substantial defence exists, in other words he has a prima facie case against the Respondent (Creditor).

The third element is the Applicant’s application must be brought bona fide. In other words it must be clear that he intends to use his defence and that the reason for the Application for Rescission of Judgement is to enable him to have his day in court.

In the case where Judgement was granted for non-payment of a debt and the debt has been paid in full by the Debtor, consent by the Creditor to the Rescission is not enough, and the Debtor has to comply with the requirements as discussed above.

Rescission of Default Judgement in Magistrate’s Courts:

Rule 49(1) of the Magistrates’ Court Rules determines that if a Defendant (Debtor) is seeking to rescind a default judgement he has 20 court days from date on which the default judgement came to his knowledge to serve and file the application for his rescission. Notice of the application must be given to all the parties to the proceedings. The Applicant is required to show “good cause” why the judgement should be rescinded or, alternatively, the court must be satisfied that there is good reason to do so.

The first requirement, namely “good cause” shown is the same requirement as discussed above at High Courts. Rule 49(1) makes provision for an alternative, namely courts may rescind the judgement if it is satisfied that there is “good reason” to do so. This alternative appears to set a lower standard than that of “good cause”, but it does not lower the requirements for the Applicant.

In the case where Judgement was granted for non-payment of a debt and the debt has been paid in full, the Debtor can apply to have the judgement rescinded if the Creditor consents to the rescission.

It is important to note that courts has a wide discretion in deciding whether or not the Applicant has shown “good cause”, but where the Applicant was in wilful default Application for Rescission of Default Judgement will normally fail.

Compiled By: Grantham Williams

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

CREDIT BUREAUS: CAN I BE BLACKLISTED?

CREDIT BUREAUS: CAN I BE BLACKLISTED?

There is no such thing as a black list. It simply means that there are negative data on your credit report that is hosted at a Credit Bureau. This negative data can be anything, from a plain collection on one of your loans right through Judgment data or even Debt review.

This negative data will have an impact on your ability to get loans or open retail accounts as the credit provider will see this negative behaviour towards your current credit as a potential way that you will handle their loan; if granted.

A Credit bureau is an organisation that keeps a record of your credit information. Your credit record shows how you manage your debts and is used by credit providers and moneylenders to decide if you can afford to borrow money or pay back a new loan.

The National Credit Act says each credit bureau must be registered with the National Credit Regulator – who decides how your credit information can be used and who can see your credit record.

What is the role of a Credit Bureau?

When you take out your first loan with a credit provider, you have to fill in a form that asks for consumer credit information – including your credit history, financial history, education, employment and identity details. This information, and the details of the loan, is given to a credit bureau that then puts together credit report.

What are your rights regarding a Credit Bureau?

  • To be told that a credit provider intends to report negative information on you to a credit bureau 20 working days before they do so
  • To get a copy of your credit record from a credit bureau when you ask for it – you can get one free record each year but may be charged a small fee for further records
  • To challenge information kept by a credit bureau if you are unhappy with it
  • For your information to be kept confidential, and for it to be used only for the purposes that are allowed

How can your credit information be used?

  • To decide whether or not you can afford credit
  • To investigate fraud, corruption or theft
  • To consider you for employment in a position that requires trust, honesty and the handling of cash or finances

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

References:

http://www.legal-aid.co.za/selfhelp/?p=750

http://www.maxlaw.co.za/faqs/#toggle-id-4

STANDAARD SKULDERKENNINGS EN DIE NASIONALE KREDIETWET (NKW)

STANDAARD SKULDERKENNINGS EN DIE NASIONALE KREDIETWET (NKW)

A1_BDie nuwe NKW reguleer nie net afbetalingsverkoopsooreenkomste en huurooreenkomste ten opsigte van roerende goed soos die Wet op Kredietooreenkomste 75 van 1980 gedoen het nie. Die NKW is ook van toepassing op ‘n groter verskeidenheid kredietooreenkomste en het geen monetêre perk nie. In plaas daarvan om regstappe te neem, laat ‘n skuldeiser soms ‘n skuldenaar ‘n skulderkenning onderteken om terugbetaling te fasiliteer. Hierdie dokument kan voorsiening maak vir paaiemente, rente en fooie. Die vraag is egter of so ‘n ooreenkoms ter bevestiging van ‘n bestaande verpligting, ‘n kredietooreenkoms daarstel vir doeleindes van die NKW.

Die doel van hierdie Wet is om die sosiale en ekonomiese welstand van Suid- Afrikaners te bevorder, om ‘n billike, deursigtige, kompeterende, volhoubare, verantwoordelike, effektiewe en toeganklike kredietindustrie te bevorder, en om verbruikers te beskerm.

“Krediet” word in die Wet gedefinieer as die uitstel van betaling van geld verskuldig deur een persoon aan ‘n ander of die belofte om te betaal; of ‘n belofte om geld voor te skiet aan of ten behoewe van ‘n ander persoon.

“Ooreenkoms” sluit in ‘n reëling of verstandhouding tussen twee of meer partye wat bedoel is om ‘n regsverhouding tussen die partye te skep.

Daar word na die partye by ‘n kredietooreenkoms, gereguleer deur die NKW, verwys as die “verbruiker” en die “kredietverskaffer” en hierdie definisies behoort in oënskou geneem te word. ‘n Skulderkenning verwys normaalweg na ‘n historiese gebeurtenis en vestig nie ‘n kredietwaarborg of enige van die benoemde krediettransaksies soos ‘n pandooreenkoms, verdiskonteringsooreenkoms, insidentele kredietooreenkoms, paaiementooreenkoms, huur, gesekureerde lening- of verbandooreenkoms, of kredietfasiliteit nie. Nietemin, die feit dat die skulderkenning uitgestelde betaling vooronderstel en vereis dat rente, fooie en ander kostes betaalbaar is, veroorsaak dat dit binne die trefwydte van die omvattende term “krediettransaksie”, soos voorsien in artikel 8(4)(f) van die Wet, val.

Artikel 2(1) bepaal dat die Wet geïnterpreteer moet word op ‘n wyse wat uitvoering gee aan die doel soos in Artikel 3 uiteengesit. Die vraag is dus eintlik of die wetgewer bedoel het dat die wysiging van die terugbetalingsvoorwaardes met betrekking tot bestaande skuld, byvoorbeeld waar geld reeds geruime tyd vroeër voorgeskiet is of waar skade gelei is as gevolg van delik of kontrakbreuk, ‘n kredietooreenkoms daarstel vir die doeleindes van die NKW. Gesien die elemente van uitgestelde betaling en die heffing van rente, fooie en ander kostes wat in ‘n standaardskulderkenning voorkom en in die afwesigheid van ‘n spesifieke of geïmpliseerde aanduiding tot die teendeel, lyk dit of die noodwendige gevolgtrekking moet wees dat die ooreenkoms gedefinieer kan word as ‘n kredietooreenkoms soos deur die NKW bedoel. Die relevansie hiervan is dat die kredietverskaffer dalk sal moet registreer by die Nasionale Kredietreguleerder, dat bekostigbaarheidstudies gedoen sal moet word, dat die verbruiker te diep in die skuld kan raak en vir skuldberading aansoek doen, en dat baie ander veeleisende vereistes van toepassing sal wees.

Daar word betoog dat waar die skuldoorsaak of aksie ten opsigte waarvan die skulderkenning gedoen is, op ‘n kontrak of ooreenkoms berus wat ‘n kredietooreenkoms daarstel, die invoeging van ‘n geen-novasieklousule in die skulderkenning nie die ooreenkoms wat vervolgens aangegaan is, buite die trefwydte van die NKW sal laat val nie. Nietemin, waar die skuld aanvanklik ontstaan het as gevolg van ‘n delik, sal die invoeging van ‘n geen-novasieklousule moontlik tot gevolg hê dat die oorspronklike skuldoorsaak, naamlik die delik, behoue bly en dus meebring dat die saak buite die trefwydte van die NKW val.

Iets wat in gedagte gehou moet word, is dat “verbruiker” vir doeleindes van ‘n krediet-ooreenkoms waarop die NKW van toepassing is, beteken:

(a) Die party aan wie goedere of dienste verkoop word kragtens ‘n afslagooreenkoms, insidentele kredietooreenkoms of afbetalingsooreenkoms;
(b) Die party aan wie geld betaal word, of krediet verskaf word, onder ‘n pandooreenkoms;
(c) Die party aan wie krediet verskaf word kragtens ‘n kredietfasiliteit;
(d) Die verbandhouer kragtens ‘n verbandooreenkoms;
(e) Die lener onder ‘n gesekureerde lening;
(f) Die huurder kragtens ‘n huurkontrak;
(g) Die borg kragtens ‘n kredietborgstelling; of
(h) Die party aan wie of in wie se opdrag geld voorgeskiet word of krediet toegestaan word kragtens enige ander kredietooreenkoms.

Die definisie mag die antwoord verskaf aangesien die skulderkenning, as ‘n verskillende skuldoorsaak, dalk kan meebring dat die verbruiker nie volgens die definisie hierbo kwalifiseer nie. So ook is die onderliggende skuldoorsaak tot die skulderkenning en dit spreek vanself dat die ondertekening van ‘n skulderkenning nie iets is wat ligtelik benader moet word nie.

Waar ‘n hof oortuig is dat ‘n skulderkenning onderhewig is aan die NKW, mag van die hof vereis word om ‘n bevinding te maak in terme van artikel 130(4)(b) van die NKW, wat bepaal dat:

In enige verrigtinge gekontempleer in hierdie artikel, indien die hof bevind dat – … die kredietverskaffer nie voldoen het aan die relevante bepalings van hierdie Wet, soos gekontempleer in subartikel (3)(a), of die hof genader het onder omstandighede soos gekontempleer in subartikel (3)(c) dan moet die hof – die saak uitstel; en ‘n bevel maak wat stappe uiteensit wat die kredietverskaffer moet voltooi voordat die saak voortgesit kan word.

In Adams v SA Motor Industry Employers Association 1981 (3) SA 1189 (A) at 1198 – 1199, het die hof bevind dat daar ‘n vermoede teen novasie bestaan en dat, waar novasie nie die bedoeling was nie, dit moontlik was vir twee verpligtinge om gelyktydig te bestaan. Hierdie verpligtinge sal interafhanklik wees en die skuldeiser het nie die vrye keuse om die aanvanklike verpligting af te dwing nie. ‘n Skulderkenning, soms na verwys as ‘n IOU, is bewys dat ‘n skuld verskuldig is, maar verskil van ‘n skuldbewys aangesien dit nie ‘n uitdruklike belofte is om te betaal nie. Waar die skulderkenning egter gekoppel is aan ‘n onderneming om te betaal, sal dit ‘n verpligting skep kragtens daardie onderneming.

Die saak van Rodel Financial Service (Pty) Ltd v Naidoo and Another 2013 (3) Sa 151 (Kzp) en annotasies is voorgestelde leeswerk om die toepaslike beginsels beter te verstaan.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies. (E&OE)

STANDARD ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS OF DEBT AND THE NATIONAL CREDIT ACT (NCA)

STANDARD ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS OF DEBT AND THE NATIONAL CREDIT ACT (NCA)

A1_BThe new NCA does not only regulate instalment sale agreements and lease agreements in respect of movables as was done by its predecessor, the repealed Credit Agreements Act 75 of 1980. The NCA also applies to a much wider variety of credit agreements and has no monetary cap. Instead of instituting legal action a creditor often gets a debtor to sign an acknowledgement of debt to facilitate repayment. This document could contain a provision for instalments and interest and fees. The question arises whether this agreement in confirmation of an existing obligation constitutes a credit agreement for purposes of the NCA.

The purpose of this Act is to promote and advance the social and economic welfare of South Africans, promote a fair, transparent, competitive, sustainable, responsible, efficient, effective and accessible credit market and industry, and to protect consumers.

“Credit”, when used as a noun, is defined in the Act as a deferral of payment of money owed to a person or a promise to defer such payment; or a promise to advance or pay money to or at the direction of another person.

“Agreement” includes an arrangement or understanding between or among two or more parties which purports to establish a relationship in law between those parties.

The parties to a credit agreement governed by the NCA are referred to as the “consumer” and the “credit provider” and these definitions should be considered. An acknowledgement of debt normally refers to a historical event of cause and does not constitute a credit guarantee or any of the named credit transactions such as a pawn agreement, discount agreement, incidental credit agreement, instalment agreement, lease, secured loan or mortgage agreement or credit facility. However, the fact that it contains a deferral of payment and requires the payment of interest, fees and other charges, will cause it to fall within the ambit of the catch-all term “credit transaction” provided for in Section 8(4)(f) of the Act.

Section 2(1) provides that the Act must be interpreted in a manner that gives effect to the purposes set out in Section 3. The question really is whether the legislature intended the rearrangement or the repayment terms of an existing debt, for instance where money has already been advanced to a consumer a considerable period of time ago or where damages were suffered as a result of a delict or breach of contract, to constitute a credit agreement or transaction for purposes of the NCA. Due to the elements of deferral and the charging of interest, fees and other charges in a standard acknowledgement of debt, and in the absence of any express or implicit indication to the contrary, it seems an inescapable conclusion that the agreement could be defined as a credit agreement within the meaning of the NCA. The relevance of this is that it might be that the credit provider would be required to register as such with the National Credit Regulator, affordability assessment would have to be done prior to conclusion, the consumer could become overindebted and apply for debt review, and so many onerous requirements will be applicable.

It is submitted that where the cause of action in relation to which the acknowledgement of debt was entered into is based on a contract or agreement which constitutes a credit agreement, the insertion of a no-novation clause into an acknowledgement of debt will not serve to exclude the agreement subsequently concluded, from the ambit of the NCA. However, where the debt initially arose as a result of a delict, the insertion of a no-novation clause might have the effect of preserving the original cause of action, namely the delict, and thus cause the matter to fall outside the scope of the NCA.

One thing to be kept in mind is that a “consumer”, in respect of a credit agreement to which the NCA applies, means

(a) the party to whom goods or services are sold under a discount transaction, incidental credit agreement or instalment agreement;
(b) the party to whom money is paid, or credit granted, under a pawn transaction;
(c) the party to whom credit is granted under a credit facility;
(d) the mortgagor under a mortgage agreement;
(e) the borrower under a secured loan;
(f) the lessee under a lease;
(g) the guarantor under a credit guarantee; or
(h) the party to whom or at whose direction money is advanced or credit granted under any other credit agreement.

This definition might provide the answer as the acknowledgement of debt might, as a different cause of action, not qualify the consumer under the above definition. So, too, is the underlying cause of action to the acknowledgement of debt, and it deserves no debate that signing an acknowledgement of debt is not something to go about without due consideration.

Should a court be convinced that the written acknowledgement of debt is subject to the NCA the court could be required to make a ruling in terms of Section 130(4)(b) of the NCA, which states:

In any proceedings contemplated in this section, if the court determines that – … the credit provider has not complied with the relevant provisions of this Act, as contemplated in subsection (3)(a), or has approached the court in circumstances contemplated in subsection (3)(c) the court must – adjourn the matter before it; and make an appropriate order setting out the steps the credit provider must complete before the matter may be resumed.

In Adams v SA Motor Industry Employers Association 1981 (3) SA 1189 (A) at 1198 – 1199, the court held that there is a presumption against novation and that, where novation was not intended, it was possible for two obligations to co-exist. These obligations would be interdependent, and the creditor does not have a free election to enforce the original obligation. An acknowledgment of debt, sometimes referred to as an IOU, is evidence of a debt which is due, but differs from a promissory note as it does not contain an express promise to pay. However, where the acknowledgment of debt is coupled with an undertaking to pay, it will give rise to an obligation in terms of that undertaking.

The case of Rodel Financial Service (Pty) Ltd v Naidoo and Another 2013 (3) Sa 151 (Kzp), and its annotations is recommended for reading and getting a better understanding of the applicable principles.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE).

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN LIQUIDATION AND SEQUESTRATION PROCESS

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN LIQUIDATION AND SEQUESTRATION PROCESS

A2bThe application for liquidation and sequestration processes are often confused. Many people think that the processes are the same. However, there is a big difference between these two processes.

A simple way to describe liquidation is that liquidation is the winding up of a firm by selling off its free (un-pledged) assets to convert them into cash to pay the firm’s unsecured creditors. Before a liquidation application can be issued in court, a founding affidavit needs to be drafted. This affidavit will include all the details of the Applicant and / or Respondent. The Applicant is the person who wants to liquidate the company and the Respondent is the company. In the case where the Applicant is the company, there will be no Respondent. The affidavit will also include any details of the company, employees and creditors. A bond of security also needs to be signed for the purpose of the Master of the High Court.

Once the application is issued, the only people who receive this notice is the South African Revenue Services (SARS), the Master of the High Court, employees of the company and any trade unions. As soon as this is done, a Master’s certificate is obtained verifying the application, and a provisional liquidation order is granted.  A return date is then set, and all creditors are notified of the provisional liquidation through registered post and by placing the provisional order in two local newspapers. Should the Applicant’s attorneys receive no notice of intention to defend the matter, a final liquidation order is granted. The order together with the application is sent to the Master of the High Court and a liquidator will be appointed.

Sequestration is the preferred option for the individual who has exhausted all other options of resolution, and is now in a position where even if all their assets are sold, they would be left with such a high shortfall that it would be unreasonable to expect them to recover from this loss. A sequestration involves a little more administration work before a court date can be obtained. Before the Notice of Motion and Founding Affidavit are drafted, a valuer needs to be appointed in order to value the Applicant or Respondent’s estate. This needs to be done in order to ascertain whether the debtor is indeed over-indebted, and whether he / she has enough assets to provide a benefit for all creditors involved.

In the matter of a voluntary sequestration, the Applicant will be the party whose estate is to be sequestrated. The valuer needs to value the property of the Applicant on a forced sale scale. This will be calculated by subtracting 20% of the actual value of the property.

As soon as the valuer has made an estimate for the Applicant / Respondent’s estate, a Statement of Debtor’s Affairs needs to be handed in to the Master of the High Court for inspection by all creditors. This needs to be done no less than 14 or more than 30 days before the court date. A Notice of Surrender needs to be sent through registered post to all creditors to inform them that the Statement of Debtor’s Affairs is available for inspection.

The Notice of Surrender needs to be posted in two local newspapers and the Government Gazette no less than 14, or more than 30 days before the court date. Once all of the above-mentioned requirement has been adhered to, the notice of surrender can be annexed to the Founding Affidavit and can be heard by the court, no Bond of Security is needed at this point. A sequestration can only be heard by the High Court, whereas a liquidation can be heard either by a Magistrate’s Court or by the High Court, depending on the merits of the case.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.

VERSKIL TUSSEN LIKWIDASIE EN SEKWESTRASIEPROSES

VERSKIL TUSSEN LIKWIDASIE EN SEKWESTRASIEPROSES

A2bDie aansoek prosedures vir likwidasie of sekwestrasie word dikwels met mekaar verwar, en baie mense dink dat die prosesse dieselfde is. Daar is egter ‘n groot verskil tussen die twee.

‘n Eenvoudige definisie van likwidasie is die proses waardeur ’n maatskappy sy vry (onbeswaarde) bates verkoop, om sodoende die bates te omskep in kontant wat gebruik kan word om die firma se gesekureerde skuldeisers te betaal. Voordat ‘n aansoek om likwidasie deur die hof uitgereik kan word, moet ‘n beëdigde verklaring opgestel word. Hierdie verklaring sal alle besonderhede van die Applikant en / of Respondent insluit. Die Applikant verwys na die persoon wat die maatskappy wil likwideer en die Respondent is die maatskappy wat gelikwideer word. In die geval waar die Applikant die maatskappy self is, sal daar geen Respondent wees nie. Die beëdigde verklaring sal ook besonderhede van die maatskappy, werknemers en die krediteure insluit. ’n Sekerheidstelling moet ook vir die doel van die Meester van die Hooggeregshof onderteken word.

Sodra die aansoek uitgereik word, sal die balju afskrifte van die aansoek aan die Suid-Afrikaanse Inkomstediens (SAID), die Meester van die Hooggeregshof, werknemers van die maatskappy en enige vakbonde beteken. Sodra dit gedoen is, word ‘n meestersertifikaat verkry vir die verifikasie van die aansoek, en ‘n voorlopige likwidasiebevel word toegestaan. ‘n Keerdatum word dan vasgestel, en al die krediteure word in kennis gestel van die voorlopige likwidasie deur geregistreerde pos sowel as deur die plasing van die voorlopige bevel in twee plaaslike koerante. Indien die Applikant se prokureurs nie verdediging ontvang nie, sal ‘n finale likwidasiebevel toegestaan word. Die bevel tesame met die aansoek word na die Meester van die Hooggeregshof gestuur en ‘n likwidateur sal aangestel word.

Individu wat reeds alle ander opsies om hulle skulde te vereffen uitgeput het, sal gesekwestreer word, aangesien hulle hulself nou in ‘n posisie bevind waar,  selfs as al hul bates verkoop word, sou hulle steeds te veel uitstaande geld hê, en dit sou onredelik wees om te verwag dat hulle van die verlies herstel. ʼn Sekwestrasie behels meer administratiewe werk alvorens ‘n hof datum verkry kan word. Voordat die kennisgewing van die mosie en beëdigde verklaring opgestel word, moet ‘n waardeerder aangestel word om die Applikant of die Respondent se boedel te waardeer. Daar moet bepaal word of die skuldenaar inderdaad oorbelas is, en of hy/sy oor genoegsame bates beskik om  die skuld te kan delg.

In die geval van ‘n vrywillige sekwestrasie sal die Applikant die party wees wie se boedel gesekwestreer word. Die waardeerder moet die eiendom van die Applikant op ‘n gedwonge verkoopskaal  waardeer. Om dit te bereken word 20% vanaf die werklike waarde van die eiendom afgetrek.

Sodra ‘n beraming deur ‘n waardeerder gemaak is van die Applikant/Respondent se boedel, moet ‘n verklaring van die skuldenaar se sake aan die Meester van die Hooggeregshof oorhandig word. Dit moet nie minder as 14 of meer as 30 dae voor die hof datum gedoen word nie. ‘n Kennisgewing van oorgawe moet ook aan alle skuldeisers gestuur word, deur middel van geregistreerde pos, om hulle van die bogenoemde in kennis te stel.

Die kennisgewing van oorgawe moet in twee plaaslike koerante, sowel as in die Staatskoerant geplaas word,  nie minder as 14 of meer as 30 dae voor die hof datum. Sodra al die bogenoemde gedoen is, kan dit by die beëdigde verklaring aangeheg word en deur die hof aangehoor word. Geen sekerheidstelling is nodig nie.  ʼn Sekwestrasie kan slegs aangehoor word deur die Hooggeregshof, terwyl ‘n likwidasie deur ‘n Landdroshof of die Hooggeregshof aangehoor kan word, afhangende van die meriete van die saak.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

DIE WISSELWERKING TUSSEN DIE WET OP VERBRUIKERSBESKERMING EN DIE NASIONALE KREDIETWET, EN DIE MOONTLIKHEID VAN BOETES BY DIE AFLOS VAN KREDIETOOREENKOMSTE

DIE WISSELWERKING TUSSEN DIE WET OP VERBRUIKERSBESKERMING EN DIE NASIONALE KREDIETWET, EN DIE MOONTLIKHEID VAN BOETES BY DIE AFLOS VAN KREDIETOOREENKOMSTE

Article 1_BMnr Swart koop ‘n BMW-motor in terme van ‘n huurkoop ooreenkoms en sy finansiering word deur BMW-finansiering gedoen. Na ‘n paar maande erf mnr Swart ‘n groot som geld en hy besluit om die finansiering in terme van die kredietooreenkoms heeltemal af te los. Mnr Swart is bekommerd dat die kredietverskaffer hom kan penaliseer met ‘n boete omdat hy die finansiering vroeër aflos.

Die eerste stap in die beantwoording van die bogenoemde vraag sal wees om te bepaal watter wetgewing die situasie reguleer. Die wetgewing wat hier van toepassing is, is die Nasionale Kredietwet 34 van 2005  en die Wet op Verbruikersbeskerming 68 van 2008.

In hierdie aangeleentheid moet daar ‘n onderskeid getref word tussen die toepassingsgebied van elkeen van die bogenoemde wette, aangesien die een wet van toepassing sal wees op die kredietooreenkoms self, terwyl die ander wet van toepassing sal  wees op die goedere, met ander woorde die BMW-motor. Artikel 5 van die Wet op Verbruikersbeskerming sit uiteen wanneer die wet sal geld en wanneer nie. Artikel 5(2)(d) is van spesifieke belang vir mnr Swart, aangesien dit kredietooreenkomste wat ingevolge die Nasionale Kredietwet gereguleer word, uitsluit. Alhoewel artikel 5(2)(d) die ooreenkoms self uitsluit, word die goedere of dienste wat gelewer word ingevolge die kredietooreenkoms ingesluit. Hierdie kredietooreenkomste, soos beoog in die Nasionale Kredietwet, word gedefinieer in die wet self, en meer spesifiek artikel 8(4)(c) wat huurkoop ooreenkomste (paaiement ooreenkomste) insluit.

Mnr Swart se situasie val presies in artikel 5(2)(d) van die Wet op Verbruikersbeskerming. Die implikasie van hierdie artikel is dat alle kredietooreenkomste wat onderhewig is aan die Nasionale Kredietwet buite die bestek van die Wet op  Verbruikersbeskerming val, maar die goedere, en in dié geval die BMW-motor, en die kwaliteit van die goedere binne die bestek van die Wet op Verbruikersbeskerming val. Dit is hier waar die bogenoemde wette met mekaar oorvleuel. Die oorvleueling is eintlik daarin geleë dat beide wette op een ooreenkoms van toepassing kan wees. Die kredietooreenkoms moet voldoen aan die Nasionale Kredietwet, maar die goedere en dienste gelewer moet weer voldoen aan die Wet op Verbruikersbeskerming. As daar ‘n gebrek in die kwaliteit van die goedere of dienste is, sal die Wet op Verbruikersbeskerming die gepaste wetgewing wees, maar as dit gaan oor die kredietooreenkoms self, dan sal die Nasionale Kredietwet geld.

Artikel 2(9) van die Wet op Verbruikersbeskerming handel oor die interpretasie van die wet en meer spesifiek oor hoe die wet geïnterpreteer moet word in gevalle waar daar teenstrydighede ontstaan tussen die Wet op Verbruikersbeskerming en enige ander wet. Volgens die artikel moet die saamlees van verskillende wette so ver as moontlik geskied, maar as dit nie meer moontlik is nie, dan moet die wet geld wat die meeste beskerming aan die verbruiker verleen.

Die twee artikels in die Nasionale Kredietwet wat handel oor die vervroegde aflos van kredietooreenkomste is artikel 122 en 125. Volgens artikel 122 van die Nasionale Kredietwet mag ‘n verbruiker ‘n kredietooreenkoms op enige tydstip beëindig. Die verbruiker kan enige tyd sy kredietooreenkoms beëindig deur die vereffeningsbedrag ooreenkomstig artikel 125 te betaal.

Artikel 125 bepaal dat ‘n verbruiker geregtig is daarop om ‘n kredietooreenkoms te eniger tyd te vereffen, met of sonder voorafgaande kennis aan die kredietverskaffer. Die bedrag wat betaalbaar is om ‘n kredietooreenkoms te vereffen, is die somtotaal van die volgende bedrae:

  • Die uitstaande balans op die hoofskuld / kapitale bedrag.
  • Alle rentes en heffings tot en met vereffeningsdatum. Byvoorbeeld as die uitstaande bedrag na 3 maande afgelos word, sal slegs 3 maande se rente gevra word. Die rente sal bereken word op die kapitale bedrag wat geleen is. 

In die geval van ‘n groot ooreenkoms (R250 000.00 of meer) sal die aflosbedrag dieselfde bereken word soos hierbo, maar met addisionele rente, wat bekend staan as ‘n vervroegde-aflos-fooi. Dié fooi mag nie meer as ‘n bedrag gelykstaande aan drie maande se rente op die kapitale bedrag wees nie.

Gevolgtrekking

Dus, indien mnr Swart se BMW-motor se kapitale bedrag, en dus die kredietooreenkoms, meer werd is as R250 000.00 dan sal die kredietverskaffer geregtig wees om in terme van die Nasionale Kredietwet ‘n boete van nie meer as 3 maande se rente te hef nie by die vervroegde aflos van die kredietooreenkoms. Indien dit minder werd is as R250 000.00 sal hy nie geregtig wees om enige boetes te hef nie.

Hierdie is ‘n algemene inligtingstuk en moet gevolglik nie as regs- of ander professionele advies benut word nie. Geen aanspreeklikheid kan aanvaar word vir enige foute of weglatings of enige skade of verlies wat volg uit die gebruik van enige inligting hierin vervat nie. Kontak altyd u regsadviseur vir spesifieke en toegepaste advies.

Kliek hier om die volledige vrywaring te sien

 

THE INTERPLAY BETWEEN THE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT AND THE NATIONAL CREDIT ACT, AND THE POSSIBILITY OF PENALTIES WITH EARLY SETTLEMENT OF CREDIT AGREEMENTS

THE INTERPLAY BETWEEN THE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT AND THE NATIONAL CREDIT ACT, AND THE POSSIBILITY OF PENALTIES WITH EARLY SETTLEMENT OF CREDIT AGREEMENTS

Article 1_BMr Black buys a BMW car in terms of a hire purchase agreement and the financing is done through BMW Finance. After a few months Mr Black inherits a huge sum of money and decides that he wants to settle the outstanding amount. Mr Black’s concern is whether the credit provider is entitled to charge a penalty fee for early settlement of the outstanding finance amount.

The first step in answering the abovementioned question will be to determine which laws regulate the situation. The legislation that applies here will be the National Credit Act 34 of 2005 and the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008.

In the above scenario a distinction should be drawn between the scope of each of these Acts, as the one pertains to the credit agreement itself and the other to the goods, being the BMW car. Section 5 of the Consumer Protection Act lists the situations in which this Act will apply. Section 5(2)(d) is of particular interest to Mr Black as it excludes credit agreements which are regulated by the National Credit Act. However, the goods or services provided in terms of the credit agreement are included and will be regulated by the Consumer Protection Act, whereas credit agreements as contemplated in the National Credit Act, specifically section 8(4)(c), includes hire purchase agreements (instalment agreements) in the ambit of the National Credit Act.

Mr Black’s situation illustrates the position as stated in Article 5(2)(d) of the Consumer Protection Act. The implication of this section is that all credit agreements that are subject to the National Credit Act will be governed by the National Credit Act, but the goods and services in terms of the agreement will fall within the scope of the Consumer Protection Act. It is here that the above acts overlap with each other. The overlap actually lies in that both acts can apply to one agreement. The credit agreement must comply with the National Credit Act, but the goods and services must comply with the Consumer Protection Act. If there is a defect in the quality of the goods or the service the Consumer Protection Act will provide the appropriate remedy, but if it is about the credit agreement itself, then the National Credit Act will apply.

Section 2(9) of the Consumer Protection Act deals with the interpretation of the Act and more specifically on how the law has to be interpreted in cases where there are discrepancies between the Consumer Protection Act and any other law. The Consumer Protection Act should be read in harmony with other legislation as far as possible, but if it is not possible, then the law that offers the most protection to the consumer shall apply.

The two sections in the National Credit Act which deals with the early settlement of credit agreements are sections 122 and 125 of the Act. According to section 122 of the National Credit Act, a consumer may terminate the credit agreement at any time. The consumer can do this by paying the settlement amount as calculated in accordance with section 125 of the National Credit Act.

Section 125 states that a consumer is entitled to cancel a credit agreement at any time with or without prior notice to the credit provider. The settlement amount will be the sum of the following amounts:

  • The outstanding balance of the principal debt / capital amount.
  • All rates and charges up to and including the settlement date. For example, if the outstanding amount can be settled after 3 months, then 3 months’ interest would be charged. The interest will be calculated on the principal amount borrowed. 

In the case of a large credit agreement (R250 000.00 or more) the outstanding amount will be calculated as above, but with additional interest, known as an early settlement fee. The fee may not exceed an amount equal to three months’ interest on the capital amount.

Conclusion:

Therefore, if the BMW that Mr Black bought was worth more than R250 000.00 the credit provider will be entitled to charge a penalty fee of not more than 3 months’ interest on the capital amount. In the event that the purchased item’s worth is less than R250 000.00 the credit provider will not be entitled to charge a penalty fee.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.

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