It is essential to seek legal guidance should you want debt relief through voluntary sequestration. To this end, some questions about insolvency in South Africa are briefly answered below, helping you to make an informed decision about debt management.

What Will Happen to My Monthly Utility Account When I Seek Debt Relief Through Voluntary Sequestration?

It is a service account, and as long as you keep paying it, you should be able to have a utility account.

Do I Have to Appear in Court?

No, your attorneys handle the application for debt relief through voluntary sequestration. However, the opposing party’s attorney may call for your appearance and to this end, you may have to appear in Court. Our attorneys will handle such, and will negotiate the matter to have you excused from appearing in Court.

Will My Employer Be Notified of My Application?

No, as it is handled discreetly. Do keep in mind that certain employment positions cannot be held if you are under sequestration, including that of an estate agent, auditor, and certain government positions. Speak to our attorneys about excluded positions.

I Am Concerned About Being Left Without Even the Very Basics If I Apply for Debt Relief Through Voluntary Sequestration, What Can I Do?

Many misconceptions exist about voluntary sequestration. Our attorneys are here to help minimise the effects on your family. This means we negotiate for the furniture to be written up, but not removed from your property. You then buy back the furniture at the very low auction value. As such, you will still have your beds and essential furniture.

Will I Lose My Firearm If I Apply?

Not likely. The laws regarding storage and sale of firearms in South Africa make it too difficult for the trustee to take possession of, store, and sell the firearm. As such, it will be written up, but not removed from your property.

How Long Do I Have to Find A New Place to Stay Once the Process Starts?

You will have at least three months from the date of sequestration to find a new home.

Can I Still Have A Credit Card If I Have Sought Debt Relief Through Voluntary Sequestration?

Yes, provided it is an existing credit card and it has a positive balance. You cannot let it go into a negative balance. As long as you use your own money, you can have a credit card and a cheque account.

Will A Bank Allow Me to Get A New Cheque Account or Credit Card?

Not likely, and you need the written permission of the trustee to do so as well. The trustee is not likely to give permission for such. Instead, open a savings account.

What Will Happen to My Computer?

It forms part of the sequestrated estate, unless it is your tool of trade. This means that if you can prove that you use it as your main tool in generating income, then it can be a tool of trade. To this end, speak to our attorneys regarding what qualifies as a tool of trade.

Will I Lose My Pension Money?

No. The law provides protection in this regard. Your pension money, your salary, and money you receive or have received for compensation related to a personal injury claim are excluded from the surrendered estate.

What Will Happen to My Spouse’s Assets When I Apply for Debt Relief Through Voluntary Sequestration?

If you are married in community of property, then you have one estate. This means you both are sequestrated and your spouse’s assets thus form part of the surrendered estate. If you are married out of community of property, your spouse’s assets are included in the surrendered estate, unless your spouse is able to prove that the assets belong to him or her. This applies even if you are married out of community of property with accrual of assets.

Where Can I Get More Information and Help on Seeking Debt Relief?

Get in touch with our team of insolvency lawyers to help determine if you qualify and to explain the process.

Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Call on our attorneys for legal advice, rather than relying on the information herein to make any decisions. The information is relevant to the date of publishing.

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