McCarthy Attorneys Inc

PRESCRIPTION OF DEBT

Prescription Of Debt

Prescription is a legal term that means that the prescribed time period to institute legal proceedings against a debtor has lapsed. It is thus not a rule of law that should be overlooked, as having your claim prescribe meanyou have run out of time to institute any legal action against a debtor 

As soon as the debt is due, prescription starts to run. A debt is due when the debtor is under an obligation to render performance and the creditor has a right to claim performance. 

The prescription period will be interrupted if the debtor: 

  1. expressly or tacitly acknowledges that the debt is owed, for example, if the debtor makes a payment towards settling the debt; or 
  2. has summons issued against them in respect of the debt.  
Prescription time periods: 
 
  1. Thirty years for:

1.1.any debt secured by a mortgage bond; 

1.2 any judgment debt; 

1.3 any debt in respect of any taxation; 

1.4 particular debts owed to the State with regard to any share of profits, royalties or any other consideration payable regarding rights to mine minerals. 

2. Fifteen years in respect of any debt owed to the State and arising out of a loan of money or sale or lease of land by the State to a debtor. 

3. Three years in respect of any other debt. 

It is important to note that it is completely legal for a debt collector or attorney to demand payment for a prescribed debtthus the onus is on the debtor to raise prescription as their defence. 

If you need assistance in collecting money due to you timeously, please contact us to discuss our collections on contingency policy.

If you have any questions about other Labour or Land issues, contact McCarthy & Associates Attorneys on (033) 266 6170 or  admin@maalaw.co.za. 

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