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Author Topic: Bad debt in South Africa - And travelling back  (Read 21486 times)

Offline HappyKiwi

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Bad debt in South Africa - And travelling back
« on: January 30, 2012, 01:24:07 am »
Hi Guys

I moved to New Zealand in 2006. Unfortunately I left some bad debt behind in South Africa. It has been a very difficult road since moving to NZ and I was making regular payments to pay off this bad debt in my first year here in NZ.

Long story short, with the recession in NZ starting in 2008, I could not always afford to make my committed payments, I did try to keep up. In the end I stopped the payments and took a silly approach of just hoping it would all just go away. Yes Bad mistake! I received multiple letters of demand from some of my creditors, which in the end resulted in this debt being handed over to debt collectors. As a result I am now blacklisted in SA (Not that it seems to matter here in NZ). For the past few years I have just ignored the deb collectors and letters of demand stopped in 2009/2010.

Now 6years later I am planning a trip back to South Africa for 2weeks in Feb. I am planning to sell some old assets while there, sort out two RA’s and hopefully pay off and settle all my outstanding debt. In other words finally put this baby to bed and just get on with my new life in NZ.

Some of you may think it was extremely unethical of me. I agree it was. At the time though I just could not afford the payments, moving to NZ was such a huge cost. Its now time to make right with SA so my questions are as follows:

What problems could I experience when entering SA on my South African passport?

Will I experience any other problems when leaving SA again, if I don’t manage to get it all sorted out in the 2weeks that I am there.

The last time I went to SA was in 2009 and I had no problems at all, just concerned that things have changed since.

We will be taking up our Kiwi citizenship in the next 6months. Will my bed debt have any impact on me not getting citizenship?

Thanks guys

Offline till23

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Re: Bad debt in South Africa - And travelling back
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2012, 04:53:24 am »
Three questions - 3 simple answers:

None
No
No

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Re: Bad debt in South Africa - And travelling back
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2012, 04:53:24 am »

Offline zatexnz

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Re: Bad debt in South Africa - And travelling back
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2012, 04:59:07 am »
short and sweet Till23!!   O0

It's good that you're going back to make amends.  It will be in your best interest to do so, even if you never go to SA again.  It's something that will simply ease your conscience, and let you live here in peace.

All the best!!!
lekker sweet as, y'all
~ Colleen

Offline smcspan

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Re: Bad debt in South Africa - And travelling back
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2012, 06:54:18 am »
I'm going to give my two cents of advice here... not an expert but have worked with plenty of lawyers and businesses. 

There's a saying in the business world that goes:  Don't throw good money after bad money.

Have you ever considered sequestration? 

Depending on how much the debt is, you only have to satisfy creditors 10c per R1 that you owe, and you can be rehabilitated in as litte as 6 months.

Since you are in any case living in NZ and planning to take up citizenship, the sequestration will not really affect you in any way. By doing this, the problem literally will go away and by your next trip to SA, you will be free.

 And, I just think in some cases (it sounds like it has been tough times financially for you), it is just not worth trying to fix broken things.

There is a legal remedy, why not consider it?

(I have to add... this is probably not for debts less than R100K, but by the sounds of it you are planning on selling out RA's, so I'm assuming it's for more than that).

Maybe on your holiday, why don't you see a lawyer for a consultation first before trying to pay things off?

They will be able to advise on your situation better, and give advise on how to sequestrate with a domicillium outside of SA.

Good luck! Chin up, it happens to MORE people than you think!

 

Offline zatexnz

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Re: Bad debt in South Africa - And travelling back
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2012, 12:31:06 pm »
wow smcspan I didn't know one could do that.  I just know that I myself hate having debt, and know just how peaceful life is without it!
lekker sweet as, y'all
~ Colleen

Offline smcspan

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Re: Bad debt in South Africa - And travelling back
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2012, 01:59:07 pm »
There are a lot of things one can do when you find yourself in over your head... if you take the time out to speak to people with knowledge! 

I have found speaking to someone about your situation and being truthfull will eventually help you in the end!

Nobody likes being in debt, but sometimes bad things happens to good people.

I've just seen how debt ruins people's lives and a little knowledge of the law and the remedies available will help you in the end.

Plus, having seen a lawyer sometimes makes you feel like there's someone in your corner and your not in it alone.

There's also the possibility that they can negotiate affordable repayment plans and sometimes, creditors will write off some of the interest once you get a lawyer to help you.

Don't see it as an easy way out, it is a serious thing and will be on your name.  But, since you are already blacklisted, you find yourself in the exact same boat (can't borrow money, pop up on credit checks). 

Except, Sequestration can be done with in 6 months, then you have a new credit record, can start afresh... where blacklisted can last forever or until you have paid it up.  Even if you have paid it up, you still need to bring in a request for clearance of your name in the High Court.  Most people think that your name will be cleared as soon as you have paid your blacklisted debt.  Not true, you still need to pay a laywer to handle your clearance in the high court.  So, all in all, sequestration is the better option!

I say, learn from the experience and guard whatever assets you have for your future. 

PS:  Donald Trump has been sequestrated 4 times! Robert T Kiyosami, Warren Buffet, George Best, some of the world's richest people use this remedy to help them when things just doesn't go their way.  If they can do it without flinching an eye, why not also help yourself and secure your future, instead of looking back and trying to fix history.

Just my personal thoughts! Obviously a very personal issue which I've now hi-jacked! So, ignore if you like or use if you like! Either way, just wanted to say hang in there!

 :-X

Offline lizer

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Re: Bad debt in South Africa - And travelling back
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2012, 04:43:45 pm »
I had a rather nasty divorce and ended up with all our debt and not sufficient income to pay. 6 Years later I am finally starting to see light at the end of the tunnel but I have been to attorneys and been through the process. So here is my few cents worth.

If your debt is not having any affect on you in NZ I really think you should not wake sleeping dogs. Most of these companies probably already wrote the debt off anyway.

Sequestration is not as easy as it sounds and I certainly would not recommend it. Make sure you understand exactly what happens before you go for that option.

Debt is not a crime in SA. You cannot be arrested for old debt. Worst thing is you get blacklisted. If there is no court order against you, the debt prescribes after 3 years. As long as you don't admit to the debt or make any payments, there is nothing they can do and after 3 years they cannot collect the money from you. Maybe speak to a lawyer as you have started paying on these debts and it might change things slightly. If you have a court order against you it will be a bit more complicated but speak to an attorney. As far as I know you also cannot be blacklisted forever. The new laws changed things a lot. And you don't want to make new debt in SA so who cares about being blacklisted?

If you are really worried about the old debt, rather go see an attorney that specialises in this before you contact creditors. It might not be necessary to pay most of the debt at all. Unless you really just want to clear your conscience and pay them all. Otherwise, go to SA, sell your stuff and go back to NZ and forget about it.

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Re: Bad debt in South Africa - And travelling back
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2012, 04:43:45 pm »

Offline HennieN

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Re: Bad debt in South Africa - And travelling back
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2012, 06:30:09 pm »
Good luck it is very difficult to throw good money into bad debt. I have a very good experience lawyer, that I can recommend. Sequestration is a process but it cannot affect you further. Should you want your record to be reinstated you can do so, but if you are in NZ permanently, it serves no purpose. Send me a PM if you want more details.

Good luck!
05-03-2012 - Left SA for NZ
22-03-2012 - WP issued
15-10-2012 - EOI submitted
17-10-2012 - EOI selected
26-10-2012 - ITA Declined
28-10-2012 - ITA approved
30-01-2013 - PR application in
10-04-2013 - Assigned CO
02-08-2013 - PR Approved

Offline HappyKiwi

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Re: Bad debt in South Africa - And travelling back
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2012, 04:08:24 am »
Wow thank you all for the replies. Some really good advice here.

We underestimated our expenses here in NZ big time before making the move. Luckily we had our savings from SA to help pay our NZ bills/rent etc.. The fact that I had been unemployed for a good 6 months did not help the situation either. The Rands in our Savings accounts dried up very quickly.

Those of you planning on emigration – take note, I would recommend having at least enough money available to be able to support you for a full year. Even if you have a job setup on this side. I did and it did not work out. Do your research extremely well.

My Debt in SA is about R60 000 in total so it does not look like I will be able to do the sequestration thing (Thanks for that advice smcspan).

I am weary though of suddenly getting into contact with these people again after all this time and supplying them with things like my NZ physical address, phone numbers, email addresses, passport numbers etc.. I guess the best advice I am going to take from this forum is getting a lawyer.

Going to give it some serious thought over the next few days.

My only real concern at the moment was arriving back in South Africa and having some guys in black suites waiting for me on arrival. 

Thanks again everyone for the advice. Greatly appreciated.

Offline till23

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Re: Bad debt in South Africa - And travelling back
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2012, 06:54:23 am »
My only real concern at the moment was arriving back in South Africa and having some guys in black suites waiting for me on arrival. 

How on earth will they know when you arrive ?( I assume you will not inform them of the date and flight number ) and even if they did know there is nothing they can do unless you are concerned they are going to smash your kneecaps with a baseball bat in the arrivals hall.

If you are concerned about the debt collecting agency contact their governing body. Debt collecting has become severely regulated in the last 10years. So unless your debt was owed to a bookmaker or some dodgy character who got some strong men who are doing the collecting do not stress about it. What they should have done and obviously still can is to obtain a judgment by default ( verstekvonnis ) in your absence and then attach your property which include your RA's. However, the fact that they referred it to debt collecters seems to indicate that they do not want to follow the default judgment route. So the worst that can happen if you do not pay has already happened by you being blacklisted.

Offline Marz

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Re: Bad debt in South Africa - And travelling back
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2012, 08:45:24 am »
I know of people that specifically moved from SA to NZ with 1000s and 1000s in debt (Like 100k or something ridiculous), a little bit scummy that they left so much debt behind, but as far as I know they have no plans to pay it back!  I don't know them though (It's a colleague's family, he told me the story when he found out we were planning on moving to NZ).  As far as I know they got their PR no problem?

I also agree that blacklisting should not affect you, unless you ever move back to SA and want to take out a mortgage/loan/credit card.  Let sleeping dogs lie ;)
Arrive in New Zealand : 3rd March 2012
Submit work permit application : 16th April
Submit EOI and selected: 18th April
Application received: 15 May
PR Granted in principle: 8 August 2012

Offline Cooksy97

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Re: Bad debt in South Africa - And travelling back
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2013, 05:25:23 am »
Hi happy kiwi , did u go back to SA on holiday and did u have any problems

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Re: Bad debt in South Africa - And travelling back
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2013, 05:25:23 am »