05 Sep

Can Consumers Reinstate a Credit Agreement After Debt Acceleration?

A credit agreement is a contractual agreement between a credit provider and a consumer and applies for all kinds of credit services. Under the agreement, the consumer is liable to pay for installments either set out in the contract or on a monthly cycle. When a consumer does not pay by the expected date of payment, this is called a default in payment.

Defaults and Acceleration 

When a consumer defaults, the credit provider has two options available as per the credit agreement. The first is to allow the consumer to pay the default amount and then resume their agreed payment according to the credit agreement. The credit provider may also be able to ‘accelerate’ the payment vis-a-vis an acceleration clause often contained within the contract.

This means that any outstanding amount is immediately payable by the consumer, including the payment of immediate services and not just debts in arrears. When the acceleration clause has been invoked, credit providers and consumers usually terminate the credit agreement going forward after what has usually been a distasteful business relationship.

Reinstated Credit Agreement 

However, can a credit provider discontinue a credit agreement once acceleration has been invoked? Legally, a contractual agreement can be cancelled after a consumer has repaid their outstanding debts in the occurrence that an item/property has been bought and sold by the consumer during the time whereby payments were expected. However, during instances whereby a service or agreement has been entered into without limitations as those described above, a credit provider is under no obligation and has no right to cancel or end the contractual credit agreement without the approval of the consumer.

This was found out the hard way for a business that was involved with a consumer regarding mortgage repayments. As the consumer in question had not sold the property before the time of acceleration, the credit provider could not end the credit agreement. Make sure that you understand the limitations regarding credit acceleration and the termination of credit agreements as a registered credit provider.

If you require the services of a debt collection lawyer, don’t hesitate to contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys as soon as possible.

15 Aug

The Most Common Excuses That Debtors Make

As a creditor, it is important that you identify whether or not the debtor is having cash flow issues. If you quickly determine that the debtor is unable to pay their dues, then you can use the time to contact a debt collection agency or debt collection lawyer. There are a few telltale signs that the debtor is unable to pay his or her debts, most often by these overused excuses; take a look.

  • “Yes, of course! I will pay the account as soon as possible.” This is the classic delay strategy. The objective is to fool the creditor into thinking that they will pay the account momentarily. The truth is that, on this occasion, they have not provided the creditor with an exact date, and there will come a time where the debtor will have to be contacted again.
  • “I have paid the account, it must not have reflected yet.” If the debtor has used this excuse more than once for a single invoice over the space of 30 days, then it is a clear and blatant lie. On the rare occasion that the bank is the guilty party, it is the debtor’s responsibility to pursue the issue with the bank.
  • “I have not received an invoice yet.” Probably the most common excuse of the lot. The reason why this excuse is so well used is because it works. However, there are some tactics that can be used to avoid this problem. The first is by ensuring a receipt and ‘item read’ notification on your emails, or by having the debtor pick up a physical receipt from the post office.

In any event, if you believe that the debtor in question is delaying payment or without financing the invoice, ensure that you contact a debt collection agency. For commercial and larger debt issues, contacting a debt collection lawyer is often the best thing to do. If you are looking for an experienced and well-versed debt collection lawyer in South Africa, then make sure you contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys today!

07 Jul

4 Reasons Why A Debt Collection Attorney Is Better Than An Agency

Your business is in a spot of trouble; your debtors are yet to pay their debts, and time is of the essence. Many of you may want to avoid the trouble of using a debt collection attorney and rather consider the cheaper option of a debt collection agency. Here’s why you might want to stop and consider this choice a little more carefully.

Repetition Repetition 

A debt collection agency is likely to follow the exact same process as yourself; contacting the debtor telephonically and issuing letters of warning. If this has not resulted in payment, why would it be any different if a debt collection agency performs the exact same function? It would not only be a waste of money, but it would just prolong the issue. At the end of the day an agency will eventually make use of debt collection attorneys themselves.

Illogical Fear Of Courts 

Many people fear approaching a debt collection attorney because of the realisation of having to go to court. Most of the time the debt collection attorney will head all legal action, requiring little effort from the plaintiff. Aside from providing important information and making an appearance in court, all other duties will be undertaken by the debt collection attorney.

A Debt Collection Attorney Has More Power

By taking the matter to the court, the issue is resolved quickly, especially when using an experienced attorney. By enforcing the state’s hand in dealing with the matter, a final decision made in court will mean that the debtor will have to pay his/her dues or face harsh restrictive credit measures, fines or worse.

Costs 

The belief is that debt collection attorneys charge more than debt collection agencies. This is often true, but both parties will charge fees according to the length of the debt collection process, hourly rates and flat rates. Additionally, both agencies as well as attorneys are admissable to receiving a portion of the debt owed. Because the legal profession is so time dependent, it is in the attorney’s best interest to reach a conclusion with regards to the case as fast as possible, costing you or your business less.

Make sure that you contact a debt collection attorney as soon as a debtor shows signs of protracted nonpayment. Keep an eye on the Ivan Zartz Attorneys blog page where our next blog will highlight the signs that may signal your need for a debt collection attorney.

For the services of the best debt collection attorney in  South Africa, contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys today.

05 Jul

3 Things A Debt Collection Attorney Cannot Do

As a debt collection attorney in South Africa, it’s easy to pick up on all the illegalities within a multi-million rand industry. Debt collection attorneys go well beyond their mandate to try and claim from those they cannot claim from. Is it not worth spending your money on a debt collection attorney who does the job properly? Nevertheless, here are three things that debt collection attorneys in South Africa do, but really shouldn’t.

1. Attorneys who use threats of imprisonment 

This is a no-no within the industry, but it is shocking to realise the number of agencies and attorneys that use this dirty tactic. In a country like South Africa, people are genuinely fearful of the legal system, and will do anything to escape the clutches of the police; even if they are truly exempt from such treatment. An attorney may not use the threat of imprisonment.

2. Attorneys who constantly harass debtors 

Too many people are uneducated to the facts of what is considered harassment or not. To be clear, if an attorney repeatedly contacts you, calls you out of office hours, or contacts your place of work, this is considered harassment. If a debt collection attorney has to continually call you, then the chances are they do not understand their legal profession and the other measures of debt collection.

3. Attorneys who divulge your credit/debt history 

No one other than yourself, your creditor, your financial institution, your legal representative and the debt collection attorney or agency are allowed to know your credit status without your expressed permission. Any information divulged otherwise is illegal.

These tactics are commonly used to ‘squeeze’ money from the debtor. Make sure you understand what debt collection attorneys are allowed and not allowed to do. Alternatively, isn’t it time you used a debt collection attorney who understands the industry to head your unresolved cases of debt collection?

Contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys today for a debt collection attorney who can follow up on your debtors legally and effectively.

 

15 Jun

Debt Collection And Condictio Indebiti

What happens when an individual or organisation makes a payment to another party by a mistake and expects repayment for services not rendered. This classic case of debt collection is termed Condicto Indebiti in the legal world, and certain requirements have to be met in order for a plaintiff to hold a defendant responsible for paying back money for services not rendered.

Mistaken Payment 

When a payment is made by mistake to an organisation or individual the process that happens most often is a form of unofficial mediation whereby the party who has made the mistaken payment approaches the payee. Often, and when providing evidence of a mistake, the payee will likely return the money to the benefactor. However, what happens when the payee refuses to make a repayment?

Condictio Indebiti

A case of condictio indebiti debt collection is different from a normal case of debt collection. Debt collection follows when somebody has rendered a product or service and has not received payment. With the case of a mistaken payment, the debt collection process (in the event that the defendant in a litigated case is not willing to repay) needs to be carried out when certain requirements are met. These requirements are:

  • That the defendant has received a particular amount of money
  • That the plaintiff has paid that particular amount of money
  • That there is an adverse effect of causality between the two parties (the defendant benefits where the plaintiff suffers)
  • The payment has to have been made by a mistake or without an actual legal reason for payment
  • And lastly, that the error on the part of the plaintiff was excusable

When all of the above conditions have been met, and there is no way in which common law for particular cases has been challenged, the payee (defendant)  is responsible for paying back monies owed.

Although not a case of debt collection, the similarities between cases of debt collection and condictio indebiti often mean that debt collection attorneys are more than experienced enough to assist clients in this regard.

To find out more about our strict measures of debt collection contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys today.