29 Feb

The Victims Of Child Custody And Divorce

Yet again we would like to address the public as to who the real victims are regarding cases of child custody and divorce. Children are often misrepresented in court as parents try their utmost to outdo the other in bouts that verge on defamation of character. Often the children are the victims of serious issues within the family unit, particularly with evidence of parental alienation syndrome.

Because of problems regarding cases of child custody and divorce, there are to be reviews of the Child Care Act to ensure that children are adequately represented in court. Furthermore, more effort will be made to ensure that the conclusions following cases of child custody and divorce are made in the best interests of the children.

Some of the more detailed changes include the commissioning of the parental plan; a plan that outlines the parental rights and responsibilities as well as schedules for the parents to uphold. The revision will also decide whether or not parents should discuss proceedings with children. There will be a decision based on whether or not the children themselves will be represented in court, and who exactly should the representative be. There have been many questions raised as to whether or not a panel of experts should represent the children during every child custody case or every divorce case, without having to involve the Office of the Family Advocate.

The review hopes to also streamline the divorce and child custody process, making the affair simpler and quicker so as to not cause emotional and mental distress for the children who are exposed to a cold and hostile courtroom.

If you require a child custody attorney with many years of experience in matters regarding family law, then make sure that you contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys today. Ivan Zartz and his team of experienced child custody professionals can best represent both you and the interests of your children.

Take a look at our child custody page by clicking the link.


24 Feb

Hiding Behind Insolvency

Often the individual is owed money by a large organisation that is threatened with bankruptcy or liquidation. For businesses that render business to business services in the modern economic climate, there is often little choice other than performing a service for any customer. However, companies that are in financial turmoil often withhold payments if they are going under, and do not pay their debt once bankruptcy is declared or the company is liquidated.

Often there is nothing that the creditor can do, and the directors of the liquidated business will often declare their own insolvency. Unlike sequestration, insolvency will virtually put the directors out of range regarding their repayment of debts before bankruptcy has been settled. This is why it is important that creditors acquire the assistance of a debt collection attorney with experience in the field of debt collection from those that have declared bankruptcy. Once a debtor declares bankruptcy, and the directors become insolvent, you’re going to be in the fight for the long run.

A debt collection attorney will do the necessary research as well as instruct their client on the possibility of success regarding a claim on the company as well as the directors’ estates post-bankruptcy. A debt collection attorney also has experience with regards to the compilation of a claim, and will best represent their client in court in the pursuit of payment. A payment of the full sum of the claim will not always occur, but depending on the state-claimed assets, and the estate of the directors, a sizeable portion of the claim can be repaid.

Make sure that you contact an experienced and professional debt collection attorney if you hope to claim back from a bankrupt business and a director who is protecting himself/herself through insolvency. Contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys today for any information regarding debt collection and/or insolvency.

Or find out more about our debt collection process by clicking the link.

22 Feb

Overseas Child Custody Battle

If you have been keeping abreast of the news, then you may have heard of the recent child custody battle that is taking place in the UK. If not, then here is a rundown of the situation that has captured the attention of the media both in the UK and locally.

A South African mother, living in Mpumalanga, will now have to return her son to the child’s father who lives in England. This comes after protracted court battle where both the English courts as well as the South African courts have charged the mother to return to the UK. The child, who hasn’t seen his father in two years, was being looked after by his mother in South Africa. The father was not paying maintenance because of his unemployment status due to bad health.

However, according to the Hague Convention, this does not give the mother the right to take her child away from his father, and because the child is British, it is the courts in the UK that ultimately settle his fate. The mother and child will have to resume their time in British courts while they will receive housing and financial assistance from local British council in the interim.

According to the Hague Convention, of which South Africa is a contracted state, the above-mentioned case is otherwise known as an ‘incoming’ case. This means that a child has been illegally abducted and brought into South Africa without consent from both parents. In this case, the father has submitted an application for the child’s return, and the matter will be solved in the British courts.

Ivan Zartz Attorneys is an experienced child custody attorney, based in Gauteng, who specializes in child custody cases with regards to the interpretation of the Hague Convention laws. If you are embroiled in a case of child custody with evidence of the illegal abduction of children to and from South Africa, then contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys today!

17 Feb

Your Responsibility For Old Municipal Debts

Last week we wrote an article on how SANRAL is contracting private debt collectors to follow up on unpaid E-Toll debts. What was found was that not only did this seem unfair to the road user, but also goes against the Debt Collectors Code of Conduct. If you thought that may be contentious, then you will find these new developments unnerving; municipalities may take legal action against homeowners that own a home that has debts owed by previous owners.

This comes after repeated cases whereby homeowners sold homes that had accumulated many thousands of rands of unpaid debts owing to rates and taxes. Municipalities can legally take action against present owners to ANY amounts owed, past and present.

So what does legal action entail? Well, the municipality is entitled to attach and sell your home. The proceeds will be paid to the municipality in respect to unpaid debts, and after the debts are settled, the remaining amount will be paid to the bond holder. This is if the new owner does not pay the outstanding debt themselves. This even applies if the municipality has undercharged the old owner, and they realise the accidental billing after the sale of the property. In respect to rates and refuse, the municipality can charge for debts that were incurred up to 30 years ago. Unpaid water and electricity debts can be legally collected by the municipality for bills that are up to 5 years old.

A property owner will often have no defence when charged with unpaid bills from many years ago. This will often be the case when the ‘new’ property owner has owned the property for many years and is presented with a bill that should have been the responsibility of the previous owner. The new owner will have no idea if the bill was actually contested because of a legitimate fault on the part of the municipality.

Property owners must ensure that they do research into the debts incurred by previous owners, or make sure that debts are paid by previous owners before transfer. Another option would be to take out insurance to cover the risk. These are the only options available to the homeowner before the possible overturn of judgement by Constitutional Court.

If you require a debt collection attorney, then make sure you acquire the services off Ivan Zartz Attorneys. Contact us today for more information.

Otherwise, click here to see how Ivan Zartz Attorneys deals with irresponsible debtors.


15 Feb

E-Tolls and Private Debt Collection

SANRAL is using private debt collection to follow up on instances where E-Tolls have not been paid. This comes after road users were notified via SMS that their non-payment has been noted by SANRAL and that legal proceedings will follow.

SANRAL introduced the idea of E-Tolls through early policy in 2007 (at the time of the implementation of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project) and was implemented in 2013. At the time of implementation, there was much contention surrounding E-Tolls, with the formation of Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) clearly showing the Gauteng public’s disapproval. Many South Africans refused to pay their E-Tolls, and even fewer made use of the E-Toll tags which registered users and made billing easier. This led to overdue toll fees in excess of R1 billion by Gauteng road users in just 6 months.

Because of the shortfall, and SANRAL’s bad credit rating because of non-compliance, the organisation as well as its tolling system went under review in 2013 and 2014. Since then tolling charges have dropped significantly, and overdue fees were given discounts if paid before a particular date in 2015. However, there has been a change in 2016. SANRAL began sending SMS’s to road users who had amassed overdue unpaid tolls informing them that legal action will be taken because of non-compliance.

It was soon found by OUTA that SANRAL has contracted the use of a private debt collection company, ITC Business Administrators, to do the dirty work of following up on non-payment. However, both the state-run organisation and the company have landed in hot water as, at times, ITC has misrepresented itself as SANRAL when conducting communication with road users. Contact via SMS with a threat of legal action is in direct violation of Debt Collectors Code of Conduct as well. There are no grounds upon which SANRAL call legally enforce E-Toll payments, and at this stage, it is not a criminal action to avoid paying E-Tolls.

For more news on debt collection, make sure that you regularly read Ivan Zartz Attorneys’ articles. If you require an experienced debt collection attorney, and the services of a professional debt collection legal team, contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys today.