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.


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.

08 Jun

What Is A Sale In Execution?

An individual’s credit history sometimes catches up with them. The occurrence is no more prolific than in the property market, and many a homeowner in South Africa has had their home taken away from them because they have failed to pay their home loan or bond. When this occurs, the practice is called ‘a sale in execution’.

Sale In Execution Of An Unpaid Home Loan

When the new property owner has not paid the bond or home loan, efforts will be made to enter some sort of financial agreement with the homeowner, often in the presence of legal representatives. After multiple instances of notification, it falls on the bank to sell the house on the market through the sheriff of the court. This can only be done through a court order, a cumulation of decisions made in court, and justified by the financial capacity (or lack thereof) of the individual.

The sale of the house is usually done by an auctioneer, and the auction itself would have been advertised in both the Government Gazette as well as print media. The price at which the house is sold by the auctioneer cannot be denied by the bank, as the property is strictly not their own. Often houses are sold well below their market value due to the nature of the sale.

Legal Opposition To Sale In Execution

There have been recent cases whereby individuals and organisations have challenged the sale in execution. A recent case involved the Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) where they challenged the courts, believing that the sale of a particular individual’s home far below the market value, as an infringement on the individual’s rights. Some properties are sold for less than the amount owed by the homeowner towards the bank loan or bond. This often means they have to pay additional fees or risk being ‘blacklisted’.

If you require more information on issues regarding property law, sectional title law or debt collection, make sure you contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys today.