06 Apr

South Africa’s High Economic Crime Rate

The Global Economic Crime Survey, a study provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers, has provided information regarding the current trends and hotspots of economic crime. Unfortunately, South Africa suffers one of the highest rates of economic crime in the world.

Currently, the rate of economic crime in the country doubles that of the international average, even when compared to other states in Africa. This, PricewaterhouseCoopers suggests is a ‘pandemic’, and at least a third of all upper-management in a number of corporate businesses have experienced economic crime in one form or another.

While, internationally, asset misappropriation is the most common form of economic crime, other forms of crime such as cybercrime as well as bribery are also common. Many would think that corruption is the most common economic crime in South Africa, but this is not the case. HR crime is at its worst in South Africa. More than a quarter of employees’ matric certificates cannot be confirmed, while 1 in 15 employees have a falsified tertiary degree or certification. HR crimes are usually noticed when hiring new staff, but the studies suggest that a shocking number of employees in South Africa do not have the correct qualifications.

Those in the field of risk management and auditing suggest that businesses should be proactive with regards to the crimes that plague South African companies. There are many services available on the market that can help businesses prevent fraud, and even HR crimes like that of forged qualifications.

Those of our clients that require our services with regards to commercial law must ensure that they have employed measures that help them prevent economic crimes within their businesses. It is important that they understand the scope and damage that economic crime inflicts on the South African economy, and that they protect themselves accordingly.

If you require the services of a professional commercial law attorney, then make sure you contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys as soon as possible.

Take a look at our commercial law page to see the commercial law services that we offer.

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.

28 Sep

Voluntary Sequestration – A Blessing And A Curse

The South African Insolvency Act is in place for individuals who are suffering from high levels of indebtedness to be able to voluntarily declare their own insolvency, or become subject to automatic insolvency if they are unable to pay their debts. Voluntary insolvency is otherwise known as voluntary sequestration, and declaring oneself insolvent is a good way of removing all debts. But it is not all fun and games once insolvency is declared. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of voluntary sequestration.

Advantages of Sequestration

Upon entering the sequestration procedure all credit being paid by the debtor is immediately stopped. No creditor is favored in this regard and no payment can take place after the application has been made. Notice via gazette is distributed so that all creditors have the necessary information in place to be able to cancel a debit order. If a garnishee order is being respected, the order will only be cancelled once the court has accepted the insolvency application.

Sequestration is considered a private matter, so no one besides a person’s creditors, the courts, and legal representatives need know about the insolvency. Neither will one’s monthly income be affected, as this is considered necessary for the individual to rebuild his/her estate.

Disadvantages of Sequestration 

Firstly, an individual has to prove to the courts that a sequestration would ultimately benefit the creditors rather than the individual. This is often the case whereby the individual is completely bankrupt. In this respect an individual often hires the help of a legal representative to prove his case to the court.

Sequestration will also create bad credit rating for the individual. A negative credit rating will mean that the individual will not be given credit or will not be able to take any loans out until he/she has been rehabilitated.

The whole sequestration process can take many years, and only once it is completed may the individual approach the courts so that he/she may have their solvency rating granted back to them. Rehabilitation is another process that needs to be made, and once rehabilitated the sequestration status will be removed.

If you are applying for voluntary sequestration make sure that you contact a lawyer or attorney who is specialized and has experience with matters involving insolvency. Make sure you contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys today!

21 Sep

State Illegally Collects Debt

Recent news has developed in Johannesburg over the last few months. It has come to light, through inquiry on the part of the Democratic Alliance, that the City of Johannesburg is illegally collecting on debts that until this point have been outstanding.

The City of Johannesburg has been extending debt collection on arrears older than 3 years, which was declared illegal by changes made to the Consumer Protection Act in March this year. Arrears attached to properties, which can include non-payment on utilities, that are older than 3 years should be dropped. Debt collection processes instigated by the City has led to debt agreements that many residents are unable to pay. Some are still expected to pay on interest on settled debt and instances whereby a clearance certificates were issued.

The City declares that all debts linked to the property are still able to be pursued though, and that the City is attempting to prevent the act of illegally consumed utilities; and action that has led to millions of rands worth in uncollected debt in Johannesburg. It is quite obvious that the various acts need to be revisited and reviewed if there is to be any more clarity regarding the matter.

This also comes at a time when recent statistical reports indicate that not only is South Africa in significant debt, but its occupants are experiencing more debt as unemployment is up to 35%. What may also contribute to the non-payment of utilities is the fact that the delivery of services has gone up from 50% to 56% percent, increasing the number of individuals’ access to electricity, of which many do not pay.

If you are looking for an attorney with experience in debt collection cases, whether you are a creditor or debtor, ensure that you contact Ivan Zartz Attorney for a consultation. Ivan Zartz Attorney’s are a team of professional debt collection attorneys that are incredibly proficient in providing legal assistance in cases of debt collection.

07 Sep

Mediation Preferred In Dispute Resolution

A recent trend in dispute resolution, the world over, is the gaining popularity in mediation. Mediation is slowly becoming the preferred resolution practice with mediators facilitating negotiations between parties in a number of fields all across the globe.

Mediation is becoming common practice in the business field. As more businesses are feeling the pinch due to the unstable economic climate (and now the most recent Chinese financial crisis), many businesses and individuals have settled with mediation as a way of dealing with negligence claims as well as negotiating expiry limitation periods. It is most commonly found between business partners as they determine to settle breaches of contract between themselves without involving the court.

Mediation is even supported and advocated by legal establishments and governments, highlighting the fact that parties are likely to save on costs if settling on agreements outside of the court. Some states are beginning to implement mediation support frameworks and organisations that will assist parties as well as attorneys in the legal mediation process. It is through such frameworks that people are encouraged to seek mediation especially in cases of family conflicts. Unfortunately, many law firms see mediation as a threat to their profit making endeavors, and are therefore not as supportive of the change in the legal paradigm.

Mediation agreements are settled through the mediator’s use of a number of mediation techniques and processes. No single mediation practice is relied on. This is especially true of a lot of the larger cases of mediation, like that between two commercial parties who live in foreign countries for example. In this case an experienced mediator will fall back on a wealth of knowledge and experience before settling on a particular process.

Some mediators become skilled in a particular field of law, such as family law or commercial law. In these instances it is best to use a specialized mediator. For instance, Ivan Zartz Attorneys has a team of mediators experienced in the art of family law. If you require a mediator to help you resolve conflicts in family or in business, then don’t hesitate. Make sure you contact Ivan Zartz Attorneys today!