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Prescription of Debt

Prescription is a term used to indicate that the time period to institute legal proceedings against a debtor has lapsed. It is thus not a legal term that should be easily ignored, as having your claim prescribe might mean the end of the road for any legal proceedings against a debtor.

If in the past 3 years, the debtor has not:

  1. made any payment towards settling the debt; and
  1. acknowledged owing the money in any way or agreed to pay it; and
  1. been summonsed in respect of it,

The debt has prescribed, and the debtor can raise this as a defence when asked to pay such a debt.

Periods of prescription of debts

Once you have instituted action against the debtor, the period of prescription shall be thirty years in respect of:

  1. any debt secured by mortgage bond;
  1. any judgment debt;
  1. any debt in respect of any taxation imposed or levied by or under any law.

If you need assistance collecting your debts on time, please contact us to discuss our collections on contingency policy – 033 2666 170 or collections@mccarthylaw.co.za.