Question posted in the Consumer Protection Law category relating to Gauteng
I'm just looking for advise on debt repayment once I'm immigrating, what are my options say if I lose my job overseas as a Permanent Resident and I'm unable to pay my monthly installments, will they be able to criminally charge me for outstanding debt?
Answer to the Question
Hi there and thank you for your question,
I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.
Absolutely not, they are NOT able to charge you criminally. The reason for this is that no crime has been committed. You are involved in a civil dispute with the company, not a criminal dispute. If they try to file a complaint with SAPS, SAPS will literally laugh at them and tell them to go see a lawyer. A lawyer would then need to draw up a summons and have that served on you, before they could go to court to get a judgment. There will then be plenty of time for you to defend the claim, or to enter into a settlement agreement with them.
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Information provided by client
"There will then be plenty of time for you to defend the claim, or to enter into a settlement agreement with them."
Ii I they then want to serve a summons on me while I'm abroad, will they be able to proceed without me, and will that judgement then result in a criminal offence?
Answer to the Question
No. They will need to serve the summons on you in terms of the Rules of Court. If they have a domicilium for you, they could serve it on that address. Otherwise, they need to serve it on you personally, or where you live, or where you work. If you don't live / work in SA, then their only option is personal service.
No civil judgement will EVER lead to a criminal offence! Never