Area Of Expertise And Specialization
We specialize in debt collection and credit control. Debt collection has become a highly specialized field with requirements in respect of credit and consumer legislation further necessitating expert advice to clients regarding the structuring of debtor documentation as well as impacting on the process of collecting arrear debt.
Our debt recovery ethos is driven by three core outcomes being:
- Collection and Recovery rates
- Cost to Collect / Recover ratio
- Time or age to collect / recover
All debtors are first subjected to a soft collection process and if this doesn’t yield the required result a formal litigation process is immediately initiated. We have at our disposal a fully functional call centre with a recording facility which assists with work confirmation and obtaining telephonic debit order instructions to implement naedo debit orders to ensure regular payments.
During the process, requests will be made for payment arrangements or debit orders. Once an arrangement is made, it is recorded and the system will automatically send out payment reminders immediately before the payment is due, and if the debtor does not pay on time, several further payment reminders will be sent in succession until payment is received. If payment is not received, the system will enforce a cut-off date where the debtor will enter into a default stage. Communication will be sent informing the debtor of imminent listing on the national credit bureau, and subsequently default listed if no payment is received.
Should the debt fall under the National Credit Act, a Section 129 and 130 letters will be issued or final notice will be sent where the debt does not fall within the ambit and scope of the National Credit Act. The final notice includes advance notification of possible credit bureau default listing.
In the event that contact details are no longer valid, a tracing will automatically be performed. Tracings are performed on the databases of the credit bureau and a trace alert may also be uploaded to the credit bureau if the debtor is not located swiftly. In the event of the debtor having absconded, an approved local tracing agent may be instructed to perform a skip tracing.
Non-responsive debtors are moved to the litigation department where formal legal steps are instituted.
With the implementation of the National Credit Act our offices established a correspondent network consisting of more than 300 correspondents. This entails that we can render an effective legal service in more than 300 magisterial districts.
Should it in our view be necessary, alternatively, on instruction from client, summons will be issued. In the event that Notice of Intention to Defend is served and filed by a Defendant when summons has been served, we will, in consultation with the client, lodge an Application for Summary Judgment in an attempt to expedite the action taken. Once judgment is obtained a warrant will be issued to attach any moveable property of a debtor. The fee and expenses on this approach will be discussed with the client prior to summons.
When it comes to debt collection, everybody is interested in the speed at which the process can be finalized, effectiveness and legal costs. Our methods are cost effective and can be adjusted to meet the unique requirements of each individual client. Our approach spans jurisdictional boundaries.
- Drafted summons and particulars of claim printed and handed to attorney for perusal and signature.
- Deliver summons to court to be issued by the clerk of the court / send summons and annexure to correspondent attorney.
- Receive issued summons back from the clerk of the court / correspondent attorney with allocated case number.
- Send issued summons to the sheriff for service thereof on the debtor.
- Receive return of service from the sheriff and send copy thereof to client (if required). Also requested clients’ instruction on non service and appointment of tracer.
- Tracer appointed on “no trace, no fee” basis.
- Trace report received and sheriff instructed to serve amended summons again.
- Proceed with default judgement on lapse of ten days after successful service of summons (prescribed period).
- Draft application for default judgement.
- Application for default judgement to court / correspondent attorney.
- Attend court / instruction to correspondent attorney to follow up if judgement has been granted, or attend queries, if necessary.
- In so far as is required, we attend court and address all queries that the court may have regarding request for default judgement.
- Send letter to client advising that the default judgement has been granted with date and case number thereof.
- Court provides judgment data to the relevant credit bureaus for judgment listings.
- SMS sent to debtor advising him / her of the judgment and imminent S65A procedure / Warrant of Execution procedure to follow.
- Report to client regarding completion of matter and request instructions:
- Take instruction to proceed with settlement discussions
- Take instruction to proceed with warrant of execution against movable property
- Take instruction to proceed with sequestration
- Take instruction to proceed with section 65A steps
- Take instruction to proceed with emolument attachment application
- Collection of debt until settled in full, inclusive of all legal cost and interest
Distribution of monies received & Costs
We understand the fact that for the client, as a business, it is important to receive outstanding debt as soon as possible.
We collect the agreed instalment from the debtor, of which a certain percentage (as agreed between us and the client) is retained in respect of the recovery of our legal fees. The client will still receive the full capital and interest. No costs are recovered from the capital or the client.
At the end of each month we provide the client with:
- A payment report indicating all the client’s files where we have received payments and how we distributed the payments;
- A progress report showing the current status of every file; and
- Electronic funds transfer into the client’s bank account in accordance with our payment report.
There is no charge should we be unsuccessful with the collection. Our costs are recovered from the debtor against whom we take action, and in accordance with the tariffs as determined by the Law Society. We always attempt to limit our costs to a minimum to enable the debtor to settle his / her debt as soon as possible.
If a debtor wants to make a once-off installment to settle the outstanding amount, we include all legal costs and interest with the full settlement amount payable.
- NO costs or commission payable for you as the client
- MINIMAL collection costs for your client who have been handed over
- FAST AND EFFECTIVE collection
- TRACING of clients
- ACCURATE monthly and payment reports and pay overs once a month
- NATIONWIDE collections handled, no matter where your client lives / works
- PERSONAL attention and contact
- REPUTATION RISK is considered to follow the best possible avenue for collection of the client’s debt
Other Areas Of Practice
With the high cost of litigation, an important aspect of the services of group professionals is to evaluate whether litigation can be avoided by solving or advising in respect of litigious issues early and pre-emptively. However where litigation cannot be avoided, we pursue litigation across all areas of the law tenaciously and efficiently for resolution of the dispute, and where required involve specialists from other service areas to assist with litigation. We are geared to provide extensive general and specialist litigation services to clients.
- Case management services to clients in litigious matters for Magistrate Court, High Court, Supreme Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court, as well as support for other formal tribunals and forums
- All aspects of commercial litigation
- Settlement negotiations
- Insolvency and rehabilitation applications
- Urgent applications
- Legal opinions
- Alternative dispute resolution (mediation and arbitration)
- Matrimonial litigation
- Medical malpractice
- All aspects of property law, including ownership, vindication of property, rights of possession, spoliation, landlord and tenant, eviction (PIE/Prevention of Illegal Eviction Act), expropriation, and land restitution (land claims)
- Contract litigation
- Construction litigation
- Constitutional, public and administrative law advice and litigation
- General litigation
- All aspects of defended litigation arising from debt recovery
- All aspects of delict, including motor vehicle accidents, Road Accident Fund (RAF), damages for pure economic and consequential loss, and punitive damages.
Real estate and the ability to own and transfer property remains a cornerstone of our economic system and an integral part of personal and financial planning. However, continuing legislative change affects planning, development, land use, subdivision, taxation, registration etc. in respect of property and requires specialist support in respect of commercial property services and conveyancing transactions.
- Deeds of sale (residential and commercial)
- Property transfers and registrations
- Property valuations
- Property finance, registration of mortgage bonds and other securities
- Property development structures
- Mineral rights
- Property due diligences
- Drafting and registration of servitudes, certificates of registered title, certificates of consolidated titles, general plan etc.
- Registration of townships and sectional title schemes
- Deeds office searches
- Sectional Title and Share block schemes
- Property subdivisions, consolidations and rezoning
- Commercial, retail and cluster development schemes
- Legislative and regulatory advice
- Lease agreements
- Construction agreements
- Antenuptial contracts / pre-marital agreements
- Matrimonial property rights
- Divorce law and mediation
- Maintenance and support
- Children’s rights, adoption and custody
- Domestic violence
- Wills and estate planning