Home Page ->
Legal Articles -> Beware of claims on prescribed debt
Welcome to Scorpion’s Legal Tips! Every week we’ll share stories of injustice and show you how you can strike back legally.
It is reckless not to pay your debts or to ignore your creditors, but sometimes life happens and you miss a payment or two. Next thing you know, you’ve stopped paying the debt altogether. It’s possible that a creditor decides it’s not worth the trouble, writes off your debt, reports you to the credit bureaus and never contacts you again. However, sometimes you receive calls years later asking you to pay the debt. What now? What are your rights and what can you do? Scorpion answers.
Different debts have different prescription periods, for example, a store account or personal loan will prescribe after 3 years, and a TV licence or a mortgage bond will prescribe after 30 years. Therefore if you do not receive a call or letter from the creditor demanding payment, the debt will prescribe after a certain period, and you are no longer obliged to pay it.
It is against the law for creditors or debt collectors to try and collect on a prescribed debt, but this doesn’t mean they won’t try. If they make contact with you, they will try to get you to admit indebtedness or persuade you to pay. If you do, you interrupt prescription and must continue to pay for the debt.
If you are a Scorpion member wondering if your debt has prescribed, or worse, if a debt collector is harassing you, visit one of our branches immediately or contact us through our 24-hour Legal Contact Centre (0861 333 333), Facebook, LiveChat, or WhatsApp (011 842 7890) for advice and assistance. A legal counsellor will take down your matter and may refer it to our Specialist Personal Finance Department.
You may also be interested in:
5 things you must know about sick leave
Cell phone contract ends but still getting bills
5 things officers may not do at a roadblock
We have a team of lawyers available to answer your legal questions every first Thursday of the month from 11:30 to 13:30 on the Scorpion Legal Protection Facebook page for free. Have your legal question answered on the spot at the Scorpion Live Q&A.
* This is only basic legal advice and cannot be relied on solely. The information is correct at the time of being sent to publishing.
Date added: 11 November 2022
If you prefer to leave us an online query, please complete the form below and we will call you back.
Please select an enquiry type
Membership card / policy update query
Income Tax query
Last will & testament
Please select a complaint type
Poor service/Rude staff