Top-Rated Debt Collection Agency in South Africa
Fast and reliable debt collection in South Africa - no upfront costs, only pay for success. Request a FREE Consultation or upload your claim today.
Recovering your debt in South Africa is easiest by using this method.
Debitura focuses on debt recovery in South Africa, providing a full suite of services such as accounts receivables management, debt collection notices, pre-legal and legal debt collection, and enforcement court proceedings. Thanks to our team's seasoned professionals and in-depth knowledge of the country's debt collection laws and regulations, we deliver prompt and effective solutions that help businesses regain their outstanding debts.
Enjoy unwavering support throughout the entirety of the debt collection process.
Tailored debt recovery approach.
We have a team of over 500 experts who specialize in international debt collection.
Our debt collection process boasts a success rate of 87%, all while maintaining the lowest cost.
New Integrated Credit Solutions (PTY) Ltd is a fully empowered company that provides Revenue Management and Debt Recovery Solutions to both public and private sector markets and have been in operation since 2001.
Collect A Debt is a South African-based international debt collection company specializing in all aspects of collecting consumer and commercial debt. Our fees are based on an industry-standard collection commission basis only. “No collection – No fee”. Our clients are only invoiced on successful collections.
At Van Deventer & Van Deventer, we place the Client/Credit Provider's needs above all. A satisfied client/credit provider is one that will repeatedly make use of our debt collection services and quite possibly our other bouquet of legal services. We pride ourselves on excellent and personalised client care.
We are a Law Firm that are focused on Asset Protection for Small and Medium Sized Businesses. However business owners tend to forget that Debt that must be collected is also an Asset that needs to be protected and that is then the way that we look at Debt Collection as well.
The ultimate guide about debt collection in South Africa
If you are seeking to reclaim a monetary debt from an enterprise or individual in South Africa, then you have come to the perfect spot! We have aided numerous other businesses with their credit restoration journeys here in South Africa. Allow us to help you too and get your money back today!
When it comes to collecting a debt in South Africa, the obstacles can seem insurmountable. Language and cultural disparities, foreign regulations and practices, and sheer distances all contribute significantly to the difficulty of this task.
Utilizing a collection agency knowledgeable in the local laws and customs of your debtor's area makes debt recovery effortless.
At Debitura, we prioritize people; pursuing every avenue to get you your money while also safeguarding a pleasant relationship with your customer. Our strategic PR tactics are both unyielding and reasonable- the protection of your reputation is always our utmost priority!
Aspiring to reclaim your debt? Then this guide is for you! We've compiled an extensive and in-depth account of the South African debt collection process from A to Z. If managing it independently isn't a feasible option, we offer assistance from legal professionals who specialize in recovering debts within South Africa.
At Debitura, we make debt collection in South Africa and over 200 other countries a simple process. Get started right away by submitting your claim on our website - it's that easy! You will receive three free quotes from local lawyers within 24 hours after the submission, so you can rest assured knowing your case is being assessed immediately. Don't wait any longer to get the help you need; upload your claim today with Debitura! By amalgamating the latest tech-driven solutions with a people-focused strategy, we not only obtain lasting results but also maintain outstanding customer relationships. This complete process will give you precisely what you need to succeed in your business endeavors. Moreover, our network of debt collectors, attorneys, suppliers and vendors hold an invaluable role in allowing us to achieve success. No matter the size or scale of each relationship we nurture with these partners; every one is treasured.
Begin collecting your debt in South Africa today at no cost. Easily create a free profile and upload your case in just 2 minutes.
During the initial 3 months, we use our successful pre-legal recovery procedure to attempt to collect your claim. We guarantee a 100% no-cure-no-pay service.
If your claim remains unpaid during the pre-legal phase, we will connect you with three local debt collection attorneys who will provide you with quotes.
You get access to our online portal where you can track your case in real-time
Introduction to collecting debt in South Africa
Struggling with debt collection in South Africa? Let us make life easier for you and your customers. We can help you get paid quickly and efficiently by those based in South Africa - no hassle required!
When collecting a debt in South Africa, the individual or entity who owes money is referred to as "the debtor", with those providing funds known as "the creditor".
When the original creditor collects a debt personally, this is known as “first-party collection”.
When a creditor entrusts the collection process to an external entity, this is referred to as “third-party collections”.
- The majority of businesses, due to financial limitations, tend to take up to 90 days when it comes to settling debts -- a far cry from the standard 30- and 60-day terms specified in many industries. Sadly, some small or medium enterprises may need as long as 180 days before they can pay off their liabilities.
- South Africa's court system is crippled by inefficient systems, backlogs, and the lethargic behavior of its clerks. This makes it tedious and infuriating for creditors and their lawyers alike. Sadly, this can commonly be exploited by debtors to delay proceedings as long as they possibly can.
- The insolvent estates are all managed and regulated by the High Court's Master. Unfortunately, liquidation proceedings in South Africa tend to be long-winded as well as tiresome, with little return on investment. With that said, costs usually remain low unless a lawyer has been employed prior to bankruptcy proceedings being initiated.
Days Sales Outstanding (DSO)
In our current economic climate, domestic borrowers are facing major cash flow issues, making it even more difficult for large companies to adhere to the terms of their original credit application forms.
In South Africa, the average payment terms usually range from 30 to 60 days and are determined by industry standards. In recent years though, due to economic difficulties these have been extended up to 90 days in some cases. Smaller businesses may even require as long as between 120 and 180 days before settling their debts! Surprisingly enough however, big listed companies' Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) figures have stayed consistent during this period of financial restraint.
Common payment types in South Africa
Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) is the most efficient way to send payments. It ensures that the payee receives payment faster than by writing a cheque, and eliminates any risk of it getting lost in the mail. Cheques are rarely accepted or used at all in South Africa, since creditors generally won't accept them; if someone issues a stop payment on their cheque, recovering funds would be an almost impossible process requiring long legal proceedings - up to one year! EFTs ensure smoother transactions and help make sure you get paid quickly without risking your hard-earned money.
Main corporate structures
For the Sole Trader/Proprietor, the law does not differentiate between them and their business. The individual's possessions and liabilities are also that of their company. To be compliant with regulations, a sole trader must identify themselves as "Name t/a (trading as) business name".
Partnering: For businesses with two to twenty owners, partnering is an excellent option. It's similar to a sole trader in that it doesn't differentiate between individual assets and debts from those of the business. To avoid conflict, it's wise to form legal agreements about how profits are shared, who manages what assets, as well as actions which should be taken if one partner wishes to leave.
Close Corporation/23 is an ideal business model for up to ten individuals looking to start a venture with limited liability. It's important that the suffix "CC" be included after the official name of your business, as this distinction separates its assets and liabilities from those of its members—failure to do so will leave you legally responsible for all debts incurred by said corporation.
Company: A commercial entity governed by the Companies Act, comprised of more than ten people. The company's owners (shareholders) and directors (managers) possess complete control over its assets and liabilities. Additionally, "Pty Ltd" must be appended to the company name at all times; furthermore, the names of every director plus registration number should appear on official documents or letterheads. Eventually, one can identify a firm's form from the last two digits (/00) in its registered identification number.
The debt collection process in South Africa
The debt collection process in South Africa usually has multiple steps.
The image below explains the process we use to collect debt in South Africa:
1 Upload your claim:
Unless you want to pay back the debt yourself, you will start by finding a debt collection partner. You will need to give them some information about your case. If you use Debitura, we will give you 3 quotes from different partners in the South African country that is relevant to your case. This is free - you do not have to pay anything.
2 Amicable collection:
If someone owes you money, we can help you get it back. We will send them friendly reminders through email, text, and mail. If they pay us back or agree to a payment plan, then we will get paid. If they don't, then you don't have to pay us anything.
If the person you are owed money from has not paid you back after you have tried to work it out, it is time to look at what to do next. We will look at how much money you are owed, the chance of getting paid back, and other things to help you decide what to do next. There are three typical next steps:
If your claim is for less than 2,000 to 5,000 euros, it may not be worth taking any further legal action. In this case, we recommend "debt surveillance." This means that we will keep trying to contact the person you owe money to and try to reach an agreement that is fair for both of you.
B: Legal collections:
If you have a big problem that you need help with, it's a good idea to start a legal process to fix it. The way this process works is different depending on what kind of problem you have and how big it is. Usually, it takes around a year and a half to finish this process.
In simple words, when you have a big issue that you want to solve legally, you start a legal process. The time it takes and the steps you have to follow can vary depending on your case and the amount of problem. But it is typical to take around 1 and half years to resolve.
C: Debt enforcement:
If the person you think owes you money has agreed that they do, or if a judge has said they owe you money, you can ask the bailiff to help you get the money.
At Debitura, we can help you with all three steps in South Africa.
Amicable collection in South Africa
At Debitura, we have developed a swift and secure method for amicable collections that carries absolutely no risk. All you must do is submit your claim to us, and our team will get started on it within 24 hours!
We will exhaust all communication avenues available in South Africa, such as emails, SMS messages, physical letters, phone calls and social media platforms to contact your debtor.
This approach seeks to achieve two goals:
1) encouraging the debtor to make full payment, or
2) prompting the debtor to recognize their debt and begin a structured repayment plan.
If the debtor has challenged your demand, an amicable resolution is not possible and you should begin directly with legal collections.
Late Payment Interest
In the case where a consumer falls into default, and despite any credit agreement that may say otherwise, debt interest may never surpass the capital balance owed at the moment of default according to "in duplum" rule.
The applicable interest rate may be charged any time after the day it is applied. Written notification of any changes to the interest charges must be provided at least five business days in advance to the "consumer" (the legal entity or company who was granted access to credit).
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Legal collection in South Africa
If your claim has not been honored in the amicable phase or if it is met with disagreement from the debtor, we will offer you 3 complimentary quotes from our regional debt collection attorneys. Once in this legal stage, our attorney close to you will contact the debtor and seek a settlement. Should no agreement be reached, our partners can take them through court proceedings resulting in a payment order that can then be enforced via an enforcement court.
Starting a lawsuit begins with the summons - an official document that must be provided to the defendant. The sheriff, who is authorized by law to deliver court documents, will serve this notice or motion of summons on them. This ensures they are fully aware and informed of the claim made against them.
After receiving the summons, defendants must serve notice to defend within a 10 business day deadline otherwise claimants are permitted to demand default judgement from the registrar of High Court. Even if a defendant supplies an answer but fails to include their plea, then too claimants can apply for default judgement.
When delivering a plea, the defendant can offer an accompanying counterclaim (known as a claim in reconvention). It does not need to be limited to the same subject matter of the claimant's claim--it must only be against them. If new issues arise in this process from either party, replications are enabled so that each has opportunity for further pleading. However, if none bring up any novel topics then no reply is required beyond what was already said previously. After both parties have submitted their pleadings, they can make a request to the registrar for an allotted trial date. To prepare and facilitate the hearing process, each party is then obligated to exchange responses regarding any additional questions or details related to the case before that day arrives. This allows them to more easily understand one another's arguments and shorten the duration of time in court.
Before the hearing, both parties must fulfill a series of pre-trial duties. The most significant is to exchange any relevant documents (discovery). Additionally, they need to have a pre-trial conference no less than six weeks prior to the actual hearing and discuss specific matters in order to facilitate a shorter duration for the hearing. Minutes from this meeting should be given to the registrar five weeks before it commences.
If either side fails to comply with the High Court Rules at any point, then their claim or defence could be denied.
South Africa's court system is sadly plagued by inefficient systems, backlogs of cases, and a lack of urgency from the clerks who work there. This makes the process slow and irritating for creditors and their lawyers alike. Unfortunately, this tends to be leveraged as an advantage by debtors in order to extend matters out indefinitely.
Legal practitioners are the lifeblood of our justice system, and they have different rights based on their respective disciplines. Advocates can stand before any court in South Africa; attorneys/lawyers may be heard at all lower courts across the country, with potential for permission to appear in superior courts. Ultimately, it is up to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) as final arbiter: It has jurisdiction over appeals from decisions made by high courts throughout South Africa.
High Courts are empowered to handle cases of a grave magnitude that cannot be addressed by lower courts. In order for justice to be extended across all regions, Circuit local divisions conduct hearings in more remote areas outside the court's center of operation from time to time.
The regional courts are responsible for resolving civil disputes.
Magistrate's Courts are vital to the judicial system, as they provide a way for individuals or companies who have been granted credit facilities to access justice daily. This gives people greater accessibility to attain legal remedies more economically and quickly than going through High Courts, ultimately encouraging independence of the judiciary along with widening its reach.
Looking to get the best rate for legal services? Well, Debitura has got you covered! With just a few clicks of your mouse, you can receive multiple quotes from different attorneys that are tailored to fit the complexity and size of your claim. Don't pass up this convenient opportunity - compare away with Debitura today!
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legal debt collection
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Debt enforcement in South Africa
If you have acquired written confirmation of your claim from the debtor or received a court order, South Africa's bailiff court is available to help enforce your claims.
Favorable judgment at court may not be the final hurdle in a legal dispute. In many situations, the individual against whom it is ordered (the "judgment debtor") will willingly satisfy their obligation to comply with it. In some cases, the debtor may choose to ignore the court's ruling. In this instance, it is essential to differentiate between a judgment ad factum praestandum (a court order requiring an action) and a judgment ad pecuniam solvendam (an order for financial compensation such as damages resulting from negligence).
For creditors to receive repayment, they must follow the rules of the High Court and Magistrate's Court in order to execute a process known as "execution." This procedure is designed for court orders to be enforced, thereby upholding integrity during decision-making.
All in all, execution is the sheriff's successful tactic of seizing and selling a judgment debtor's possessions at an auction so that they can get money to fulfill their monetary obligation. These assets may include moveable items, real estate or intangible property. This reasonable method of debt recovery works best when the debtor has enough money available to cover what they owe on their judgement debt.
When a debtor is unable to pay their debt without having any usable resources, they are practically insolvent. In this situation, creditors have no choice but to seek other methods of collecting the debt such as applying for liquidation or winding-up of the judgment debtor in accordance with either the Companies Act or Close Corporation Act.
If you require specific prices and processes for your case, Debitura is here to help. In just 24 hours, upload your claim to get three customized quotes tailored specifically for you!
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Upload your claim and get 3 FREE quotes from our local collection partners.
Insolvency proceedings in South Africa
Should your debtor be unable to settle their debts, the best course of action available is initiating an insolvency proceeding. In this situation, the purpose of the procedure is to liquidate the debtor's assets and disperse them amongst creditors in consideration with debt priorities.
- All liquidations have to be applied for and approved by the courts.
- Business Rescue aims to save a company which is under financial distress.
- Once a liquidation order is granted by the court, directors are divested of their powers and subsequent unauthorised dispositions of property are void.
- Creditors cannot initiate proceedings against the company and all proceedings by or against the company are stayed until a liquidator is appointed.
- Liquidators act on the direction of creditors, which are given at formal meetings. Urgent directions can be obtained from the court.
Our analysis concludes that the risk of doing business in South Africa is medium. Based on this medium score, we recommend being careful providing credit and considering charging upfront payment or using credit insurance when trading if you don't know the customer in South Africa well. If possible, provide a short credit period or even better upfront payment. The average risk is conluded on the following areas:
The economic risk in South Africa
Our conclusion based on the economic risk factors, is that the economic risk in South Africa is high (5 out of 6). An economic risk of 5 out of 6 is pretty average in Africa.
GDP and economic growth are critical drivers for economic risk.
The GDP of South Africa is 419.95 bn. USD (2021), growing by 4.91% per year.
In terms of the size of its economy, South Africa ranks #32 out of 183 countries and has a large economy.
Having a view at the growth rate, it is ranked #80 out of 183 countries and is therefore considered an excellent growing economy.
GDP per capita is 6994 USD, ranking South Africa number #81 out of 183 countries. This means the purchasing power of citizens in South Africa is average compared to the rest of the world.
You can see a more detailed picture of GDP and economic growth in South Africa in the table below:
Another significant influencer for the economic risk score is the inflation rate and the interest rates. You can see a more detailed picture of monetary KPIs in South Africa in the table below:
The inflation in South Africa was 4.6% in 2021 which is considered a medium inflation rate.
The interest rate for businesses is 7.04%.
The business environment risk in South Africa
Our analysis shows that the business environment risk in South Africa is medium-high (4 out of 6), which is a relatively low risk score in Africa.
Economic freedom and rights has a big influence on the business environment risk in a country. Take a look at the important facts for South Africa in the table below:
In the above table, you can see, the property rights index is 60 in South Africa, which is considered quite good in Africa.
The business freedom index is based on 10 indicators, using data from the World Bank’s Doing Business study. The Index is 62 in South Africa, a pretty good score for a country in Africa.
South Africa's overall economic freedom index is 60 out of 100 and is based on factors such as the rule of law, regulatory efficiency, and market openness.
The political risk in South Africa
The political risk in South Africa is medium-high, with a score of 4/6. This is a relatively low political risk score in Africa.
The governance and political stability indicators are important drivers for political risk. An overview of South Africa can be seen in the graphs below:
The rule of law index analyses to which extent agents have confidence in and abide by the rules of society, in particular the quality of contract enforcement, property rights, the quality of the courts, and the police's ability to enforce court orders.
When doing business in a country, the rule of law index is critical as it describes your ability to enforce commercial contracts.
In South Africa, the rule of law index is at 0.13 points, with the score going from -2.5 (weak) to 2.5 (strong). South Africa has, therefore, a medium rule of law index, which means it should be possible to enforce your contracts. If possible, we still recommend charging payment upfront or working with credit insurance for larger deals.
Other drivers for the medium-high political risks are the weak control of corruption, the very weak political stability index, and the medium-large shadow economy that is 21.99% of South Africa's GDP.
The commercial risk in South Africa
In South Africa, the commercial risk score is 3/4, which in our model is a medium score. This medium commercial risk score is relatively high compared to the average in Africa.
The commercial risk is relying on a country's international trade relationships. You can see some of the key facts for South Africa in the table below:
South Africa has a foreign exchange reserve of 57.6 bn. USD.
South Africa has a positive trade balance of 6.14% of GDP. What this means is that South Africa imports fewer goods and services than the country exports.
The annual growth of exports of goods and services has been growing 9.89% annually - now 31.11% of GDP. Import of goods and services represents 24.96% of the GDP in South Africa.
The financing risk in South Africa
We have calculated the financing risk to be 3/4, which equals a medium risk. A medium financing risk score is pretty average for countries in Africa.
The country's banking system, efficiency, and stability influence the financing risk. Additional facts and info can be found for South Africa in the table below:
In South Africa, the credit information sharing index is 7 on a scale from 0 (low) to 8 (high). This means the accessibility and quality of credit information available in South Africa is medium-high.
This makes it easy for you to understand the credit risk of your counterpart in South Africa. Based on this, it should be possible to to find a good local credit rating agency that can help you analyse the creditworthiness of your specific customers.
Your rights as a creditor are 5 out of 12 and, therefore, weak.
The medium financing risk for creditors also impacts the high interest rate in the private sector of 7.04%.
Debt Collection in South Africa: Frequently Asked Questions
In South Africa, debt collection can either be done personally by the original creditor (first-party collection) or entrusted to an external entity (third-party collection). Businesses tend to take up to 90 days to settle debts. The court system is inefficient and can be exploited by debtors. Electronic fund transfers are the preferred payment method. The debt collection process involves uploading your claim, amicable collection, evaluation, surveillance, legal collections and debt enforcement. Debitura can help with all stages of the debt collection process in South Africa.
The debt collection process in South Africa involves pre-legal collection, legal debt collection, and debt enforcement. Pre-legal collection involves finding a debt collection partner and sending friendly reminders to the debtor. Legal debt collection involves starting a legal process that can take around 1.5 years to resolve. Debt enforcement is used when the debtor agrees they owe money or a judge has ruled in favor of the creditor, and the bailiff can help collect the debt. At Debitura, we can help you with all three steps in South Africa.
In South Africa, if a debt is disputed, legal options for debt collection include civil lawsuits, debt enforcement, and insolvency proceedings. These legal actions require a local lawyer. Court proceedings may result in a payment order that can be enforced through an enforcement court. Insolvency proceedings involve liquidating a debtor's assets to pay creditors. All liquidations must be approved by the courts, and creditors direct actions taken by liquidators.
Debt collection costs in South Africa vary depending on the specific case and actions required. Debitura offers a no-cure-no-pay model for pre-legal collection, with a success fee between 10-20%. For legal actions, prices vary. Debitura can provide you with 3 quotes from the best debt collection lawyers in South Africa.
The length of debt collection in South Africa depends on the debtor and case. If the case is resolved in the pre-legal phase, it takes 3-6 months. Legal actions take longer, about 12-18 months. Legal actions are only taken if other attempts at collection have failed.