What does ‘rehabilitation’ mean?
If your estate was sequestrated or you applied for its voluntary surrender, you can apply for your rehabilitation (to be put back in the same position you were in before your sequestration) in the following circumstances:
- Your rehabilitation happens automatically after 10 years;
- At any time after sequestration, if the assets in your insolvent estate realize sufficient funds to pay all creditors who have proven claims, in full;
- At any time after sequestration if you are able to pay all your creditors at least 50 cents in the rand;
- 6 months after your sequestration if no creditors proved claims against your estate;
- 12 months after the Master of the High Court confirms the account that your trustee prepares (called the liquidation account) provided the Master recommends the rehabilitation (in specially motivated circumstances);
- 4 years from sequestration if your creditors have proved claims against your estate, provided 12 months have lapsed since the Master confirmed the liquidation account.
See the attached sections of the Insolvency Act that apply to rehabilitations.
The fee, with disbursements, is substantial, because of the process and out-of-pocket expenses involved. The only other possible expense you may have is if there was a contribution levied in your estate. What this means is that there may have been insufficient assets in your estate and your trustee may have called upon creditors that proved claims to contribute towards the costs of winding up your estate. If that is the case you will have to pay that contribution back.
On behalf of clients, we have launched many rehabilitation applications. So far, we have achieved a 100% success rate.
The rehabilitation process
Before the process begins your attorney will have to write to your trustee to obtain certain information (such as the dates of your provisional and final sequestration). Armed with that information he must then give six week’s written notice to the Master of the High Court and to your trustee of your intention to apply for your rehabilitation. Simultaneously, he must notify your creditors of such intention by advertising in the Government Gazette.
In the meantime, he will prepare a substantive application supported by an affidavit signed by you to persuade the court why you are eligible for your rehabilitation.
This is a checklist of what we would need from you (or your trustee) to see if you are eligible to apply for your rehabilitation.
If you want our help, please email Roy Bregman so that we can set up an obligation-free appointment to discuss the next steps and to agree on fees and payment terms.