What it means to have a High Court judgment listed on your credit record

In short, it means you did not pay a debt at one point in time and the creditor you owed secured the debt by getting a court to grant a judgment against you. The judgment secures the debt as the creditor can now attach any property you own in order to satisfy the judgment debt.

Even though you may settle the debt concerned, the judgment listing shall remain on your credit record for a mandatory period of 5 years. Mandatory as the National Credit Act 34 of 2005 provides that a judgment listing must be reflected on your credit record for 5 years. Even the judgment creditor cannot request the credit bureau to remove the listing from your credit record.
Prior to the expiry of the 5 year period, a judgment listing can only be removed from your credit record if a rescission application is made to the very same court that granted the judgment in the first instance.
The rescission of High Court Judgments
Unlike in the Magistrate Courts where a judgment can be rescinded once you have settled the debt and the creditor has consented to the judgment being rescinded, a High Court judgment if often only rescinded where the High Court that granted the judgment is satisfied that the judgment was “sought or granted in error.” The fact that the account is settled, or that the judgment creditor consents to the rescission of the judgment will not itself result in the rescission of the judgment.
In light of the above, we advise that you first consider and evaluate the merits and chances of your High Court judgment being successfully rescinded before approaching the court with a rescission application.
Some examples of when the rescission of a high court judgment is likely to be successful:
  • Before the date on which the judgment was granted you contacted the creditor or their attorneys and reached an agreement concerning the repayment of the account or any arrear amounts on the account. You subsequently did perform in terms of such an agreement. The agreement you reached need not have been in written and even a verbal agreement can be relied upon. If you do recall the names of the representatives of the creditor or the attorneys that you dealt with then great! If not, it is advisable to include a deposition (that is, a statement) in your rescission affidavit to the effect that you reached such an agreement with “a female or male representative of the Respondent (that is the creditor or their attorneys) whose name you cannot now reasonably recall.” If you do happen to have a copy of such an agreement then we advise you to include this, together with any other supporting documentation, in your affidavit as an “Annexure”
  • When you fell into arrears with the account, you contacted the creditor or their attorneys and they undertook or led you to believe that legal proceedings would be halted and or that no judgment would be granted against you. Once again, include any documentation that you may have that could explain why you came to think that the creditor or their attorneys would not take judgment against you. For example, your High Court judgment may relate to property you previously owned and that was subsequently sold and such sale came to the attention of the judgment creditor prior to the actual date on which the judgment was granted. If this was in fact the case, then it is arguable that the creditor should not have proceeded to take judgment against you.
You may contact Nicky@bregmans.co.za for further guidance and assistance in determining the merits of your case before instructing us to rescind your High Court judgment.

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