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Can default judgment be obtained against me in respect of a debt even though I did not receive notice of default in payment?
02 May 2019  | Tiaan Du Plooy
The implications of a judgment being granted against a person could be problematic seeing as the judgment is also registered at all of the major credit institutions, which negatively impacts a person's credit record.

The process for circumstances dealing with debt collection (there are different processes for circumstances and cases) where a plaintiff issues summons against the defendant for payment allegedly due by the defendant in terms of a certain contract or agreement, are as followed.

The term "Default Judgment" refers to a Judgment which is granted against a Defendant who was in default of defending the matter.

1.  Summons is issued against a Defendant and thereafter served on the Defendant by the Sheriff
     of the Court.  The Sheriff's manner of service is regulated by Rule 4 of the Uniform Rules of 
     Court and Rule 9 of the Magistrates' Courts Act.
2.  When serving a Summons on a Defendant who is a natural person, the Sheriff will firstly
     attempt to serve the Summons personally, however, if the Sheriff is unable to find the 
     Defendant, the Sherriff may serve the Summons on any other individual not under the age of
     16 years and resident at the place where the Defendant resides.  If, after a diligent search of
     the Defendant's residence, the Sheriff is unable to find anyone upon whom to serve the
     Summons, the Sheriff may serve the Summons by affixing a copy thereof on the principal door
     of the Defendant's residence, or by placing a copy of the Summons in the Defendant's mailbox.
3.  If the Defendant is a resident within the jurisdictional area of the Court, the Defendant will have
     10 court days after service of the Summons within which to serve and fine a Notice of Intention
     to Defend.
4.  If the Defendant does not serve and file such a Notice, the Plaintiff may, after expiry of the 10
     day period, apply to Court for granting of Default Judgment, where after Default Judgment will 
     likely be granted against the Defendant.
5.  The Plaintiff then has various further remedies at his/her disposal to enforce the Judgment
     granted against the Defendant.

In light of the above it is clear that judgement can be granted against you without your knowledge or even without your consent. If this is the case consult with an attorney as soon as you become aware of the judgement granted against you, give your attorney enough time to investigate the matter, in order to advise you what the best action or remedy will be for you. 

Reference List:
Rule 4 of the Uniform Rules of Court and Rule 9 of the Magistrates' Courts Act.
Process of default judgement- www.honeyattorneys.co.za/article/1127
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