Litigation in Debt Collection Matters

01 July 2024 ,  Melody Sithole 97

A summons is a court issued document that starts the litigation process. A summons is issued when a debtor fails to settle his/her outstanding debt as set out in the letter of demand. The purpose of a summons is to inform the debtor of a claim that the debtor has against him/her.

The summons is served on the debtor by the Sheriff of the court at his/her nominated /registered address. The debtor is given 10 court days from date of service of the Summons to defend the matter.

1.         The matter is defended if the debtor serves and files a notice of intention to defend. The debtor is then given an opportunity to set out the reasons upon which he/she wishes to defend the claim by way of a plea and counterclaim.

2.         The matter is undefended if the debtor fails to serve and file a notice of intention to defend and/or fails to serve a plea and counterclaim where a notice to defend has been served.

When the matter is undefended, an application for default judgement will be filed with the clerk of the court.

The advantage of a having a GRANTED default judgement is that it allows the creditor to explore other methods of collecting their money e.g. emolument attachment orders.