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Repossession of vehicles and other assets (By Financial Institutions)

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff’s primary role is to serve or execute all documents issued by our courts. This includes summonses, notices, emolument attachment orders, warrants and court orders. All Sheriff’s and Deputy Sheriff’s must carry a valid Identification Card issued and renewable annually by the South African Board for Sheriffs. When executing duties with a legal court order the Sheriff can enter your premises, even when you are not there. Open any door, motor vehicle or piece of furniture on your premises. Attach, remove and sell your motor vehicle, furniture and movable or immovable property to recover your debt. If the person is in possession of the court order and valid Identification Card you as a member of the public have no alternative but to allow the Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff to remove your goods.

Some attorneys are being instructed by financial institutions to institute legal action against members of the public who have defaulted in their payments and once judgment and a court order has been granted and obtained it is given to various debt collectors, tracers, representatives or agents who attend on the debtors residential or employment addresses. They produce the court order and requests the debtor to hand over the motor vehicle, goods or personal assets.  As soon as the debtor consents to handing over of his or her assets it is deemed that the debtor consents to the financial institution repossessing the assets.  The financial institution’s action by instructing these “agencies” to recover motor vehicles and other goods with a court order is unlawful. As stated, only a Sheriff or Deputy Sheriff may serve or execute court orders or judgments.

Members of the public have the right to refuse handing over their motor vehicles, goods or personal assets to the debt collectors, tracers, representatives or agents of the financial institutions.

If you have a complaint or if you are unsure of your rights feel free to contact your local Sheriffs office or the South African Board for Sheriffs.

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