Municipalities cannot hold a new property owner liable for a previous owner’s historical municipal debt, the Constitutional Court ruled on Tuesday.
The precedent-setting ruling gives relief to home and business owners, who have been saddled with years of historical municipal debt – as long as 20 years – and have been denied municipal services until the debt had been paid. The outstanding debt relates to water, electricity, rates and taxes associated to a property.
In a ruling majority written by Justice Edwin Cameron, the court found that upon transfer of a property, a new owner is not liable for old municipal debt. The court upheld a ruling by the high court in Pretoria in November last year – mainly that the liability of the old municipal debt rests with the previous owner.
IN THE dying days of December 2011, billionaire heiress Wendy Appelbaum decided to add another wine farm to her property portfolio when she bid for Dave King’s liquidated Quoin Rock farm. But she was hoodwinked on the auction floor by Rael Levitt, of Auction Alliance, who attempted to drive up the bids by placing a phony bidder in her path. Appelbaum became wise to him and over the course of the next few weeks, she attracted considerable attention to the attempted fraud.
The media then moved in and began to dig around Levitt and the firm he had started in the mid-1990s. In the middle of February 2012, a newspaper report that Levitt attempted, unsuccessfully, to interdict, exposed years of dodgy dealings that linked bank staff, liquidators and attorneys to a money-making racket, allegedly orchestrated by Levitt and Auction Alliance.
Removal of Adverse Consumer Credit Information. – Click here to Read.
Robin Hood to the rescue!
A whole lot has been written about Rael Levitt the embattled CEO of now disgraced company Auction Alliance. The whole scandal erupted after a complaint was lodged by billionaire businesswoman Wendy Appelbaum with the Consumer Complaints commission. Stories have appeared in both the mainstream and financial press. Levitt stepped down as CEO which has added further fuel to the fires that are raging around both the auction industries and financial and legal professions. It seems that this would be a battle of Goliath versus Goliath and would not have any impact on the man in the street. Not so however.
It’s a veritable can of worms that has left many people all the way down this particular food chain feeling very uncomfortable and nervous. Who wouldn’t be with SARS and various other bodies all rallying around to uncover the truth? It’s the stuff of good gangster movies and who knows, perhaps a movie in the making. Most people would simply shrug and walk away because they feel they have no recourse against this issue and trying to get their story heard let alone justice being served.
Consumer Guardian Services (Pty) Ltd (CGS) has discovered that various banks in South Africa have illegally overcharged Bond account holders in excess of R1 billion in illegal fees. These fees include non taxed legal fees; bond interest rates calculated on these illegal fees as well as overcharged interest on wrongly calculated bond balances.
According to Johan Muller (Managing Director) of CGS, a Cape Town based company this practice of illegally overcharging clients has been in existence for more than 20 years. To make matters worse, according to a publication by the National Credit Regulator, ABSA, First National Bank (FNB), Nedbank and Standard Bank agreed in December 2010 that no homes will be attached and sold until 30 June 2011.
Despite this undertaking, more than 1400 homes per month have been sold on instruction by these banks through the Sheriff of the Court since December 2010. To add insult to injury various Sheriffs are working in tandem with private syndicates who buy these properties, in some instance at 30% of the debt value and immediately then re-sell these properties to third parties.
Johan Muller who personally settled in excess of R90 million of overcharged interest with South African Banks, has embarked on a mission to expose these ill gotten profits and rightfully recover the overcharged amounts. The problem which most home owners face once the sheriff sells the property to the syndicate, the client is blacklisted for hundreds of thousands of rands.
CGS has successfully interdicted the transfer of many of these ill gotten properties on behalf of many clients based on the fact that the bank has made errors on the balances claimed from the client. Certain banks are buying their own properties back for a nominal amount, but nevertheless hold the bondholder responsible for the balance. Muller has personally been offered bribes from syndicate members in excess of R100, 000 “just to make the file go away”! He has also received many calls and threats from sheriffs who complained about his interference with sales of execution of properties.
Muller has knowledge of certain attorneys acting on behalf of banks, sheriffs and syndicates enriching themselves at the expense of the distressed home-owner. Muller has first-hand experience of certain sheriffs owning up to 3 luxurious homes and up to 9 cars. CGS employs various attorneys to assist home owners in their defence against the banks and the cancellation of execution sales by the sheriff.
For further details contact Johan Muller on 021-3000 150 or facebook: consumer guardian services.
When you cannot pay your debts (because they exceed your assets), you are said to be insolvent.
Although insolvency itself is not a crime, criminal charges can often follow the sequestration of an estate. These may be for not having kept proper records of transactions or for common law crimes such as fraudI (for instance, by obtaining credit by claiming that you can pay for goods when you know that you cannot).
If you’re insolvent, you can seek an out-of-court settlement with your creditors, surrender your estate, or in some cases apply to the magistrate’s court for an administration order. In certain circumstances, your estate may be sequestrated as insolvent at either your own initiative or that of acreditor.
Sequestration proceedings are designed to freeze an insolvent estate and to place it in the hands of a trustee, who liquidates it and distributes the proceeds among its various creditors.
If your estate is sequestrated after you have become insolvent, you may, subject to certain conditions, apply for rehabilitation. If your application is successful (if you are rehabilitated), the court will declare that you are no longer an insolvent and that you are free to trade and contract.