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February 2, 2023
April 6, 2023


Sequestration can be executed voluntarily or you may be compelled to be sequestrated when your liabilities exceed your assets.   The procedure and requirements for each application differ and it is important to understand the material aspects of each application.

What is Voluntary Sequestration?

Voluntary sequestration takes place when debtors willingly apply to the High Court for sequestration of their estate

What is Compulsory Sequestration?

When debtors cannot pay their debts, their creditors may apply to have the debtor’s estate sequestrated.  This is called compulsory sequestration.

There are, however, certain requirements that must be met in order to apply for sequestration, namely:

  1. A creditor must establish a claim against the debtor; and
  2. A benefit to creditors must exist; and
  3. An act of insolvency must have been committed by the debtor.

Once the final order of the sequestration application is granted, it means that your estate is insolvent. Your estate will then vest in the Master pending the appointment of a Trustee who will be authorised to take control of the administration and sequestration of the estate for the benefit of the creditors. This means that the estate will now vest in the Trustee.

When you become a rehabilitated insolvent, you will be released from any pre-sequestration debts. You are consequently provided with the opportunity of a new beginning.

Automatic rehabilitation lapses after 10 years from the date of sequestration, however, you can approach the court for an order to be rehabilitated prior to the lapse of the 10-year period, provided that certain conditions are met.

Sequestration of your estate may have serious consequences. It also has an effect on the insolvent’s spouse, even when you are married out of the community of property and have separate estates. We, therefore, advise that you contact us when you are faced with sequestration to ensure you get sufficient advice based on your specific circumstances to enable you to make an informed decision.

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