The festive season, in particular, is a time of overspending. Credit cards are maxed out in order to pay for gifts and expensive holidays. Just after the festive season, people face expenses, such as having to pay school deposits and fees. They must pay membership fees to organisations, and have to pay upfront for the extramural activities of their children.

Already burdened with not having money after the spending during the December holidays, consumers often add to their debt burden by taking out loans against their homes to pay for university entrance fees and other expenses. In this way, people just get deeper into the debt trap.

It is thus not unusual to find someone saying that they are so deep in debt that they cannot see a way out. If the person is a provisional taxpayer, they also have to submit their tax returns just after the festive season. Once returns are processed, they must pay the money due to SARS. Everything becomes too much, and they look for ways to get out of debt fast.

Do the above sound all-too familiar? Have you fallen into the debt trap and need to take immediate action or face several judgments against you? Regardless of the reasons for getting deep in the debt waters, if you read this article, you are already taking the first step towards getting out of debt.

If time is limited and creditors are already knocking on your door, you most probably do not have enough time to plan a debt down payment strategy in which you can pay off your debt within a particular period. Indeed, should you, at this stage, pay a large sum to one creditor and fail to pay another one, you can be in even deeper trouble. The other creditor can see it as being disadvantaged because you choose to pay one creditor, but not pay debt owed to them.

Debt review may still be an option if you have time, have a regular monthly income, and do not have debt that will take more than five years to be paid off should you undergo debt review. It is not a way to get out of debt fast, since you may end up paying longer because of negotiated lower monthly instalments. You may already have entered debt review and realise that you are still unable to service the debts. If this is the case, you need a way to get out of debt fast.


Consider voluntary sequestration as a means to get out of debt fast. To qualify, you must be insolvent. This means your liabilities must far exceed your assets, and you must be unable to pay your debt. The court reviews your application and only awards voluntary sequestration if you are insolvent, and if the assets in your estate are enough to ensure the sale thereof on auction can realise sufficient funds to pay the minimum benefit to creditors, the legal fees, the sequestration process, and trustee fees.

Voluntary sequestration makes it possible to get out of debt within only a few months. The good news is that once the notice of intention to voluntary sequestrate has been published, no creditors can take any further legal action against you. All garnishee orders against your salary are cancelled with sequestration. With the requirement being that each creditor must receive a minimum of 20 cents out of the rand benefit, you pay creditors far less than you will have to if you were to enter into debt repayment agreements with debt collectors.

You get out of debt and can start fresh with no further claims against your financial estate. Once rehabilitated, you regain full control over your financial affairs.


Voluntary sequestration is not an easy way out of debt. It comes with a price. You lose your house in the process, and you cannot enter credit agreements without written consent of the trustee. You have to apply for rehabilitation if you want your creditworthiness restored, or wait out the ten-year period to automatically be rehabilitated. You cannot be a director of a company while sequestrated. It should be a last resort to get out of debt, but if you are in extreme debt and have already exhausted other legitimate means to get out of debt, it is a viable solution.


Get in touch with our legal team for more information and help in becoming debt-free through voluntary sequestration.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Call on our attorneys for legal advice, rather than relying on the information herein to make any decisions. The information is relevant to the date of publishing.