Sequestration provides a means to get rid of debt fast. However, the diminished legal capacity that follows can hinder your ability to enter credit agreements, rent a house, or fill a director position. Being free from the debt nightmare provides you with a fresh start. But at one or other stage, regaining financial control becomes essential. Do not allow rehabilitation costs to be the reason for not rehabilitating.

A deposit of R1 000 is all that stands between knowing whether you qualify for earlier sequestration rehabilitation or have to wait the normal four-year period.

Rehabilitation costs are low. You thus do not have to wait out ten years for automatic rehabilitation. If the requirements are met, you can rehabilitate as soon as six months after the surrendering of the estate. They are:

  • Able to pay 50% of the outstanding amounts on all the debts.
  • No creditor claims against the insolvent estate.

Earlier rehabilitation is possible in circumstances, such as these:

  • If you can pay all costs and the required benefits to creditors, then you can rehabilitate. This is also true if the proceeds of assets sale were enough to ensure payment of all the claims against the insolvent estate.
  • If you can pay the costs and 50% of all outstanding debt, then you can rehabilitate. You can do this within a few months after the sequestration. Break free from the myth of having to wait several years before it is possible to rehabilitate.
  • If the proceeds of sale from your house sufficed to cover the costs of sequestration and all the debts, then the application to rehabilitate can be made almost immediately.


Upon sequestration, you surrender the estate to the control of the trustee or curator, leaving you with diminished legal capacity. The trustee must give permission to enter credit agreements. Certain government and financial jobs are out of reach. You may not be a director of a company or a member of a close corporation. ITC records indicate that you have been sequestrated. Though you can open a bank account, most financial institutions do not allow for opening a current account. Agents often reject rental applications by sequestrated applicants.

Rehabilitation ends the effects of sequestration. You are no longer insolvent. This means you have full control over your financial affairs, and can take part in business as a director or close corporation member. The previously restricted job positions are available.

Credit records indicate the rehabilitated status. All debts against the estate are written off. You get a fresh start. Your debt record is clean. Poor credit history is left behind, and you can look forward to new opportunities.


Maintain good relations with the trustee or curator. Cooperate in providing information when requested. Do not hide assets and avoid creating more debt, even with the written permission of the trustee. Attend meetings with the trustee or curator.

Before the application submission, the trustee must submit a liquidation and distribution account to show the procedures in administering the insolvent estate. The Master of the High Court must approve this account, which can take a few weeks or, in some instances, several months.

Generally, insolvent parties can apply for sequestration rehabilitation four years after confirmation of the liquidation and distribution account. However, as shown previously, you can apply earlier if requirements are met and costs covered.


The following documents must be ready when you apply to rehabilitate:

  • Article 81 report.
  • Certificate of the trustee or curator appointment.
  • Liquidation and distribution account (L&D).
  • Confirmation of the L&D.
  • Date of confirmation of the L&D by the Master of the High Court.

Our attorneys make sure the above-mentioned documents are in place. Keep in mind that if there was a shortfall, then 12 months must have passed after the confirmation of the L&D before you can rehabilitate.

We publish a notice of the intention to rehabilitate in the Government Gazette and draft the affidavit, which you must sign in front of a Commissioner of Oaths. Our team requests the curator/trustee and Master of the High Court reports for permission to rehabilitate.

An application is lodged, and the hearing date is set. An advocate presents the application. You do not have to attend the court hearing. You can expect to receive the court decision within 10 to 14 days. Once granted, your name is cleared. We notify the credit bureaus of the order. It takes a further 21 days for the bureaus to update their records.

Give us a call to discuss the sequestration rehabilitation costs and the process forward to clear your name.

Disclaimer: This article is for information 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 as at the date of publishing.