Loan default is not the only way to lose your home

Posted On Thursday, 19 October 2017 22:26 Published by
Rate this item
(0 votes)

When times are tough and consumer budgets are under pressure we hear a lot about mortgage defaults and home repossessions, but failing to pay your home loan instalments is actually only one of several ways you can cause your home to be attached and auctioned off?

Berry_Everitt_MD_Chas_Everitt

Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group, says homeowners also need to avoid these five hazards: 

* Failing to pay your taxes. “Your local authority can go to court and get a debt judgment against you if you don’t pay your property rates, and although it is usually a last resort, SARS can also have your property attached if you don’t pay your income tax,” he notes. “There are also hefty penalties for not paying tax, so even if you can reach an agreement to pay off the debt and prevent your home from being auctioned, it is likely to cost you a lot more than the original tax bill.”

    What is more, you can’t escape your tax liabilities by selling your home. The municipality will most likely not issue a clearance certificate to finalise a transfer to a new owner unless all rates and service charges due by you have been paid. And SARS is entitled to take whatever percentage of the sale proceeds is required to pay off any outstanding income tax amounts.

* Failing to pay your monthly sectional title levies or home owner’s association dues. “Legally,” says Everitt, “the body corporate of your sectional title complex or the HOA of your estate can have your unit attached and sold off to settle arrear levies, even if you have a bond on the property and have been paying your home loan instalments.

    “The bank will get any proceeds of the sale left after your levy arrears have been paid and you will still be liable to pay any outstanding portion of the home loan.”

* Applying for voluntary sequestration, otherwise known as filing for bankruptcy. If your home is registered in your name, it will be considered as an asset in your insolvent estate, and the trustees appointed by the court will be obliged to sell it to try to realise at least the amount outstanding on your home loan or, if you don’t have a loan, to settle some of your other debts.      

* Engaging in illegal activities. Under South African law (Chapter 6 of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act), the National Public Prosecutor can apply for any property used in the commission of a crime, or believed to have been purchased with the proceeds of crime, to be attached and forfeited to the State.

* Standing surety for someone else’s debt, or for the debts of a business. “If the other person or the business defaults in such cases, the creditors will be entitled to come after you personally or attach your private assets to settle the debts, and there is a very real possibility of losing your home,” says Everitt. “You should therefore be very wary of ever acting as surety for anyone else, even your own children or parents.”

Last modified on Thursday, 19 October 2017 22:44

Most Popular

Portugal ramps up its appeal for South Africans seeking EU citizenship

Feb 07, 2018
Porto view across Douro River
Foreigners - including South Africans, wanting to acquire freedom of movement for…

Check your zoning rights before buying a residential property for business use

Feb 07, 2018
PJ Veldhuizen
How often do we see those adverts “perfect for home-office” or “ideal for business” on an…

SA REITs deliver another year of double-digit growth in 2017

Feb 07, 2018
Izak Petersen SA REIT
The FTSE/JSE South African Listed Property Index (SAPY) achieved total returns of 17.2%…

Rabie Property Group develops two exciting new office developments for Century City

Feb 07, 2018
Sable Park North Sable Road View
Two exciting commercial developments, including new offices for Discovery, are being…

Celebrations as new Thavhani Mall taxi rank opens

Feb 01, 2018
Brandon Nesengani
Shoppers can now get to Thavhani Mall in a flash thanks to the brand new taxi rank that…

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.