Costly judgment removal

A Fin24 user wants to know why he has to pay R2 000 to remove a judgment against his name. He writes:

I had judgments against my name but I have already paid up those judgments.

I had five judgments against my name, but the lawyers (now want) R2 000 for one judgment to be removed from my name by the court.

Can I not talk to my credit providers to remove my name, since they took me to court?

Friedl Kreuser of Summit Financial Partners responds:

If I understand correctly, you had five judgments against your name, all of which have been paid up.

That is excellent and already goes some way to improving your credit record (provided the rest of your accounts are also up to date).

However, unfortunately the court must always be involved in removing a judgment from your credit record (referred to as rescission of judgment).

The reason is that when the court order is granted, it is the court that informs all the credit bureaus of this, not the credit provider, and the judgment will only be removed when the same court requests removal from the credit bureaus.

It does, however, sound like your attorneys may be charging a bit much.

If you can get letters from each of your credit providers confirming that the debts have been paid in full and consenting to the rescission of judgment, it is a very easy process for an attorney to confirm the rescission at court.

In fact, when there is consent from the credit provider, the application is usually finalised informally in the magistrate's office (out of court, referred to as "in chambers"), which means it is usually also a very quick process.

If your five judgments are all from the same court, they can all be finalised in the same session with the magistrate, which should also reduce the total cost.

I personally wouldn't pay more than R1 000 per rescission if you already have consent, and you could probably find attorneys willing to do it for even less than that.

 - Fin24

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