Asking for a friend – they are currently blacklisted for debt from years back – could they request this debt to be prescribed or is there a different route that could be followed.
Thanks for your question.
Debt has only prescribed if there has been no attempt by the credit provider to collect it or if no summons has been issued for the debt during the last 3 years. Also, if there has been no acknowledgment of debt during the last 3 years. If you have made any form of payment in the last 3 years it constitutes an acknowledgment of debt.
Prescription of debt is a defence; thus, when the credit provider attempts to collect you can claim prescription as a defence. If the debt does not affect your credit record at this stage you can simply ignore it and if anything happens in the future claim prescription as defence. If it is causing issues for you, I would advise that you get an attorney to write a letter on your behalf to the respective credit providers notifying them of the problems that are being caused by the debt and then claiming that it has prescribed. If the debt has indeed prescribed already, the new Credit Amendment Act prohibits the prescription to be interrupted after 3 years. If it has not prescribed yet, then you need to be careful not to acknowledge it.
But in short, yes. You can claim a debt to be prescribed. You can notify the credit bureaus in writing that it has prescribed. They then need to investigate it and remove the record from your credit profile if the debt has indeed prescribed.