Some Debts You Don’t Actually Have Pay – Prescribed Debt

Some Debts You Don’t Actually Have Pay

Did you know that there are some debts that you may have incurred, that you are not legally required to pay anymore!

Do get my wrong, I’m not trying to encourage you to just stop paying your all debts. But there are some debts which you are simply not bound to pay any longer – and you’ll still be within you legal right to do so.

You most probably have not heard about it before, but there is something known as prescribed debt.

What is a prescribed debt?

According to the Prescription Act a debt is prescribed, if:

  • in the past three years, you have not made any payment towards settling a debt
  • acknowledged owing the debt in any way – including over the phone
  • you have not agreed to pay it, or been summonsed in respect of it

You can use this as a defence when asked to pay a prescribed debt.

Prescribed Debt and Debt Collectors

In many cases, the debt has been written off by the initial credit provider, and bought over by debt collectors.


Here’s the thing – it is perfectly legal for a debt collector or attorney to demand payment from you for a prescribed debt, and if you cave in to the harassment and pay it, you can’t raise the defence of prescription afterwards.

If you are face with this situation do not admit you opened the account, do not admit that there may have been a small balance owing, do not admit that you did not check whether the account had been fully paid. Rather tell the person or collection agent that you do not owe anything and that they should contact your attorney if they wish to pursue the matter.

Always speak to an attorney before admitting liability of any old debt – could be savings yourself thousands.

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