How garnishees keep gouging debtors
Despite a landmark ruling, shady collectors are still preying on victims
It has been 13 months since the Constitutional Court handed down what was lauded as a landmark ruling on the illegality of certain practices in the administration of garnishee orders.
But for many of the applicants in that case, life is just as bleak – and activists claim that fee-gouging and fraudulent court orders continue unabated.
Lisinda Bailey was one of the applicants in the High Court in Cape Town case on garnishee orders that was confirmed by the Constitutional Court. Although she cried with relief when the
judge ruled in their favour, she says her life was ruined by the irresponsible granting of credit and subsequent garnishees.
“[After the ruling] they forgot about us,” she says, “just like that.” As her debt spiralled, she applied for loans to pay off earlier ones and says the loan company failed to carry out, or faked, the information on affordability checks. She couldn’t pay the rent on her flat in Stellenbosch, and lost her job.
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