How will emigration affect me if I have debt or am insolvent?

Many clients have asked me how emigration will affect them when they leave South Africa for greener pastures. They worry about this because they may be leaving behind debt, or need to liquidate or sequestrate. . 

Leaving debt in South Africa or Liquidating or Sequestrating does not have an effect on Emigration. It is better to get rid of the debt but you will not be blocked to leave the country. Speak to us and we will assist you with Liquidation or Sequestration so that you can have peace of mind when you leave.

What is Insolvency?

Before I continue, let me explain what Insolvency is. Insolvency is either the liquidation of a business or the sequestration of a person.


In both cases, the debt is written off. The creditors may not collect the debt from you or your business ever after liquidation or sequestration. In insolvency cases, creditors come together and they are obliged to share in any available assets in order of preference. If there are no assets or not enough proceeds they get nothing and must write balances off. 


Insolvency closes the door on problems and takes care of all loose ends. This means you are free to start afresh once you have emigrated. Remember that in insolvency, timing is crucial. Leaving the process too long can create difficulties and expenses.

Benefits of Insolvency Before Emigration

If you have the foresight to liquidate or sequestrate in South Africa before emigration, your emigration process will not be affected. It is only valid in South Africa and not in the new country. You will be able to leave with peace of mind.

Debt is a civil matter and is not related to any requirements for emigration.

Insolvency after Emigration

While you can liquidate or sequestrate from abroad, it will be more expensive than if you did it before leaving. If you leave without liquidating or sequestrating the risk you have is with regards to any debt. The court can issue a warrant for arrest if you failed to do so if you were summoned. You may not even be aware such a document was issued as it may have been served at your previous domicilum address.