|Default execution auctions continue|
|Written by Augetto Graig|
|Wednesday, 15 August 2012 21:17|
THE practice of auctioning off homes of people, who are in arrears with their home loans or other incidental debts, following default judgments, continues unabated.Despite Judge President Petrus Damaseb’s reported intervention to ensure that default judgments do not result in auction sales-in-execution, home-owners are still at risk of having their houses sold to recoup relatively small amounts of debt. The office of the Ombudsman brought a case in the high court challenging the practice, while two other class-actions are pending in the High Court.
In June, Judge-President reportedly overhauled the process by which default judgments lead to the auctioning of people’s homes, after Attorney General Albert Kawana agreed that the current rules of the High Court are unconstitutional.
But the Chief Registrar of both the High and Supreme Courts, Elsie Schickerling told Informanté last week that, “in the absence of an order of Court or a pending appeal, staying the operation and execution of an order of the High Court, any subsequent process issued remain in force.” She answered that there is pending litigation in the High Court which inter alia addresses default judgments and, or sales in execution of immovable property. “The court has not yet ruled on any of the aforementioned litigation and in as much as such litigation are sub-judice,” says Schickerling.
The rules which apply to all High Court litigations are laid down in Act 16 of 1990 and provides that the Judge- President may, with the approval of the President, make rules for regulating the conduct of the proceedings of the High Court, and may prescribe therein (under- i) the proceedings of the sheriff and other offices of the court.
At least one Khomasdal couple faces numerous attempts to have their home auctioned off to cover claims of creditors. They said that the bank refused any alternative arrangement other than the sale of their house. They said the Sheriff of the Court, Manfred Hennes, brought them a notice of the sale in execution at their home on the 27th of June. According to the couple, who requested anonymity, an auction began in their backyard that day, but was called off on condition they pay N$100 000 immediately toward settlement because no satisfactory bid was made to buy their N$1.4 million house. It was called off on the provision that they pay N$100 000 towards settlement immediately, which they did. They paid the amount but now face a third warrant of execution on immovable property brought by the local commercial bank. The latest auctioning is scheduled for next Tuesday (August 21) to recover about N$587 000 plus interest they owe.
Hennes told Informanté last week, that there have been very few auctions this year. He explained that though auction dates are set, they are cancelled before completion. He pointing out that he only acts on warrants of execution and referred further questions to the Attorney General’s office.