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WCLawyer, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 15603
Experience:  L.LB (UOVS)
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I was co-erced into signing a joint bond agreement with my

Customer Question

Hi, I was co-erced into signing a joint bond agreement with my mother by my aunt (her sister) in 2007. I only agreed to it because my mother was to pay for the monthly mortgage costs, rates, taxes and electricity. I then signed on the dotted line but now I find myself in trouble.
She has not paid for the bond since May this year and she's ruining my credit record. I've worked so hard to have this in good shape by honouring all my debts and paying as they fall due. This is the second time this is happening since 2007 as she once lost her job (dismissed for irresponsible behaviour - that's another story) before. Please help. How do i get myself out of this mess? I know that the transfer involves her taking over my half share but I'm almost certain that she won't qualify due to a bad credit history.
Can the bank (ABSA) do something about this?
**and just 3 weeks ago she was talking about getting herself the latest Mercedes!**
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: South Africa Law
Expert:  WCLawyer replied 1 year ago.

Good Afternoon

Just to be clear: Did you sign as a surety on the bond or did you purchase half the property with your mother?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I purchased half the property with her - so both jointly and severally liable (50% ownership).
Expert:  WCLawyer replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry to say that you are probably not going to succeed with the argument that you were coerced into signing that agreement. It was not signed under duress as far as I can tell (like a Magistrate or Judge will tell you, no one held a gun to your head) and it was not induced by fraud. It can be argued successfully by both your mother and the bank that it was or should reasonably have been contemplated by you that there might be a possibility that she could not keep up with the payments. More to the point, the bank did not 'coerce' you into signing the agreement.

So, sadly, ABSA is under no obligation to do anything about this. It is between you and your mother.

There is a couple of options that you have:

1. Either you and your mother can agree to sell the place.

2. If she does not agree to sell the place, then you can actually approach the court and obtain a judgment that would force her to sell the place or that would force her to sell her share to you, where after you can sell the place.

3. You can agree with your mother to sell her half to you and then rent the place to her.

So, unfortunately, the bank would be totally within their rights to hold either or both of you liable for the payment. Until such time that the issues can be resolved, if your mother is in arrears, the only way to prevent your credit record from being affected badly would be to cover the payments yourself.

I sincerely ***** ***** I am making sense here, but if you have follow up questions before you rate, feel free to ask them at no extra cost. If you are satisfied with the service, kindly rate it positively.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. You make perfect sense and I agree that my argument about being coerced won't hold much weight in court.I will try Option 1. If that doesn't work then Option 2.Thanks again.
Expert:  WCLawyer replied 1 year ago.

My pleasure. Hope you come right. Please do not forget to rate.