Bankruptcy in Botswana: What’s Involved?


Filing for bankruptcy is a last-ditch effort to deal with high levels of debt. It’s a voluntary process that involves the sale of personal assets in order to pay creditors a defined percentage of what they’re owed.

Being declared legally bankrupt may be the way out of a financial morass, enabling you to start over again. However, it doesn’t come without cost.

Here’s what you need to know before pursuing a petition for bankruptcy in Botswana.

Who can file for bankruptcy in Botswana?

Any individual whose liabilities far outstrip their assets is entitled to petition the high court to have his or her estate voluntarily sequestrated.

The court only approves the petition if it benefits the creditors. In other words, the estate must have sufficient assets to pay creditors at least 10 thebe out of every pula they are owed.

The court’s decision is based on a legal affidavit prepared by the lawyer appointed by the person filing for bankruptcy. This affidavit outlines the individual’s financial situation, and provides an estimated valuation of the assets held in the estate.

What happens when the High Court approves the petition?

The court appoints a trustee to assess the value of the estate’s assets, and that includes balances in bank accounts, and any money owed to the individual.

The total value of all assets is calculated, and then divided equally amongst the creditors who have lodged a claim against the estate.

The trustee arranges the sale of high value items, such as motor vehicles, antiques, original art works and property, to settle the claims.

How does bankruptcy affect a spouse?

When a couple is married in community of property, and one or other files for bankruptcy, both parties are sequestrated, and held jointly liable for the debt.

The opposite is true when a couple is married out of community of property. The estate of the spouse filing for bankruptcy is sequestrated, and he or she alone is held liable as an individual.

Disadvantages of being declared bankrupt in Botswana

The only real benefit of bankruptcy is that it’s the quickest and easiest way of getting rid of liabilities. It’s also one of the most expensive methods of clearing debt.

As a result, bankruptcy is not a viable solution for ordinary Batswana. It’s more appropriate for entrepreneurs and wealthy individuals who have made poor investment decisions.

Compounding the steep costs associated with filing for bankruptcy is the time it takes to be deemed financially rehabilitated. In Botswana, it can take up to 10 years for the blemish of bankruptcy to be expunged from a credit record.

Over that time, applying for traditional loans is difficult and expensive. That leaves the ordinary person in Gaborone or Francistown with very little room to wriggle when it comes to covering the costs of emergency medical or dental procedures, car repairs or other urgent bills.

How to cope with unforeseen expenses

Do you have one or more valuable assets but need cash to tide you over? It can be difficult to secure a bank loan, especially if you have existing debt or have filed for bankruptcy in Botswana.

At lamna Botswana, we offer fast, discreet loans against the value of a wide range of assets, from luxury watches and jewellery to vehicles or valuable works of art.

For more information about using an asset to secure a short-term loan, contact us on 71 388 088 or simply complete and submit our online application form.

Complete our Online Application Form