Debt Collection Procedure in Slovakia
In order to recover outstanding claims in Slovakia, the creditors usually face the need of hiring a debt collection agency or a law firm specialized in these types of cases. Our team of debt collection lawyers in Slovakia can represent parties involved in debt collection cases; our clients can rely on the wide experience of our lawyers in debt collection procedures related to commercial or civil matters.
Debt collection can be concluded through various methods – the amicable procedure, through which the parties resolve their financial issues outside the court, and the legal procedure, where the court representatives will handle the case. Local courts can assist in the recovery of debts for civil, commercial or criminal matters.
The amicable debt procedure in Slovakia
The amicable procedure refers to a method through which the parties will reach a resolution without any legal consequences. This means that the party that needs to recover a debt will contact the debtor (by telephone, e-mail and other similar ways) and let him or her know that a liability is registered on his or her name. In the notification are stipulated the name of the creditor and the address where the claim can be deposited and the consequences of not submitting it on time. Our lawyers in Slovakia have an extensive experience in debt recovery cases and can provide you with assistance during the entire debt collection procedure, from the amicable phase to the legal stage.
How is the court debt collection completed in Slovakia?
In the case in which the amicable procedure did not offer any results, the creditor has the legal right of solving the case in a Slovak court. Thus, the legal procedure can be commenced. If not, the legal actions are handled by the District Court of the debtor.
In order to start the court trial, it is necessary to deposit a set of documents attesting the validity of the debt, which will be submitted to the court that will handle the case. Some of the documents that need to be deposited are the following: an export from the Trade Register, copies of the overdue invoices, shipping documents signed by the indebted and a statement showing the current status of the accounts or the original power of attorney investing the lawyer to represent the creditor.
The legal dunning procedure can be applied only if the monetary funds of the indebted can be found and if the judgment can be delivered in Slovakia. A legal dunning procedure in Slovakia usually takes around 3-6 months. An appeal can be raised against the initial decision but no later than 15 days after receiving the judgment. As a result, the legal dunning procedure is transformed into a regular lawsuit. Our debt collection lawyers in Slovakia can assist natural persons and legal entities in a wide range of litigation cases.
The process of a regular lawsuit can be initiated after the amicable procedure or after the result of the legal dunning procedure are contested by the debtor. The judge will start by appointing a hearing where both sides are present and can defend their cases. The judge will take a decision and that decision is communicated in writing to the parties involved in the process.
It’s not advisable to reach this point, as the process may take up to 12 months depending on the complexity of the case and the availability of the judges and lawyers. Also, the costs of this process are higher and in the first instance they must be supported by the claimants.
In the case in which the parties involved in a debt collection case in Slovakia are residents of the European Union (EU) member states, the legal proceedings can be concluded through the European Order for Payment Proceedings, which is issued by the court at the request of the creditor, who must submit a standard form with the local court for the issuance of this document.
Once the document is issued and sent to the debtor, the respective entity has a 30 days period in which he or she can appeal the debt. Our team of debt collection lawyers in Slovakia can offer more information on the legal proceedings involving two EU entities.
Can debt collection in Slovakia be performed electronically?
Yes, debt collection in Slovakia can also be resolved through the online environment. This is assured under a new legal framework – the Act No. 307/2016 Coll. on Electronic Debt Collection. The legislation regarding the recovery of debts in Slovakia became applicable in this country starting with 1st of February 2017 and it was created with the purpose of reducing the legal procedures involved in this case, but also to assist creditors in recovering their debts in a faster manner. Some of the main advantages of this rule of law are the following:
- the online debt recovery procedure in Slovakia can only be concluded through a single court;
- the main court appointed to handle this procedure is the District Court of Banska Bystrica;
- in order to commence the online debt recovery, the creditor must provide the necessary documents that attest the existence of the debt;
- after this, the court will start the judicial action, by issuing an electronic form;
- based on the documents attesting the existence of the debt, the court will issue the electronic form in a period of maximum 10 days;
- the electronic form will be sent to the debtor, together with the documents which prove that he or she has to pay a specific amount of money to the creditor.
Once the debtor has received the electronic documents, he or she is legally entitled to appeal the decision regarding the payment of the debt. Our team of debt collection lawyers in Slovakia can provide further information on other procedures that apply during the electronic debt collection.
This new manner of recovering a debt in Slovakia provides a set of advantages. For example, the creditor can benefit from a relevant reduction of the court fee, which is normally imposed at a maximum value of 6% of the value of the claim. When selecting the electronic debt collection in Slovakia, the creditor can obtain a 50% reduction on the fee. Thus, the maximum value of the fee can be of up to 3% of the value of the claim.
Another benefit of this debt collection option is that the procedure itself has fewer administrative procedures, as generally speaking, it represents a straightforward legal action, comprised by the electronic form and the documents attesting the outstanding claim. As prescribed by the provisions of the Electronic Debt Collection Act, the creditor is required to provide only few documents, thus the procedure can be started quickly. The electronic debt collection in Slovakia is a suitable option, since it can be commenced and completed much faster than in the case of the conventional court procedure.
How long does it take to recover a debt in Slovakia?
Parties that are involved in a debt collection case in Slovakia should know that the legal procedures available here are generally very efficient. The amount of time that is spent on a debt collection case depends on the nature of the claim, the possibility of the creditor to provide the necessary documents that attest the existence of the debt, the response of the debtor and others.
However, as a general rule, debt collection cases can be completed in a period of three to six months, but in the case in which the parties will start a lawsuit, the case can be completed in a period of one year or more, this also being influenced by the complexity of the case.
The usual court fees don’t exceed 6% of the disputed amount. The lawyer’s fees may vary from 3% to 6% of the outstanding liability. More information regarding the procedure of debt collection in Slovakia can be offered by our lawyers. Please contact our team of attorneys for advice and legal representation in front of a local court.