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Question: I am from France, acting in the name of my partner’s company, and I need to collect a debt from Romania. Can your law firm in Romania help me?
Answer: Because of the erratic business climate in Romania, the debt recovery procedure became a major chapter of our daily activity. Our team of lawyers in Bucharest is highly skilled in recovering debts from physical persons and legal entities, Romanian or foreign. Since we are thoroughly familiar with this field, we always manage to develop efficient mechanisms for debt recovery instances.
We provide professional legal assistance consisting in: drafting notices, summons for payment procedures, forced execution procedures etc. Before initiating any legal actions, one of our lawyers in Romania will make every effort to amicably recover the debt.
No matter the country or activation field of a company, the recovery process of a debt can be a serious issue. Still, the pressure of the Romanian justice system could be added to this process, as the lack of understanding for the protections that creditors have in this country.
On the other hand, the legal system in Romania provides some fast procedures for debt collections for small amounts.
When a debtor has exceeded the due day of a payment, the creditor can proceed in court for the recovery of the amount owed from the debtor, with a three-year statute limitation. In addition, if applicable, the creditor can use the insolvency procedure from Law 85/2006. A debt collection agency in Romania can provide the needed assistance.
Our team of lawyers in Romania can provide more information about these relevant laws, as needed.
Question: I need to recover a debt from Romania, what options do I have?
Answer: According to Romanian legal provisions, there are three major possibilities of debt recovery. Our lawyers present these below.
1. Debt Collection Romania – Summons for payment
The summons for payment procedure is a specific phase in the Romanian debt recovery process which requires explicit documents that can prove the debts (without penalties). According to law, the documents should be signed by the debtor. If possible, the documents should be also stamped by the debtor.
If all these conditions are met, the complaint shall be immediately judged. In this procedure, an irrevocable and final decision shall be obtained in maximum four months. The documents required by law are: invoices, orders, account files or any other written document proving the concerned amount of money. Our lawyers in Romania can help prepare the needed documents.
2. Debt Recovery Romania – Common Law Procedure
If there are no documents signed and/or stamped by the debtor, then we have to use the common law procedure.The disadvantage of this procedure is that it takes a relatively long time; an irrevocable and final decision can be obtained in approx. 10 months (5 terms). If you choose this option, our Romanian lawyers can assist you.
Also, this procedure is much more expensive. In this procedure we can use any proofs. According to debt recovery Romania stipulations, this procedure includes: prior conciliation procedure – mandatory according to Romanian legislation, in this procedure – (drafting notification, negotiations, etc.), drafting, filing and representation in front of the Court.
For this procedure, according to debt collection Bucharest department, the stamp duty for the Romanian state shall be about 8% of the total amount.
Our team of lawyers provide services offered by a debt collection agency Romania and can assist you with this procedure.
The petition for the common debt recovery procedure must be filed at the court that is competent to judge on the merits of the case, this being established by the general competence rules. In Romania, the lowest court is Judecatoria, which has the material competence for claims up to 45.000 euro. The Tribunal will judge the cases in which the amount goes higher than 45.000 euro. In addition, the territorial competence is where the headquarters of the defendant is established. Still, this procedure has some costs according to the value of the claim, as shown below:
up to of 500 RON – 8% (not less than 20 RON)
- 501 RON to 5,000 RON – 40 RON + 7% for the amount over 500 RON
5.001 RON to 25,000 RON – 355 RON + 5% for the amount over 5.000 RON
- 25.001 RON to 50,000 RON – 1.355 RON + 3% for the amount over 25.000 RON
- 50.001 RON to 250,000 RON – 2.105 RON 2% for the amount over 50.000 RON
- More than 250.000 RON – 6.105 RON + 1% for the amount over 250.000 RON.
After 30 days from the date that the court communicated its decision, the parties can submit an appeal at the Tribunal, and also, after 30 days after the new decision has been communicated by the court (recurs) the parties can file a last appeal. Still, the party that wants to file the second appeal (recurs) must be accompanied by a legal adviser or lawyer, such as one of our Romanian lawyers.
Recovering debts from people that you cannot reason with might be frustrating, time consuming and hard, therefore asking for legal advice will help you go through the process easier and faster. Do not hesitate to contact our debt collection lawyers in Bucharest for more information and to access our services that are the same as those offered by a debt collection agency Romania.
3. Insolvency procedure
If the debtor is presumed bankrupt (the last payment is due to pay for more than 30 days), we could start the insolvency procedure. Bankruptcy involves basically the same procedure as for summons for payment, but it can take longer, because the court must appoint a Liquidator. The Liquidator is the person appointed to prepare documents for liquidation of the company.
According to debt collection Romania procedures, the documentation includes inventory and balance sheet liquidation, stating the exact status of assets and liabilities of the Company. So all these operations may restrict and lead the Court to analyze the company’s status of insolvency for a longer period of time.
The Liquidator is obliged to receive and keep the company’s records, which have been entrusted by the administrators, and all the company’s documents.
This procedure in Court takes between 6 and 12 months and sometimes it can extend to over 18 moths. Our attorneys in Romania can assist throughout in the same way as a debt collection agency in Romania would.
We invite you to watch a video on debt collection:
AMICABLE DEBT RECOVERY
In most cases, creditors will prefer to appeal to amicable debt recovery, based on negotiating with the debtor and establishing a payment plan, whenever possible. This can be the first stage in any debt collection process in Romania and it has the advantage that, if successful, it can save the time and the costs needed to take the case to court and commence the forced execution. This method is preferable for both the creditor and the debtor.
When working with our team, much as any debt collection agency in Romania, we will recommend starting with amicable debt recovery.
Below, our Romanian lawyers highlight the main steps that are taken during this initial stage:
- first contact: this is done by telephone to let the debtor know that our team has taken over the case and wishes to commence the process in an amicable manner;
- email follow up: should the initial telephone contact produce no effect, or of the debtor refuses to answer/is unreachable, our team will proceed with a written notification send via email;
- formal notification: this is a stage in which the payment notification in formally sent in written form to the debtor’s registered address.
- skip tracing: a term used by debt collectors for the phase that involved actually tracing the debtor when he is unreachable (failed to answer or return any of the calls or email); our agents will trace the debtor by using public resources.
The information that is publicly available and that can be used to trade down the debtor includes credit reports, loan applications, job applications, utility bills and others. If none of these methods produce results, the debt collector will proceed further to calling references.
The amicable debt collection phase can also include visiting the debtor at his registered office or secondary office in Bucharest or in the country in an attempt to discuss the manner in person. Our attorneys in Romania can help during this process by acting as formal legal representatives for the creditor. One of our lawyers will thus take over the case and meet the debtor to negotiate and, when successful, lay out the final terms for the payment.
Amicable debt recovery has not only the advantage that it is less expensive compared to legal proceedings, it also has a lower overall impact on the business in terms of image. The negotiator, who can be one of our lawyers on your behalf, maintains a professional image when discussing the terms of the payment with the debtor company’s representative.
Forced execution procedure
After obtaining an irrevocable and enforceable decision, we begin forced execution. Judicial executor’s (bailiff’s) fees are about 3% for the total amounts.
The procedure of force execution can take six months.
If the debtor is outside Bucharest, the experts at our Romanian law firm can represent the client in front of the Court.
*Data from the section above are in accordance with the legislation in force, but serve strictly as informative. You can reach out to our lawyers for complete services offered in accordance to law and the update procedures and feel. Upon an initial consultation, our team will be able to provide you with personalized information on the debt collection process in your case.
Our fee for all these procedures can vary depending on the amounts disputed. A success fee may be added to the final costs depending on the difficulty and the duration of the dispute. The fee includes: pre-negotiation phase (drafting notices, negotiations, etc.), filing and representation in front of the Court.
Our team, working as an experienced debt collection agency in Romania, can help national and foreign entrepreneurs who are in the unfavorable position of having to take legal action against undue payments. The process is not always a fast one, especially in cases in which the debtor has filed for insolvency or when the negotiations do not yield the immediate expected results. Working with our team of lawyers in Romania who specialize in debt collection is useful particularly because we can provide assistance should the amicable phase be insufficient.
DEBT COLLECTION BASED ON BREACH OF CONTRACT
The creditor is able to file for a debt collection claim based ion breach of contract in most cases – this means that this action is based on the fact that the debtor breached the agreed contractual terms for payment. The following elements presented by our lawyers are relevant in this case:
- proof of agreement: the parties mush have signed a valid agreement, indicating the terms for the payment; the agreement can also include a clause for this particular case, indicating that the parties may first opt for amicable recovery or arbitration;
- tendered performance: the party has offered to or attempted to perform the contract, thus obligating the other party’s performance.
- clear breach of contract by the defendant: upon entering into the performance of the contract, the debtor/defendant has clearly breached the terms;
- damages for the plaintiff: the aforementioned breach of contract has caused the plaintiff to sustain damages.
Proving these issues will constitute an important part of the process and it will be undertaken by our lawyers who work in accordance with the procedures set forth at a debt collection agency in Romania.
Another situation that may arise is when the debtor withholds payment arguing that the services were not provided as agreed, are insufficient or unsatisfactory. In this case, it is important to note that there are several types of breach of contract, with varying degrees of severity:
- Material breach: a key element of the contract is no performed;
- Minor breach: a minor error takes place;
- Anticipatory breach: one party notifies the other that they will not be able to perform one or more elements of the contract;
- Breach: the case in which one party fails to perform altogether as agreed in the contract.
As exemplified above, there are several degrees of severity to a breach of agreement and the contract between the parties can, if drafted in this manner, provide a solution for a reduction of payment in the first three cases. However, in practice, the parties would have to take a forward-looking approach to their business relationship in order to include special stipulations that will indicate the course of action should a material or a minor breach take place, for example. In this case, the agreement (or an annex/additional document) may provide a payment plan and/or a percentage of deduction from the initial payment amount should a minor error take place.
In all cases in which the contract between the parties does not stipulate a payment reduction based on the percentage of fault or the damages incurred by one of the party as a direct result of the errors of the other, our team can provide complete services, as offered by a debt collection agency in Romania, in order to conduct the negotiations between the parties.
Our team can also assist those who are only subject to a temporary withholding of payment base don such a breach, as opposed to a debt that has long surpassed the due date. When the other party notified you that they will withhold the agreed payment because of a type of breach (i.e. an error, inconsistent service, inaccurate products or services, etc.) our team of lawyers can help you during the negotiation phase or, as needed, help you prove that your services were indeed provided as per the contract and that the accusation is unfounded.
Call us now for a free consultation offered by our agents who offer services coincident with a debt collection agency in Romania.