Debt Collection Italy
Debt Collection in Italy can be a challenge for international oriented companies. Successful Debt Recovery in Italy requires extensive knowledge of the Italian culture, language and regulations. It does happen that debtors do not pay on time. What is your best option when faced with default by a Italian customer?
Content on this page:
When you do business in Italy and your customer does not pay within the set deadline for payment, you can send a demand for payment. It is important that this is done both in writing and by telephone. If your customer does not respond to the demand(s), you can assign your claims to Collections in Europe.
Collections in Europe handles Italian collections using an Italian lawyer and an attorney. They have perfect command of the language and a thorough knowledge of Italian law, regulation, and culture. Since our Italian employees speak fluent Italian and English, you can discuss your issues with them.
A. Extrajudicial collections
After your claim is transferred Collections in Europe will demand payment in writing and by telephone. Generally speaking, a demand for payment by a lawyer is taken very seriously in Italy. When a debtor does not pay within the set deadline, we can advise you further. Since Collections in Europe has handled the case right from the start, legal action can be instituted quickly.
B. Court-ordered collections
Italy has two options for legal action against debtors: a quick order compelling payment or a thorough action on the merits. In is possible to execute a claim based on an enforceable order, such as an order compelling payment (“Decreto ingiuntivo”) or a judgment.
Decreto Ingiuntivo (order compelling payment)
The order compelling payment allows for asking the court for execution by anticipation. The debtor then has forty days to raise a defense against the order. When a defense is raised, an action on the merits starts automatically. When the court does grant execution by anticipation, Collections in Europe will continue the enforcement proceedings. This can freeze the debtor’s property until the action on the merits is concluded.
Action on the merits
When a civil case (such as one involving damages, insurance, or contract) is substantively more complicated than a collections case, Italy will use an action on the merits (or, ‘Processo ordinario di cognizione’). This is also used in complex collections cases. Since the court carries out a substantive review of the case during its sessions, these are expensive proceedings and take longer.
A court can permit prejudgment attachment until such time as final judgment is pronounced. To do so, the following rules must be met: presumption of sufficient legal basis (fumus boni iuris) and the danger of loss of collateral from any delay (periculum in mora). These two requirements are difficult to prove, which means that prejudgment attachment will not easily be permitted. The ultimate purpose of prejudgment attachment is to provide the creditor with some guarantee that the debtor’s property will not disappear.
Petition for bankruptcy
Bankruptcy proceedings are allowed only after an enforceable judgment is obtained (such as a judgment or an order).
Would you like more information about collections or bringing legal action in Italy? Fill out the contact form or call us: +44 (0)20 3808 5878.
Click here to upload your claim to us.