Recovering debts in foreign countries might seem like a daunting task, but it’s entirely possible, thanks to a framework of international laws and regulations specifically designed for international debt collection. With the rise of globalization and the subsequent increase in cross-border transactions, encountering difficulties in receiving payments from debtors based abroad has become a common issue.
However, the key to recovering foreign debts efficiently lies in proactive measures and assuming the possibility of non-payment and protecting oneself accordingly.
Methods of International Debt Collection
When it comes to international debt recovery, two primary methods can be pursued based on the unique circumstances of each case:
Out-of-Court International Debt Collection
Before resorting to legal action, attempts can be made to recover debts through extrajudicial means. This approach involves sending pre-action letters to the foreign debtor, aiming to resolve the debt amicably. It provides an opportunity for the debtor to voluntarily repay the debt, potentially through installments or negotiated settlements, preserving relationships for potential future collaborations.
International Debt Collection in the Courtroom
Opting for judicial means involves several pathways based on factors such as the contract type, debt amount, debtor’s country, court location, and applicable law. This route requires thorough understanding and adherence to the legal and commercial norms in the debtor’s country, conducting an asset check, and assessing the feasibility of debt recovery through court orders.
International Debt Collection in Legal Procedures
Within Europe, various procedures exist to facilitate the collection of debts in different member states:
European Payment Order Procedure
The European Payment Order Procedure enables obtaining a payment order valid across European countries (excluding Denmark) to streamline cross-border debt litigation for uncontested claims, although the debtor has the right to object within 30 days.
European Enforcement Order for Uncontested Claims
The European Enforcement Order for Uncontested Claims allows the free movement of judicial decisions among EU member states for uncontested claims without additional recognition procedures.
Procedure for the European Bank Account Preservation Order
The European Bank Account Preservation Order (EAPO) is a legal procedure designed to protect a debtor’s bank account in situations where there is an urgent threat to debt recovery. This process is particularly relevant in cross-border cases within the European Union (EU), where a creditor seeks to preserve funds in a debtor’s bank account to ensure the eventual satisfaction of a debt.
European Small Claims Procedure
The European Small Claims Procedure is a legal framework designed to simplify and expedite the resolution of cross-border disputes involving relatively small amounts of money within the EU. This procedure specifically applies to disputes with a monetary value below €5,000.
Considerations for Debt Collection
The choice of court and applicable law varies across legal systems, affecting the creditor’s position differently in different countries or regions. Regulations such as the Hague Convention, Rome Convention, and Rome I Regulation govern aspects of international contracts and their enforcement.
To navigate the complexities of international debt collection, seeking professional assistance from international debt collection law firms is often indispensable. These experts possess the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure a smoother recovery process, safeguarding the interests of those owed.