At Radkiewicz Lawyers Poland, we provide debt collection services throughout Poland. One of the debt collections tools used by our debt collectors is business intelligence which allows us to search for debtors’ hidden assets. In order to enhance the debt collection process, we submit the information on debtors’ liabilities to business information bureaus.
Debt recovery – how to do it?
What is debt recovery? When running a business, it is important to remember to properly manage overdue payments and debt. Under Polish law, such management is important as there are different limitation periods depending on the type of liability and its source. It is therefore crucial to understand what the limitation period on our debt is in order to take timely action to recover it while it is not yet time-barred. The process of debt recovery can begin with amicable negotiations and, if these fail to produce the desired outcome, debt collection steps in. Regardless of whether you attempt to resolve a dispute amicably or decide to go to court, it is advisable to seek professional advice from lawyers with the expertise and experience in debt recovery.
Types of debt collection procedures in Poland
Debt collection in Poland may take the form of an amicable debt collection procedure or a coercive procedure, i.e. a court action. Recovering a debt in Poland is often done through the courts. If both the creditor and the debtor are entrepreneurs, the proceedings will be conducted in a special commercial mode. If you have an unpaid invoice, you may use the ‘writ of payment procedure’ provided for in the Civil Procedure Code. Under this debt collection procedure, the court will issue an order of payment against the debtor, entitling you to recover the debt. However, such an order may be revoked if the debtor successfully files an objection. Once a payment order or a judgement has been issued in your favour, the next step while recovering a debt in Poland is to obtain an enforcement warrant from the court and to contact a bailiff. The bailiff is vested with all the necessary powers to enforce your debt.
Debt recovery Poland – judicial proceedings
Radkiewicz Lawyers Poland provides legal representation across Poland before common and administrative courts, the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Tribunal and arbitration courts. To the extent possible, our debt collection firm strives to bring disputes to resolution through mediation or conciliation. We apply to the court for interim injunctions, in particular if the lack of security would prevent or seriously impede the enforcement of the decision made in the case. We notify the receiver in bankruptcy of the claims of our clients who wish to participate in insolvency proceedings.
Debt collection Poland – enforcement proceedings
After obtaining an enforcement order (tytuł egzekucyjny) (e.g. a judgement), we request the court to append it with the enforcement warrant (klauzula wykonalności). In enforcement proceedings, Radkiewicz Lawyers Poland cooperates with bailiffs and detectives operating throughout Poland. To ensure effective debt recovery in Poland, we supervise the proper conduct of the enforcement process.
Debt recovery from a married debtor
It should be emphasised that the enforcement title (tytuł wykonawczy) (i.e. an execution title appended with the enforcement warrant) issued against a married debtor provides grounds for the enforcement not only from the debtor’s personal property, but also from the debtor’s remuneration or income earned from other gainful activities. The conclusion of a marital agreement by virtue of which the marital property is extended, does not prevent enforcement from the assets which would have belonged to the debtor’s personal property had such marital agreement not been concluded.
Searching for the debtor’s assets
Please note that in the case of enforcement from common property held jointly by partners to a civil law partnership, an application is made for an execution title to be issued against all partners. On behalf of our clients, we apply to bailiffs for the initiation of enforcement and, if necessary, we also request bailiffs to search for the debtor’s assets. Depending on the circumstances, our debt recovery firm requests the collection of cash receivables from the debtor’s movables, remuneration for work, bank accounts, amounts due, other proprietary rights, as well as real estate. In the case of real estate enforcement process, we supervise it at each stage, starting from the seizure, through the inventory and valuation, bidding, acceptance of a bid, adjudication of the ownership title, and ending with the distribution of the amount obtained from the enforcement. Where relevant, in the course of enforcement proceedings, we apply for recovery from the assets of the debtor’s business enterprise, as well as compulsory administration or sale of such enterprise.
To ensure effective debt recovery in Poland, we also submit motions for a court-ordered disclosure of the debtor’s assets (i.e. submission of an inventory of such assets, listing all property items and their location, as well as all of the debtor’s receivables and other proprietary rights), especially if the debtor’s assets seized in the enforcement proceedings are not likely to satisfy the debt subject to recovery.
Enforcement of claims against board members of a limited liability company
If the enforcement against a limited liability company proves ineffective, Radkiewicz Lawyers Poland conducts debt collection on behalf of its clients against management board members who are jointly and severally liable for the company’s debts. However, a member of the management board may be discharged of the liability for the debts of a limited liability company, especially if:
- such member has filed for bankruptcy in due course;
- such member is not at fault for failing to file for bankruptcy;
- no damage has been suffered by the creditor despite the board member’s failure to file for bankruptcy.
Collection of debts – actio pauliana (fraudulent conveyance claim)
In order to challenge the debtor’s legal transaction undertaken to the detriment of our clients (creditors) and have it declared void, our debt collection firm takes recourse to the so-called actio pauliana (fraudulent conveyance claim) against the third party that has obtained financial gain as a result of such transaction. In such a situation, each of the creditors may request that the transaction be declared void in relation to them if the debtor was aware of the detrimental effect of such transaction on the creditors, and the third party was aware, or – with due diligence – could have become aware of such effect. However, where a third party has disposed of the gain, we proceed, on behalf of the creditors, with recovery directly against the person in whose favour the gain has been transferred, provided that such person was aware of the circumstances justifying the declaration of the debtor’s transaction void or the gain was transferred free of charge.
It should be emphasised that a debtor’s legal transaction is undertaken to the detriment of creditors if, as a result of such transaction, the debtor has become insolvent or has become insolvent to a higher extent than before the transaction was undertaken. If, as a result of the debtor’s legal transaction undertaken to the detriment of the creditors, the financial gain is obtained by a person remaining in a close relationship with the debtor, such person is deemed to have been aware of the fact that the debtor knowingly acted to the detriment of the creditors. The above presumption also applies if, as a result of the debtor’s legal transaction undertaken to the detriment of the creditors, a financial gain is obtained by an entrepreneur maintaining regular business relations with the debtor.
In addition, if, as a result of the debtor’s legal transaction undertaken to the detriment of the creditors, a financial gain is obtained by a third party free of charge, the creditor may request that such transaction be declared void, even if the third party was not aware of the fact that the debtor knowingly acted to the detriment of the creditors and could not have become aware of such fact, even with due diligence. If, at the time of the donation, the debtor was insolvent, they are deemed to have knowingly acted to the detriment of the creditors. That is also the case if the debtor has become insolvent as a result of the donation.
Similarly, such presumption applies if the debtor acted with an intention to harm future creditors. However, if a third party has obtained a financial gain for consideration, the creditor may only claim that the transaction be declared void if the third party was aware of the debtor’s intention.
It should be emphasised that the creditor in respect of whom the debtor’s legal transaction is declared void may, with priority over the third party’s creditors, seek satisfaction from the assets which, as a result of the transaction declared void, had been transferred out of – or never became part of – the debtor’s property. The third party that has obtained the financial gain as a result of the debtor’s legal transaction carried out to the detriment of the creditors may be released from meeting the demand of the creditor requesting that the transaction be declared void if such third party satisfies the creditor or indicates to the creditor the assets of the debtor sufficient to satisfy the creditor’s claims.
Debt recovery – Warsaw, Poland
If you require advice on debt collection, please get in touch. At Radkiewicz Lawyers Poland, we handle debt collection cases for our clients across Poland, both through amicable means and in court. We cooperate with detectives and bailiffs from all over Poland which considerably facilitates the search for debtors’ assets. Our lawyers have the knowledge and experience necessary to conduct debt collection in a professional manner.
Radkiewicz Lawyers Poland assists its clients in the collection of all debts. To this end, we conduct settlement negotiations, participate in court proceedings and enforcement proceedings. Moreover, thanks to our cooperation with detectives, we undertake searches for the debtors’ hidden assets. Depending on the individual situation of the client, we may also undertake other measures aimed at an effective recovery of the entire debt (e.g. by requesting marital property separation and a division of assets). Our headquarters are located in Warsaw at 59 Złota Street. To contact us by phone, please call: +48 22 489 52 65.
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+48 22 489 52 65