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Debt collection in Austria

Debt Collection in Austria

Updated on Wednesday 24th April 2019

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debt-collection-in-austria.jpgDebt collection is the set of practices used to recover longstanding overdue payments from various parties.

It is known that due to the international economic context, numerous enterprises from Austria and not only are faced with the impossibility to pay their debts to the suppliers and creditors.

In order to recover them, the claimants must follow specific steps starting with the notification of the debtor within 10 days after the payment deadline. If the Austrian company is not paying, a phone call can be made in other 10 days from the notification. At this point, many companies are paying their debts.

If this method doesn’t have a satisfying result, a debt collection agency is then contacted, usually no later than six weeks from issuing the invoice.

Our team of lawyers in Austria can help you in all cases involving commercial debt collection. With adequate legal representation, you can follow the steps for contacting the debtor and, as a last resort, initiate the court proceedings in order to recover any outstanding payments.

How to recover the debt in Austria

 

Local debt collection in Austria is a multi-step process that starts with a common notification and can escalate to more complex procedures if the debtor still refuses or is unable to pay. The process will usually start with out-of-court processes. These can include:
 
  1. Contact the debtor: an initial amicable notification is usually the first step for recovering debts in Austria.
  2. Have a meeting with the debtor: our team of attorneys in Austria can help represent you during a face-to-face meeting with the debtor.
  3. A formal letter of demand: the formal letter of demand is usually the last amicable action and it clearly states the intentions to take the case to court should the debtor refuse to pay;
  4. Court proceedings: if the debtor refuses to pay, you have the right to take the case to an Austrian court; special assistance can be provided by our lawyers in case of inter-state debts.

Hiring a debt collection agency is usually advantageous mostly because these agencies are not paid if the claimant is not recovering its pending amount of cash from the indebted and are usually paid with a percentage of these amounts.

The methods used by the agency are usually not different from those used by the claimant, but many debtors are paying their debts once the situation becomes official. Usually, the debt collection agencies have the following responsibilities:

- sending official announcements to the debtor,

- fulfilling all the necessary claims before a trial,

- representation during the trial,

- taking all the steps necessary for the enforcement of the decision taken by the court.

Usually, the claimants agree with the debtors to pay their debts in installments or in full after a period of time before a judicial procedure is raised against them.

Procedures for debt collection in court

 

If the previous methods are not working, the claimants are advised to start the court proceedings by empowering the debt collection agency to pursue or initialize the actions at the Commercial Court.

The average waiting time for a decision in such a case is six weeks if the debtor is not contesting the claim. If the debtor is contesting the decision, an appeal can be raised in the Supreme Court and the period of time until the final decision is raised with another six weeks.

The enforcement procedure may start if the court takes this decision. For accomplishing it, a bailiff is informing the debtor regarding the decision and tries to get all the information regarding the debtors’ assets that can be auctioned, if there are not sufficient funds to cover all the claims. The debtor’s property is seized if necessary (if the claim was not paid) and its assets are offered in a public auction in the attempt to cover the claims.

All the creditor’s claims are paid in the order of their deposit.

For more details about the procedures of debt collection, you may contact our lawyers in Austria.