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Enforcement of a Court Decision in Italy

Enforcement of a Court Decision in Italy

In debt collection cases, the creditor who has yet received his payment may ask that the court enforces that decision for the payment. This is a measure that should be used by complying with the judgment issued against the debtor and it takes place according to the national legislation, rules, and regulations.

Our agents who specialize in debt collection in Italy can help entrepreneurs who need to execute a court judgment. In cross border debt collection cases, our specialists can provide adequate information on the different European procedures that can apply, depending on the nature of the case. In most situations, when the debtor has assets in Italy, the local rules for enforcement will apply and this is when our agents can provide you with adequate assistance. 

What is the enforcement procedure in Italy?

Like in other states, the enforcement of a court decision in Italy takes place when a court judgment needs to be forcedly executed. This is a stage when the process is still under judicial proceedings and the authorities in Italy intervene if the debtor fails to meet his already indicated obligations in a timely manner.

Ordinary courts in Italy may handle the enforcement in Italy. The process includes the following stages:

  • Obtaining the enforceable title: this is the right to enforce the execution of a certain amount, depending on the title.
  • The debtor is served the enforceable title: this is the enforceable copy and the enforcement order, an injunction on the debtor to comply.
  • Attachment: this phase is handled by the bailiff and it takes place within 90 days of the date the enforcement order was served.
  • Forced execution: the aim is to go through with the forced execution of the unfulfilled obligations by the debtor at the end of the phase.

What types of assets are subject to enforcement?

The debtor may be forced to deliver both movable and immovable property during this stage. This can mean that he might be expropriated. The assets owned by him, kept on the premises of third parties, may also be executed. The shares that he owns in companies can also be subject to this procedure.

What are the limitations of enforcement in Italy?

Although there are many categories of movable and immovable property that can be attached, the following cannot be subject to this process:

  • Sacred objects: includes objects and items that are used for practicing a certain religion
  • Certain objects: household items, décor items, clothes, wedding rings, electronics; these do not include furniture with exceptional value.
  • Food: the foodstuffs and fuel the debtor and his dependents need in order to sustain themselves for one month.
  • Other items: included here are weapons, decorations, manuscripts, letters, records, etc.
  • Certain types of property: non-disposable assets owned by the state, state-owned buildings, religious buildings cannot be subject to attachment.

One of our debt collection lawyers in Italy can give you more information about the types of movable and immovable property that may be attached and those objects or assets which cannot be subject to this procedure. If you need debt collection services in other countries, such as the Netherlands, we can put you in touch with our local partners.

Individuals interested in collecting debt in Italy should keep in mind that the enforcement of a court decision cannot take place if the limitation period of the claim has expired. These limitation deadlines depend on the case. A claim established through a court judgment can have a limitation period of ten years, however, it may be subject to a shorter timeframe.

Having an enforceable title is a mandatory and a sufficient condition to commence the enforcement action. These titles can be judicial and extra-judicial ones, with the first category being issued by means of a court order. Extra-judicial ones refer to debt instruments, public deeds, and other authenticated private deeds. Individuals interested in debt recovery in Italy through judicial or extra-judicial titles can reach out to one of our agents for complete information.

The enforcement of EU judgments in Italy is governed by the Recast Brussels Regulation along with other regulations currently in force. Non-EU judgments are subject to enforcement according to the International Private Law, which states that for a foreign judgment to be recognized, it must comply with the applicable requirements of the judicial system in Italy. In some situations, the enforcement can be that of an arbitral award and for this purpose, the court is generally required to review this award and grant a declaration. 

Contact our team of agents who specialize in debt collection in Italy for complete details about how we can assist during the enforcement action.