The enforcement of foreign judgments in Italy is possible by means of the applicable EU legislation and other bilateral treaties and conventions. As far as court decision issued in another member state are concerned, the EU regulations will apply in Italy without any express need for an implementation regulation. This means that the case will be enforced automatically in Italy, as it is possible across the other EU states. The competent court in the district where the debtors are based will be the one to handle the case.
The recognition of an EU court decision in Italy can take place as per a European Small Claims Procedure or a European Payment Order. One of our agents who specialize in debt collection in Italy can advise individuals who wish to recover debts from an Italian natural or legal person on the most suitable approach for each case.
In most situations, a European Payment Order will determine the debtor to comply with the payment claim. However, when he does not make the payment after this step, then the creditor is allowed to request the aid of the local enforcement authorities. Our agents can assist creditors in this situation. Below, we discuss the main manners in which an EU Court Decision can be recognized and enforced in Italy, as well as the general steps that are used for debt recovery in Italy, which at the very beginning of the process may involve non-legal procedures.
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The European Order for Payment Proceedings
The European Order for Payment Proceedings is used in case of an uncontested commercial and civil claims between two parties based in EU member states. When the order is enforced in Italy, the debtor is an Italian company or individual and the creditor can be a company based in another EU state.
The process of obtaining the order is a simple one, and can be outlined as below:
- File a claim: the creditor needs to complete a standard form and submit it to court.
- Wait for a response: the debtor has thirty days to offer a response or contest the order.
- Transfer the case: this is only applicable when the debtor contests the order; then it is transferred to an ordinary civil court in Italy.
- Enforce the case: if the debtor does not respond in thirty days, the order becomes enforceable.
- Recover the debt: with an enforceable instrument, the creditors can commence the enforcement process and the seizure of assets.
One of our agents who specialize in debt collection in Italy can give you more information about these steps.
A foreign creditor can also file a claim against an Italian individual or business as per the European Small Claims Procedure when the value of the claim does not exceed 5,000 euros. The claim once filled in and with the supporting documentation attached can be sent to the competent court in Italy.
The EU Regulation 2015/2421, also known as the European Small Claims Procedure, and the Brussels I Regulation (Recast) are two important legal resources for the mutual enforcement and recognition of judgments between EU member states. One of our debt collection lawyers in Italy can provide interested individuals with comprehensive information about the EU legislation.
Debt collection in Italy
Debt collection in Italy can also be attempted out of court in most cases. Below, we summarize the main steps a debt collection case can go through, steps that include both situations, non-judicial and judicial collection:
- First demand: this is the first amicable attempt to contact the debtor and inform him of the unpaid amount.
- Second notification: should the debtor remain unresponsive, a team of debt collection agents can send the second demand.
- The payment arrangement: in an attempt to provide a solution for the debtor, a payment arrangement can be negotiated.
- Notice of legal proceedings: the team can announce the start of the legal proceedings; in some cases, the debtor will make the payment at this stage.
- Order for payment: the creditor submits a claim with the competent Italian court for payment proceedings.
- Enforcement: when the ordinary civil proceedings have ended in favor of the creditor, he receives an enforcement instrument that will be used for the seizure of assets.
The enforcement of a court decision in Italy will take place with the assistance of a bailiff who will be the one who will implement the enforcement order. The seizure of assets can take place for both movable and immovable assets.
The recognition of an EU Court Decision in Italy is granted through the EU legislation. Contact us for more information about debt collection in Italy and how our team can assist you when recovering debts.