Debt Collection in Italy
Did you know that when dealing with debt collection in Italy, Italian law might be in favour of debtors than creditors? That’s why you can rely on our Italian Desk without wasting any time. From simple debt collection cases to complex legal cases, our native Italian specialists can recover your payment using the most effective strategies. From sending a lettera di messa in mora in the extrajudicial phase to initiating legal proceedings with for example the Procedimento di cognizione ordinaria or Ingiunzione di pagamento, our specialists can assist you throughout the entire debt collection procedure in Italy.
Procedura extragiudiziale: Debt collection in Italy in 7 simple steps without court intervention
- Step 1: Start your debt collection in Italy within 2 minutes. You will be requested to enter your details, your debtor’s details and information regarding your unpaid invoice in Italy. You can do so here.
- Step 2: Your case will be assigned to the most equipped Italian legal specialist, who has the knowledge and experience relating to your industry. We start our investigation by checking international credit reports and local databases such as the Camera di Commercio. This way, we can understand why the invoice was not paid and define our strategy accordingly.
- Step 3: Your Italian case worker will send a lettera di messa in mora, which is a letter of formal notice or demand letter. This will be written in Italian and customised according to your case. The letter will be sent through registered post or registered e-mail (a special e-mail tool available only to Italian companies and that our firm also has in use).
- Step 4: Your Italian case worker will also reach out to you. You will be able to determine how you wish your debtor to be approached and we will adjust our strategy accordingly. Moreover, you can track the status of your case 24/7 through our online portal.
- Step 5: If your Italian debtor fails to respond to the lettera di messa in mora, then we contact your debtor by phone as well. We will speak to your debtors in Italian, which puts them off their guard and avoids any miscommunication.
- Step 6: With our contacts across Italy and network of private detectives, we can also conduct further investigations on your debtor.
- Step 7: 95% of our cases are solved in the extrajudicial phase without court intervention. With the expertise of our native in-house legal specialists and the various resources that we have in store for your Italian debtor, we can collect your claim. If your debtor refuses to pay or disputes the case, we can continue to assist you in the litigation phase in consultation with you. Before doing so, we extensively discuss your options and costs.
Italian-speaking lawyers: Meet our debt collection experts
With our native in-house legal specialists, we can overcome any language or cultural barriers. Our Italian specialists contact your debtors in their native language and are familiar with the Italian business culture. Based on our experience, we’ve seen that this works. Because we adapt our strategy by sending letters drafted in Italian and customising these according to your case, your debtor is more inclined to pay. Your debtor is made aware of all the consequences of non-payment and knows we are able to pursue your case even to court.
Free advice from the best debt collection specialists
No Cure No Pay Debt collection agency in Italy
When dealing with debt collection in Italy, our starting point is to recover your debt without court intervention. We start on a No Cure No Pay basis, whereby we charge €150,- for administrative costs. This allows us to investigate your debtor and act according to the best strategy. Our aim is to collect the interest and costs from you debtor; however, this depends on the amount and complexity of the case. If legal proceedings are necessary, then we agree on a fixed or hourly fee with you in advance. For a full overview, you can view our fees here.
Debt collection laws in Italy
When we take legal action against your Italian debtor, there are several Italian laws and procedures that may apply. The collection procedure that can best be used differs per situation. Our lawyers always look for the best option for your collection case. Depending on the amount of the claim, your claim will either be dealt with in a lower claims court, the Giudice di Pace, or a high court, the Tribunale. Although some proceedings in Italy are now handled digitally, legal proceedings can sometimes still take a very long time. Our Italian lawyers can advise you on which procedure is most suitable for your case.
Procedimento di cognizione ordinaria: Ordinary civil proceedings
If choosing ordinary civil proceedings to solve your debt collection in Italy, then a civil trial will have to be initiated whereby the creditor defends their case in court. With the help of supporting documents, the creditor shows that the Italian debtor is at fault. Ordinary civil proceedings can be a lengthy process, with cases taking more than a year if a debtor does not raise a defence or even longer.
Procedimento sommario di cognizione: Summary proceedings
Another alternative is the summary proceedings. Written and satisfactory proof is often required, while the debtor is also requested to submit a detailed defence. Summary proceedings are often less formal and much shorter than civil proceedings, whereby the judge makes a judgement based on the available documents presented by the parties.
Ingiunzione di pagamento: Payment order
With this procedure, you, as a creditor, have the possibility to ask the court to issue a payment order against your debtor based on written evidence. The debtor then has 40 days to respond or oppose. If the debtor chooses to put forward a defence, proceedings on the merits will automatically be started.
Fallimento: bankruptcy proceedings in Italy
Insolvency proceedings can be initiated depending on the total value of the claim or the value of the assets that are held by the debtor and depending on other criteria that will have to be checked by the interested creditor and confirmed by the competent court as well. The court can then declare the bankruptcy of debtor and officially order to liquidate their assets, while creditors can submit their claims. Bankruptcy proceedings can last several years.
Financial tools to secure payment: promissory notes
Another measure that is commonly used and recognised under Italian law, is the use of promissory notes. This is a legally binding promise of a payment, which binds a debtor to pay its creditor a specific amount within a certain time frame. Our lawyers can tell you more and how it can be applicable to your debt collection in Italy.
Why hire Bierens rather than a regular debt collection agency in Italy?
- Highest collection rate throughout Italy
- Extensive measures to recover your debt in the extrajudicial and judicial phase
- No Cure No Pay debt collection in Italy
- Immediate action after uploading your claim
- 24/7 tracking of your case in our online portal
“Did you know that in Italy, common payment methods include bank transfers, cheques and other financial tools such as promissory notes?”
Debt collection enforcement: seizure of assets
Once we have obtained a court order, your judgement will have to be enforced. A lawyer will have to be involved in drafting and serving a final writ of enforcement to the debtor. If the debtor fails to pay, then assets can be seized through the assistance of a court bailiff. They can seize the following on your behalf:
- Movable property
- Immovable property
- Bank balances
Limitation period in Italy
In most cases, payment claims in Italy have a limitation period of 10 years. This means that once the limitation period expires, you can no longer take legal action against your Italian debtor. However, different limitation periods also exist depending on the type of credit. For example, claims in the transport sector have a limitation period of 1 year while invoices from rental agreements expire after 5 years.
Creditors also have the ability to interrupt the limitation period. In Italy, they can do so by submitting a registered letter to the debtor to notify them of the outstanding amount, an official acknowledgement of the debt by the Italian debtor or by notifying a court order to the debtor. If you would like to know which limitation period applies to your case and what impact this can have on solving your debt collection in Italy, our lawyers can explain more.
International debt collection laws in Italy
Besides having the knowledge and expertise in local debt collection laws in Italy, our team can also assist our clients with international procedures. If you and your debtor are members of the European Union, then we can initiate the European Small Claims or European Order of Payment depending on the amount and complexity of your case.
Start your debt collection in Italy today
Start your debt collection case in Italy today! While our Italian Desk gets started on your case, you can resume your regular business operations. Upload your case for immediate action or contact our experts today.