Debt collection in Italy

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.

Submit your case before 16.00 pm and we will act today!

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.
Submit your case before 16.00pm and we will act today!

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

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  • Fast solutions for your cases
  • Real measures to recover your payments
  • The best results for the lowest costs

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.

No win No fee
Debt collectors in Italy

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.

Enforcement order
Regular proceeding €6000 onwards

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.

Cheque enforcement
Recovering payments from a bankrupt debtor

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.

Using mediation to recover a payment from a contractor

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
Seizure of assets
Summary proceedings

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.

International debt collection

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.

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Free advice from the best debt collection specialists

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  • Fast solutions for your cases
  • Real measures to recover your payments
  • The best results for the lowest costs

Find out how we have helped others with debt collection in Italy

From simple debt collection cases to complex legal matters, from small businesses to multinationals across different industries, our specialists have assisted over 24.000 companies worldwide, including Italy. Find out how our Italian specialists and lawyers have helped other companies in similar situations and find the solution for debt collection in Italy.

Frequently asked questions about debt recovery Italy

How does debt collection work in Italy?

Debt collection in Italy always starts in the extrajudicial phase where we send your debtor demand letters and contact them by phone. If your debtor disputes the claim or fails to respond, then we can proceed by taking legal action.

How will you recover my debt in Italy?

We will always contact your debtor by sending an initial demand letter and a phone call. This way we avoid any form of miscommunication. Our approach is always firm and respectful, and you will always be informed of the status of your case.

What are the costs for debt collection in Italy?

We handle all out-of-court cases on a No Cure No Pay basis, also for debt collection in Italy. You only pay €150,- for administrative costs. We aim to recover the principal amount including interest and costs from your debtor. If you decide to take legal action against your debtor, then we move to an hourly or fixed fee. We do not have any hidden costs and will first consult you before proceeding with any action.

How long does an average debt collection procedure in Italy?

This depends on each situation and debtor. We always start in the amicable debt collection phase. This process takes a relatively short time because we provide your debtor with limited time to complete the payment. Should your debtor fail to respond, then our specialists and lawyers can provide you with an expected outcome or course of action. If legal proceedings are necessary, the debt collection process takes longer. The duration depends on the legal proceedings and whether the debtor raises a defense.

When is a debt collection case taken to court?

Our preference is to collect your claim without court intervention. Therefore, we always start a collection in the amicable phase. If this has no effect, then we proceed with court action. However, we always do so in consultation with you first.

What chances do I have for a successful recovery in Italy?

The chance for a successful recovery depends on the nature of your debt collection case. 95% of the cases that we solve are successfully done so on a No Cure No Pay basis. Our specialists and lawyers always do their utmost to ensure to collect your claim as fast and efficiently as possible. We always make sure to give you honest and practical advice that will deliver you the best results.

What possibilities do I have for debt collection in Italy?

Our debt collection in Italy always starts within the extrajudicial phase. If legal proceedings are necessary, we can proceed with the procedimento ordinario di cognizione (ordinary civil proceedings), procedimento sommario di cognizione (summary proceedings) or ingiunzione di pagamento (payment order). Once obtaining an official court verdict, we can have measures enforced.

Can I appoint a bailiff in Italy myself?

No, you cannot. Bailiffs in Italy are public officers and work in conjunction with the relevant district court or instructed lawyers.

How long before a debt is written off in Italy?

Payment claims in Italy have a limitation period of 10 years, which applies as soon as the invoice is due and payable. There are some exceptions whereby different limitation periods apply. For example, for cases in the transport sector, 1 year is applicable instead. Creditors can also 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.

How much does it cost to go to court?

The court fees depend on the value of the claim. In some cases, the amount is fixed, however, it also depends on the nature of the litigation. In addition, our own legal fees are to be added as well.

How long do legal proceedings take in Italy?

The duration of legal proceedings in Italy depends on the complexity of your case and whether or not your debtor raises a defense.

Can apply for the bankruptcy of my Italian debtor?

Yes, but due to specific requirements and criteria to be met, it is advisable for foreign parties to have the assistance of an Italian lawyer for the relevant court application.

What is a promissory note?

A promissory note is a form of financial security. It serves as a legally binding promise in which a payment is guaranteed. Specific conditions apply when using a promissory note. For more information and how it may be used for your debt collection in Italy, contact our Italian Desk.