Debt Collection in Poland
Does your company have to deal with debt collection in Poland because a Polish debtor has not paid your invoice? Our Polish debt collection specialists and lawyers will be happy to help you. We ensure that your outstanding invoices are paid quickly. Read here what we can do for you when you want to hire a debt collection agency and recover debt from Poland.
"Poland is one of the fastest growing economies in Europe. The payment behaviour of many Polish companies has considerably improved in recent years. Nevertheless, there are still many companies that do not pay on time. Debtor management is therefore important when doing business in Poland".
International debt collection in Poland
When doing business with a Polish trading partner you are confronted with different trading traditions and customs than those you are used to. Moreover, different legislation applies in Poland than in your country, and you must also deal with a different language. This often makes debt collection in Poland very complicated and time-consuming. That is why you should hire our Polish specialists. They have the means to get your debtor to pay.
Payment behaviour of Polish companies
- The statutory term of payment of invoices is 30 days
- Payment behaviour has improved significantly in recent years
- A payment term of 7 days is customary in the case of sending reminders
Debt collection in Poland
The payment behaviour of Polish companies has improved significantly in recent years. This is mainly due to growth of the Polish economy. Despite these positive developments, there are still a large number of Polish companies who do not pay their invoices on time. That is why you should ensure that you have a strong debtor’s management policy so you can retrieve your payment as soon as possible.
Advantages of debt collection in Poland
- Polish debt collection lawyers in your country
- Polish speaking lawyers
- Highest success rates of 95%
- Collection throughout Poland
- Always a single point of contact
- 24/7 online access to our portal
- No Cure No Pay debt collection
Polish lawyer in your country
It is best to contact a Polish lawyer or debt collection specialist to collect your invoice from a Polish debtor. You will not have to go to Poland, you can simply contact our debt collection specialists at Bierens. They have extensive knowledge and experience with the laws and regulations in Poland. It goes without saying that they collect in Polish, their native language. This way we can make your debtor pay quickly.
Debt collection procedure in Poland
The collection process in Poland can be divided into two phases. In the extrajudicial phase we collect without the intervention of the court, in the judicial phase we do involve the court to get your Polish customer to pay. Because we are a law firm, we can assist you in both phases.
Our starting point is to always start the debt collection procedure in the extrajudicial phase. In this phase we try to avoid the intervention of the court. We contact your Polish debtor to ensure that your debtor pays. In the extrajudicial phase, we have the following possibilities in Poland:
Written demand letters and phone calls
We will call your debtor and send written reminders asking your Polish debtor to pay. Your debtor will then be given several days to make a (partial) payment. In some cases, we may also talk to your debtor face to face.
Making payment arrangements
In Poland, it is advisable to make a payment arrangement with your trading partner. A signed arrangement can also be used at a later stage as an acknowledgement of an unpaid invoice by your Polish debtor. It is important that you are assisted by a lawyer who speaks the Polish language fluently and is familiar with Polish negotiating techniques.
Registration on the blacklist
Our lawyers have the possibility to register your Polish defaulters on a blacklist known as the Krajowy Rejestr Długów. Companies that are on this list often have more difficulty in finding new business relationships or maintaining existing ones. Because your customer undoubtedly would want to avoid this, it is an effective means of pressurizing your Polish debtor.
Announcing legal proceedings
In case of non-payment, we can start legal proceedings. Often the announcement of a legal procedure will convince your Polish customer to pay. If your debtor refuses to pay in the extrajudicial phase, we can go to court in consultation with you. We will always inform you on the possible costs in advance and we will only process your case after receiving your consent.
Would you like to start legal debt collection proceedings against your Polish debtor? If so, the first question you will have to consider is, in which country do you have to litigate? In your country or in Poland? This depends on the competent court, i.e. the court that is competent to rule on your debt collection case.
In your general terms and conditions, you can make agreements about the competent court in the event of a (payment) conflict. This is also called choice of forum. Have no agreements been made? Then the main rule is that the court in the country of the defendant has jurisdiction. In this case the Polish court. You must then go to Poland to follow legal proceedings there.
Furthermore, the main rule is that the law of the country of the seller or service provider applies. In this case, the law according to your country applies. We then get this difficult situation where the Polish judge must judge the case based on you country's law. A legal system he is unfamiliar with. This is not a desirable situation, which is why our advice is to make agreements about this in your general terms and conditions. In addition, you can also agree that you can litigate in your own country in the event of a conflict.
Debt collection laws Poland
When we take legal action against your Polish customer, there are several Polish debt collection laws that we can deploy. The most applicable debt collection procedure is dependent per case. Our lawyers will always investigate which procedure is most applicable for your debt collection case.
Although the Soviet communist era has ended, its influences are still present in the current Polish legal system. The system is very inefficient and at times even corrupt, which makes litigation extremely difficult. Our Polish debt collection lawyers are familiar with the Polish legal system and can advise you on the most applicable procedure. Several of them are described below:
Order for payment (“Nakaz zapłaty”)
For undisputed claims, legal action can be taken by requesting an order for payment through the court. The debtor then has fourteen days to respond. The debtor can either make the payment as requested in the order for payment or appeal the claim. If your debtor requests for an appeal, then ordinary civil proceedings can be initiated. The order for payment proceedings are very popular due to their speed, simplicity and cost-effectiveness. The duration of an undisputed order for payment procedure cast last around 12 weeks.
Ordinary civil proceedings (“Postępowanie zwykłe”)
Ordinary civil proceedings can be initiated if the debtor appeals the order for payment, or when the claim is disputed. In this case, you can request a writ of summons. You and your debtor will then present your case in court. Your case will have to be supported with evidence, after which the judge will make a ruling. In some cases, it is even possible that witnesses will have to provide supporting evidence. On average, the duration of civil proceedings in Poland may last between six to twelve months.
International collection laws
In addition to the Polish collection laws, there are also several European laws that can be used when your foreign customer refuses to pay. For the European Union it is important to stimulate trade between European countries. Therefore, complicate procedures are unwanted. That is why in addition to the ordinary procedures, there are two alternative procedures that can be used for foreign claims: the European Payment Order Procedure and the Small Claims Procedure.
Both procedures are relatively fast and inexpensive. A standard form must be filled in, which is then sent to the competent court. Unless specific agreements have been made in the contract or general terms and conditions, then the Polish court will be competent. The court will then solve the debt collection case and make a ruling.
Litigation in your own country
Have you agreed in the general terms and conditions that the court in your country has jurisdiction? Then legal proceedings can also be started in your country. Depending on your specific case, our lawyers will look at what is most beneficial for your organisation. If we start legal proceedings in your country against your Polish debtor, we can initiate ordinary civil proceedings. Both parties will present their case, after which the court will reach a verdict.
If a verdict has been obtained in your country, it has yet to be executed in Poland. Within the EU, it is established that all verdicts obtained in EU member states are also recognised in other EU countries. A specific form must be requested for the execution of a judgment from your country in Poland. This will then be sent to the Polish court together with the verdict of your court. The Polish bailiff will then ensure that the judgement is executed in Poland.
An unpaid invoice cannot be collected for an unlimited amount of time. At a certain point an invoice can become time-barred. Once the statute of limitations for your invoice has expired, you can no longer enforce the payment of your invoice through court intervention. It is therefore important to keep a close eye on this limitation period.
In Poland, business claims are generally subjected to a limitation period of 3 years. This period starts at the end of the year in which the claim arises.
Suppose you deliver a batch of clothing to a customer. On 1 April 2017, you send the corresponding invoice, with a payment term of 30 days. Your customer then does not pay. The due date of the invoice is 1 May 2017. The limitation period then begins on 31 December 2017 and lasts 3 years. On 31 December 2020, your invoice will become time-barred.
Exceptions to the limitation period
The limitation period of 3 years applies to normal claims. Please note that the limitation period is different for some claims. For example, transport law throughout Europe has a limitation period of 1 year. If the claim involves a sale or service-related contract, then there is a statute of limitations of 2 years. Therefore, it is advised to contact a specialist who can consult you on the statute of limitations in your specific case.
Preventing prescription of your invoice
You can avoid prescription of your invoice by interrupting the limitation period. By interrupting the statute of limitations, the limitation period is halted and is initiated again. In Poland the statute of limitations can be interrupted in 3 ways:
- Initiating legal proceedings
- By recognition of the debtor.
Legal areas for debt collection in Poland
Our Polish debt collection agency has been active for several years. During that time, we have helped many companies all over the world with their business debt collection cases in Poland and assisted various Polish companies across various jurisdictions:
- Buying and Selling
- Construction law
- Rental and leasing
- Agency and distribution agreements
- Damages and unlawful acts
“Bierens is a highly effective and professional partner. Not only do they have a good debt collection procedure, they also give solid advice.”
Manuel Maas, Eneco
Is your debtor located in Warsaw, Cracow or Łódź? For our specialists it does not matter where your customer is located. We can assist you throughout Poland. For a successful collection of your case, you do not need to call in a collection agency or lawyer in Poland. You can simply transfer your case online. Our Polish specialists will then get straight to work.
More than a debt collection agency
If you are looking for a debt collection agency, you are actually better off with a debt collection lawyer. Our Polish debt collection lawyers have more resources than a collection agency. Moreover, they work faster and are also more successful. This is beneficial for your organisation as you will receive your payment as soon as possible.
No Win No Fee debt collection
During the extrajudicial phase, we work based on the No Win, No Fee principle. If we do not collect, then you pay no legal fee. You only pay €150 for administrative costs. After all, an unpaid invoice causes enough frustration. We think it would be unfair if you were to be faced with additional fees.
You only pay a fee if we can collect the claim. We try to recover this fee from the debtor as much as possible. Therefore, a successful collection case will cost you almost nothing! That is what we call justice, as you will receive what you are entitled to.
If the collection is successful, we try to recover the collection costs from the debtor as much as possible. In that case, your Polish customer will pay the outstanding invoice including the collection costs. This way, you will pay little to no collection fees to our organisation.
Do you have an outstanding invoice with a Polish customer? Or do you have another conflict with your customer? Our collection specialists and lawyers will be happy to help you solve your payment conflict. Please feel free to contact us for more information. Do you no longer wish to wait for your payment? Then transfer your case, our specialists will then get straight to work for you.