Debt collection in Turkey
Does your company have to deal with debt collection in Turkey because a Turkish customer has not paid your invoice? Our Turkish 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 engage with a collection agency and recover debt in Turkey.
"It regularly happens that a Turkish company does not pay the invoice on time. Many Turkish companies have suffered from the uncertain political situation in the country. And that is reflected in the payment behaviour."
International debt collection in Turkey
When doing business with a Turkish trading partner, you will be confronted with different trading traditions and customs than those you are used to. Moreover, different legislation applies in Turkey than in your country. In addition, people often speak a different language. This makes debt collection in Turkey complicated and time-consuming for you. That is why you should call in our Turkish specialists. They have the means to get your debtor to pay.
Payment behaviour of Turkish companies
- Turkey has a hierarchical business culture
- Turkey is one of the worst among European payers
- A payment term of 14 days is customary in the case of reminders
Debt collection in Turkey
The Turkish economy has had a hard time in recent years. Because there was little confidence in the Turkish economy, the Turkish lira had fallen sharply in value.
The payment behaviour of Turkish companies had also deteriorated considerably in recent years. Turkish companies often paid invoices to each other only after an average of 55 days. However, invoices from international trading partners were paid well after the payment term had expired.
More than 10 years ago, payment morale in Turkey was very poor. But in recent years, the payment behavior of Turkish companies has improved significantly. This is mainly the result of increasingly professional credit management at companies.
Nevertheless, a considerable number of invoices are still not paid on time. Almost half of all commercial invoices are paid late. Yet again, you should not expect extremely long payment terms here. On average, invoices are paid late by approximately 13 days.
Advantages of collection in Turkey
- Turkish collection lawyers in your own country
- Turkish-speaking lawyers
- Highest success rates
- Collection throughout Turkey
- Always a single point of contact
- 24/7 online access to our portal
- No Cure No Pay debt collection
Turkish lawyer in your country
For the collection of your invoice from your Turkish debtor, it is best to contact a Turkish lawyer or collection specialist. You don't have to go to Turkey for this, you can simply contact our specialists at Bierens. They have extensive knowledge and experience with the laws and regulations in Turkey. It goes without saying that they collect in Turkish, their native language. This way we know how to make your debtor pay quickly.
Collection procedure in Turkey
The collection process in Turkey can be divided into two phases. In the extrajudicial phase we collect without the intervention of a court, in the judicial phase we do involve the court to get your Turkish customer to pay. Because we are a law firm, we can assist you in both phases.
Our starting point is to always start the collection procedure in the extrajudicial phase. In this phase we try to avoid the intervention of the court. We contact your Turkish debtor to ensure that your debtor still pays. In the extrajudicial phase we have the following possibilities in Turkey:
Written demand letters and phone calls
We send the debtor a written reminder and contact the debtor by telephone, requesting the debtor to pay. The debtor is then given a few days for payment. Interest and costs will also be claimed.
Drawing up payment arrangements
Making payment arrangements is often very effective with Turkish debtors. In order to reach an agreement, it is important to show understanding for the Turkish business partner.
Announcing legal proceedings
Often, the announcement of legal proceedings will persuade your Turkish debtor to pay your invoice. If your debtor refuses to pay in the extrajudicial phase, we can go to court in consultation with you. For this purpose, we do a credit check and analyse your debtor's financial situation. This enables us to better assess your debtor's financial situation and whether legal proceedings are worthwhile. In addition, we will always let you know in advance what the possible costs are and we will only start working after your consent.
Would you like to start legal collection proceedings against your Turkish debtor? Then the first question is in which country do you have to litigate: in your country or in Turkey? 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 Turkish court. You then must go to Turkey to follow legal proceedings there.
In addition, the main rule is that the law of the country of the seller or service provider applies. In this case the law of your own country is applicable. We then get this difficult situation where the Turkish judge must judge the case on the basis of your countries laws. A legal system that he does not know. This is not a desired 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 should a conflict arise.
Debt collection laws in Turkey
Trials in Turkey can often take a very long time. The Turkish legal system is not very efficient. Our Turkish lawyers can advise you on the best legal procedure in your situation. Of course, we will assist you throughout the entire legal process.
Bottom line proceedings
In order to collect your claim through the courts, our lawyers can subpoena your debtor. In the event of a dispute, your debtor does not agree with your invoice. This is not a collection in which the debtor is unable to pay; the debtor has a well-founded reason not to pay the invoice. In that case, at the request of the parties, the court will draw up a final calendar so that the parties can respond to each other's points of view in writing. In practice, it often boils down to no defense and the judge pronouncing a verdict.
International collection laws
Since Turkey is not a member state of the EU, European companies are limited with regards to the available measures and actions they are normally entitled to under EU Directives and Regulations. This will make you more likely to hire a Turkish lawyer or collection specialist when dealing with a non-paying Turkish customer, as your case will most likely be subjected to Turkish Enforcement and Bankruptcy Law.
Nevertheless, note that Turkey is a member of CISG (Viana Convention on International Sales of Goods) and New York Convention of Arbitration.
Litigation in your own country
Have you agreed in the general terms and conditions that the court of your country has jurisdiction? Then legal proceedings can also be started in your country. However, this is not advisable according to our Turkish Lawyers, as you must go through the so called “Recognition and Enforcement of a Foreign Judgments” in Turkish courts, unless there is a bilateral agreement on commerce between your country and Turkey. Depending on your specific situation, our lawyers will look at what is most beneficial for your organization.
If a verdict has been obtained in your country, this verdict has yet to be executed in Turkey. Within the EU, it is laid down that all verdicts obtained in the EU member states are also recognized in other EU countries.
For the execution of a judgment in Turkey, your court issues a certificate and summons the defendant in Turkey through Foreign Affairs of Ministry of Justice. Once the defendant is summoned properly and given the right of defense and appeal, you must then initiate proceedings of Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgment to be able to enforce against your debtor. Due to this technical procedure, we do not advise to initiate court proceedings in your own country or sign a contract/terms and conditions in which competent courts are your countries’ courts without consulting an expert in Turkish Law! In any case, if you have a judgment from a court rather than a Turkish court, our Turkish Lawyers are able to assist you through all the steps.
Business receivables are generally subject to a limitation period of 10 years. This period commences when the claim is due and payable. This is the due date of the invoice. When the term of payment of an invoice is 30 days, the average limitation period of 10 years starts to run after those 30 days have passed.
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. However, your customer does not pay. The due date of the invoice is 1 May 2017. From this moment on, the limitation period of 10 years starts to run. On 1 May 2027, your invoice is therefore time-barred.
Preventing the statute of limitations
You can avoid prescription of your invoice by interrupting the prescription period. By interrupting the statute of limitations, the limitation period is stopped and starts to run again. In Turkey there are 3 ways to interrupt the statute of limitations:
- Acknowledgement by the debtor. The debtor then confirms in writing that there is an obligation to pay.
- A partial payment has been made by the debtor.
- Legal proceedings are started.
Exceptions to the limitation period
Not all business receivables are subject to a limitation period of 10 years. In European transport law, for example, a limitation period of 1 year applies.
Legal areas of debt collection in Turkey
Our Turkish collection desk has been active for several years. During that time we have helped many companies all over the world with their debt collection business in Turkey as well as several Turkish companies, with all kinds of debt collection cases in 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 strong debt collection procedure, they also give solid advice.”
Manuel Maas, Eneco
Is your debtor in Istanbul, Ankara or Izmir? For our specialists, it doesn't matter where your customer is located. We can assist you throughout Turkey. For the successful collection of your case, you do not need to call in a collection agency or lawyer in Turkey. You can simply transfer your case online. Our 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 Turkish collection lawyers have more resources than a collection agency. Moreover, they work faster and are also more successful. And that is beneficial for your organisation: you will quickly have your money in your bank account.
No Win No Fee debt collection
We collect based on No Win, No Fee : if we do not collect anything, you do not pay a fee. In that case, you only pay €150,- for administrative costs. After all, an unpaid invoice is frustrating enough. We don't think it's fair if you are faced with even more costs.
You only pay a fee once we have managed to collect the claim. Incidentally, we try to recover this fee as much as possible from the debtor. Therefore, a successful debt collection case will cost you almost nothing! That is what we call justice.
If the collection is successful, we try to recover the collection costs as much as possible from the debtor. In that case, your Turkish customer will pay the outstanding invoice and the collection costs. This way you will have to pay as little collection costs as possible to our organization. In the Netherlands, in most cases we can recover all interest and costs (which is the fee for our work) from your debtor. This is not always the case abroad. In such cases, you pay a percentage of the principal sum.
Do you have an outstanding invoice with a Turkish customer that is not paid? 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 want to wait for your money? Then hand over your invoice immediately. Our specialists will then get straight to work for you.