International Debt Collection

When your foreign customer doesn’t pay, there are many different challenges and consequences than when your debtor is simply in the United Kingdom. To understand this in more detail, below we explain how an international debt collection takes place.

Contact with the debtor

If your international invoice has not been paid, we recommend that you always make contact with your cross-border client first. However, it is often more difficult to communicate with a foreign debtor. Not only does the language cause a barrier but another trade culture also influences communication with your debtor. Try to adjust your international debt collection policy to your debtor.

Transfer your case online

Unable to collect your international debt yourself? Then you can transfer the claim for collection. It is often mistakenly thought that a collection can only start in your debtor's country. However, that is not the case. If you want to transfer your claim for collection, you can do this by filling in a quick form. Send us your details, the details of your debtor, the outstanding invoice and any other relevant information, and we will start working on your case.

The right specialist for your business

With a foreign debt collection or cross-border recovery, we look at which specialist can best handle your case. This mainly focuses on the nationality of the collection specialist. For example, your Italian collection will usually be handled by one of our Italian collection specialists. After all, they speak the language, know Italian trade traditions and have extensive experience with legislation in Italy. Moreover, the sector or the complexity of the case is considered. Based on these specialisms, we ensure that the right person always handles your case.

Want to know more about debt collection in a particular country? Our international specialists can explain to you how debt collection works in their country. 

Experts in international debt collection

After you have transferred your collection case, a debt recovery specialist will immediately start working on it. We always start with the pre-legal phase. This means that we try to prevent intervention of a judge. Because we have access to foreign databases, we are able to trace almost all foreign debtors. They are then approached in their own language, both by telephone and in writing. In most cases, the debtor then pays.

International judicial debt collection abroad

If we have been unable to get your foreign customer to pay during the pre-legal phase, then we can go to court. Before we start the international judicial debt collection process, we first investigate the feasibility of legal proceedings. We look at the financial situation of your debtor, but also at the legal system in the country of your debtor. We always give a realistic picture of your chances of success. In some cases, we will litigate in your debtor's country, but it is also possible to litigate in your own country. This applies, for example, if you have contractually agreed that disputes will be submitted to the court in your own country.

European order for payment procedure

Is your company based in an EU Member State? Then in some cases we can also start a European order for payment procedure. For this you need to fill in a standard form, which we then submit to the court. The court then issues a European order for payment. From then, your debtor has 30 days to respond if they disagree with the claim. After these 30 days, the payment order is final. This judgment is accepted in every EU member state. The advantage of this procedure is the low costs and the fact that it is a relatively fast procedure. The disadvantage is that this procedure cannot be used for disputed claims.

Litigation abroad

If your foreign customer does not pay and legal proceedings are required, you must bear in mind that the international judicial debt collection process will be different in each country. Every country has its own laws and rules. In addition, the duration of a collection procedure varies from country to country. Therefore, keep in mind that the legal proceedings can take a lot longer than you are used to. Your collection lawyer will of course tell you more about what you can expect with a foreign collection procedure.

Payment of your invoice

You can follow the status of your collection case, live, via our web portal. Our collection specialist will of course keep you informed when there are important developments in your case. When the debtor makes a payment, they will pay any or all monies into our third-party account. We then transfer this money to your company from this account. Within a few days you will receive an overview of the claim paid and the outstanding amount will be transferred to you.

More information

Do you have an outstanding invoice abroad and would you like more information about international collection? Contact us today. Our international collection specialists and lawyers are happy to help you further.