HOW TO DEBT MONEY FROM THE DEBTOR?
Do you have a debtor who owes you money for work done, service delivered or goods? Do you have a debtor who delays the payment and avoids paying the invoice?
In practice, I often encounter the fact that individual companies or individuals refuse to pay invoices for services or goods delivered. They point to government measures taken in connection with the COVID 19 pandemic. What to do in such cases?
The first and most important advice is – proceed quickly. It is true that the sooner you make a claim, the higher the chance that the debtor will pay you.
Send the debtor a summons – sent by a lawyer
A well-formulated pre-litigation summons – sent to the debtor through a law firm, often leads to voluntary repayment of the debt. You will make it clear to the debtor that you are serious about recovering the claim. If it is a customer who has more debts, it is likely that your debt will be tried to be paid first.
Apply for everything you are entitled to
In addition to the principal amount of the claim itself, in the event of the debtor’s default, you are also entitled to statutory interest on arrears, which vary depending on whether the dispute is between entrepreneurs covered by the Commercial Code or between citizens covered by Civil Code. The current statutory default interest rate for business relationships is 8% per annum of the amount due from the first day of delay until payment. In the case of civil relations, 5% per annum of the amount due from the first day of delay until payment.
If you are an entrepreneur and your debtor is also an entrepreneur, then according to § 369c of the Commercial Code, in the event of a debtor’s delay, you also have the right to flat-rate reimbursement of costs associated with the claim, without the need for special notice. The amount of the flat-rate compensation of costs associated with the application of the claim shall be determined by a regulation of the Government of the Slovak Republic. To date, it is € 40. This means that for each invoice with which the debtor is in arrears, even a day, you have the right to demand, among other things, € 40. If you have two such invoices – 80 €. Three invoices late = 120 €, etc.
Get the evidence
If the debt is not paid voluntarily, you will probably not avoid litigation. In this case, it will be up to you to kidnap the so-called burden of proof. In the case of an invoice debt, this may not be sufficient as evidence. It is therefore appropriate to keep all documents relating to the negotiations with the counterparty. It can be text messages, e-mails, contracts, invoices, delivery notes, documentation, etc.
Be sure to enforce your claim – you can also use a faster alternative to the classic lawsuit
If the debtor does not respond despite the pre-litigation summons, it is time to file a lawsuit. A suitable alternative is to submit a petition in a reminder procedure to the District Court in Banská Bystrica. The advantage over a classical lawsuit is a half court fee (3% of the amount sued, compared to 6% in the case of a classical lawsuit) and especially speed. The court must issue a payment order within 10 days of meeting the procedural conditions. You can submit a proposal on this page: https://obcan.justice.sk/ezaloby
In the payment order, the court will order the debtor to pay you the debt and the costs of the proceedings within 15 days, or to file a substantively substantiated opposition within the same period. If he does not lodge an objection, you have an enforceable judgment in hand with which you can initiate enforcement proceedings. If the debtor lodges an objection or if the court fails to deliver the order to the debtor, he will ask you to propose to continue the civil proceedings in the locally competent court. In this case, you no longer have to pay a court fee. The proposal for the issuance of a payment order in the reminder procedure is submitted exclusively electronically. Given that the evidence is often only in paper form, it is necessary to convert it into electronic form by guaranteed conversion. This can be done, among others, by lawyers. In this case, it is therefore better if the lawyer files a petition for you.
Filing a petition for execution
Once you have obtained a final judgment, you can apply for enforcement. It is again filed exclusively electronically, at the District Court in Banská Bystrica. You can fill in the proposal here: https://obcan.justice.sk/ezaloby. Alternatively, I can help you with its submission – https://english.tulinsky.sk/reservation/
Mgr. Patrik Tulinský, LL.M., advokát