Summary: Find out all you need to know about recovering your debts.
Your services or sales in Italy were not paid on due date. Of course, you need to hire an Italian attorney and to make a choice. You need a debt collection, but this type of activity can take a couple of forms: debt recovery or enforcement of a previous sentence.
1. Debt recovery
Many litigations arise in the area of debt recovery, especially in Italy, because of recent economic crisis. Hiring an Italian attorney is a new challenge for your company. Fortunately, a greater number of law firms in Italy can assist foreign companies in order to start a debt recovery in this country. Namely, very professional Italian firms are often engaged in such cases and usually apply a first advanced retainer proportioned to amount to be recovered, forecasting a maximum amount of working hours at fixed rates for collecting the money in both extra-judicial and judicial way. Further, in Italy any attorney's fee or legal expenses can be collected against loosing party.
In order to send a dun letter and filing following recourse to court, asking issuance of a judicial order of payment, usually Italian law firms need clients send them copies of following documents:
- Packing list of sold products or list of services
- Purchase orders of products or services
- Confirmation of purchase orders
- Purchase agreement or supply agreement or other agreement
- Any letters, e-mail, fax demonstrating the credit or previous solicitations.
2. Enforcement of a sentence
On the other hand, in order to start an enforcement of a just held sentence condemning a debtor in Italy, it is necessary to consider the following rules (similar requirements concern non EU creditors).
The EC Regulation No. 44/2001 of Dec. 22, 2000 (which substituted Brussel Convention of 27th September 1968) allows the recognition and enforcement in Italy of decisions on civil and commercial matters issued by courts of other member states of European Union (excluded
Denmark) without any previous approval of special proceeding when:
- Decision is not contrary to public policy of Italy;
- Court of foreign state has not contravened provisions of paragraphs 3, 4 and 6 of EC Regulation No. 44/2001 concerning the summons of defendant;
- Summons has been properly and timely communicated to defendant who did not enter appearance in proceedings;
- Decision is not in contrast with any other previous decision rendered between the same parties in Italy or with another decision rendered abroad, which may be recognised in Italy.
As per EC Regulation No. 44/2001 the party who wants to enforce a decision in Italy shall have to present the request to the competent Court of Appeal jointly with following documents:
- Authenticated copy of decision, to be submitted to competent Italian court by your lawyer;
- Statement pursuant to Arts. 53, 54 and Annex V of EC Regulation No. 44/2001.
The party who wants to oppose this decision on such request may submit recourse to competent Court of Appeal; the decision of the Court of Appeal can be challenged in front of the Court of Cassation.