Berlin: +49 30 88702382 | Thessaloniki: +30 2310 284408 [email protected]

Leptokaridou Law Firm

Debt Collection in Greece

Debt collection in Greece is the process of pursuing payment of debts owed by individuals or businesses.

If a person or company owes you money and informal attempts to collect the debt, such as phone calls or written reminders, have been unsuccessful, the Greek legal system provides the framework within which debt collection operates. This includes laws and regulations that govern the process, the rights of creditors and debtors, and the mechanisms for dispute resolution.

Debt collection in Greece is governed by a combination of national laws and regulations, as well as applicable European Union directives and regulations.

The main Greek laws regulating debt collection include the Greek Civil Code and the Code of Civil Procedure, as well as Law 3758/2009 on Debt Collection Agencies, Law 3588/2007 (the Bankruptcy Law) and Law 4512/2018, which contains provisions on the out-of-court settlement of debts.

Questions about debt collection in Greece? Don’t hesitate to contact us to talk about it.

+30 2310 284408

+49 30 88702382

[email protected]

Debt collection in Greece: The whole process in 7 steps

Debt collection can involve various types of debt, such as bank loans, credit card debt, unpaid bills, or other forms of credit.

The process usually begins with informal attempts to collect the debt, such as phone calls or written reminders. If these attempts are unsuccessful, the process may escalate to more formal actions.

If a debt remains unpaid, creditors may resort to legal action. This may involve filing a lawsuit in court. The legal process can result in a variety of outcomes, such as a court order to pay the debt, seizure of property, or other legal consequences for the debtor.

From the first informal attempts to collect the debt to the outcome of a legal action, here is the step-by-step process to follow in Greece.

1- Initial actions

Start by verifying the details of the debt to ensure that the amount owed, the identity of the debtor, and the due date are accurate. This is critical to avoid litigation over the validity of the debt.

Once verified, initiates contact with the debtor through an internal reminder. This reminder can be informal, such as a phone call, email, or letter that gently reminds the debtor of the overdue payment. The goal at this stage is to resolve the issue amicably without escalating to formal procedures.

2- Amicable Collection Phase

If the internal reminder does not produce results, escalate to a more formal approach by sending a demand letter.

This letter is more structured and assertive, clearly stating the details of the debt, including any accrued interest or penalties, and setting a firm deadline for payment.

At this stage, it is helpful to remain open to negotiation and offer the debtor an opportunity to propose a workable payment plan or negotiate a settlement.

This step is a final attempt to collect the debt while maintaining a positive relationship with the debtor and avoiding legal action.

3- Engage a Debt Collection Agency

If internal collection efforts fail, you may choose to hire a collection agency. The agency’s role is to persuade the debtor to fulfill his financial obligation, using its expertise in debt collection.

This transition requires you, the creditor, to provide the agency with all relevant information about the debtor and the outstanding debt.

The agency then takes over the collection process, using various methods such as phone calls, letters and personal visits, always within the legal limits set by Greek law.

4- First Legal Consultation

When amicable collection methods prove unsuccessful and the collection agency fails as well, it is time to consider legal action.

The first step is to consult with a legal professional to evaluate the feasibility and potential success of taking the matter to court.

If legal action is recommended, the attorney will prepare the necessary paperwork to initiate legal action, which includes drafting a complaint outlining the creditor’s claim against the debtor.

5- Take Legal Action

The legal process begins with the filing of a lawsuit in the appropriate court.

This step involves presenting the case against the debtor, which includes court hearings, presentation of evidence and legal arguments by both parties.

The court then deliberates and finally issues a judgment.

If the judgment is in favor of the creditor, it will specify the amount the debtor is legally obligated to pay, including any additional costs incurred during the legal process.

6- Request an Enforcement Order

Finally, if the debtor does not comply with the court order, you can apply to the court for a writ of execution. This order allows you to legally seize the debtor’s assets.

The seized assets can then be sold, usually by public auction, and the proceeds used to pay off the debt.

This stage is crucial as it ensures that the creditor receives the amount owed, especially in cases where the debtor is unwilling to voluntarily comply with the court’s judgment.

7- Recover the debt

As soon as any part of the debt is recovered, whether through voluntary payment by the debtor or through enforcement action, these payments are applied to the outstanding debt.

This application covers the principal amount, any accrued interest, and any legal costs.

When the entire debt is recovered, the creditor or collection agency formally closes the case.

How long does the entire debt collection process take?

The debt collection process in Greece can take anywhere from a few months to several years.

The duration can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the complexity of the case, the debtor’s response and whether legal action is required.

The initial phase, during which the creditor sends an initial reminder and attempts to reach an amicable settlement, can last from a few weeks to a few months. This is because creditors usually allow a reasonable period of time for the debtor to respond to reminders and demand letters.

If the creditor decides to use a collection agency, this can extend the timeline.

Consulting with an attorney and preparing for a possible lawsuit can take additional weeks or months. And the legal phase that follows can be the most time-consuming, especially if the case goes to court. Trials in Greece can be lengthy, often taking several months to over a year, depending on the court’s schedule, the complexity of the case, and any appeals.

Of course, these are general considerations, and for a more accurate estimate, it is advisable to contact our law firm as early in the process as possible and take advantage of our legal services in Greece.

Can I recover all of my credits?

Unfortunately, there are no guarantees of full recovery when engaging in debt collection.

The most important factor is the debtor’s ability to pay. If the debtor is experiencing financial difficulties, is in bankruptcy, or has limited assets, full recovery may be difficult.

Even if a court rules in your favor, actual recovery depends on enforcement of the judgment. And if the debtor lacks sufficient assets or hides them, it may be difficult to collect the full amount.

For this reason, creditors sometimes opt for negotiated settlements to recover a portion of the debt. While this may not recover 100% of the amount owed, it can be a more secure way to recover some of the debt, especially in cases where full recovery is uncertain.

As a general rule, the longer the debt collection process, the more difficult it may be to collect the full amount. Older debts may be more difficult to collect, and the debtor’s financial situation may change over time.

How We Can Help You With Debt Collection in Greece

At Leptokaridou Law Firm we are experts in debt collection in Greece, especially in cases of cross-border debts, corporate debts and large sums.

By handling the legal aspects of debt collection, we can save you time and resources, allowing you to focus on your business or personal affairs while we manage the collection process.

At every step of the process, we will ensure that all debt collection activities are conducted in compliance with applicable laws, which is critical to avoiding legal violations that could result in penalties or damage to your reputation.

If you need to recover a debt in Greece, here is how we can help you:

  • Legal Advice and Strategy: We provide legal advice tailored to your specific situation, helping you to understand your rights and obligations under Greek law. We will then develop a strategic approach to debt collection, taking into account both the legal framework and the practical aspects of your case.
  • Advice on feasibility: In some cases, pursuing a debt may not be cost-effective or may have little chance of success. We can provide a candid assessment of the viability of your case and advise whether to pursue, settle or write off the debt.
  • Legal document preparation: Drafting legal documents, including demand letters, settlement agreements, and court filings, is critical to formally asserting your claims and must be crafted to comply with legal standards and effectively communicate the seriousness of your claim.
  • Negotiation and Mediation: We act as a mediator between you and the debtor, facilitating settlement negotiations. We can help structure payment plans, negotiate settlements, and ensure that any agreement reached is legally binding and protects your interests.
  • Court representation: If the collection process escalates to litigation, our firm will represent you in court. We will handle the filing of lawsuits, present your case, manage court appearances, and advocate on your behalf.
    Enforcement of Judgments: After a court judgment is obtained, our attorneys assist in the enforcement process. This includes filing for writs of execution, initiating proceedings to seize and sell assets, and ensuring that the court’s judgment is effectively executed.

What types of debt we can help you recover

As lawyers we can assist you with a variety of debt collection cases, helping individuals or businesses recover money owed to them through legal channels.

Among the debts we can help you collect, some of the most common are:

  • Company Debts / Business Debts: Businesses often encounter situations where customers or other businesses fail to pay for products or services provided. We can assist you in these cases by sending demand letters, negotiating payment plans, or filing lawsuits to collect the money owed. Of course, we can also represent your business in court if necessary.
  • Tenancy Debts: Landlords seeking to collect unpaid rent from tenants can benefit from our legal assistance. Our firm can help by drafting and sending eviction notices, negotiating the payment of back rent, and representing the landlord in eviction proceedings if the tenant refuses to pay or vacate the property.
  • Judgment collection: After winning a lawsuit, the winning party may still need help collecting the judgment from the losing party. We can assist in this post-judgment phase by identifying and seizing the debtor’s assets, garnishing wages, or placing liens on property.
  • International debts: Collecting debts across national borders can be complex due to differing laws and jurisdictions. As attorneys specializing in international cases, we can navigate these challenges and utilize international treaties and agreements to collect debts owed by foreign entities or individuals in Greece or Germany.
  • Child Support and Alimony: In cases of non-payment of child support or alimony, we can help you by filing enforcement actions in court, which can lead to wage garnishment, asset seizure, or other legal consequences for the non-paying party.

In all of these cases, the involvement of an attorney can greatly increase the chances of recovering the money owed. Our law firm can provide legal advice, represent you in negotiations or court proceedings, and use legal mechanisms to enforce payment – an invaluable asset in debt collection efforts.

* The information on this site is provided for the sole purpose of illustrating the subject matter. It in no way constitutes legal advice nor a substitute for individual legal advice provided by counsel. Each case is unique, presents unique circumstances, and should be evaluated in detail by an attorney who will verify its specific circumstances.

Contact Leptokaridou Law Firm

Debt Collection in Greece

Time is of the essence when it comes to being able to recover some or all of your debt. Contact us today to get timely legal advice on your situation and to work out the proper way to proceed as soon as possible.

Contact us to talk about debt collection in Greece.

+30 2310 284408

+49 30 88702382

[email protected]

We Help You Deal With Debt Collection in Greece

Please write or call us if you are looking for an international Greek lawyer expert in debt collection in Greece.
We are here to advise you and take care of your legal needs in Greece.

Icon Phone

+49 30 88702382
(Berlin Office)

Icon Phone

+30 2310 284408
(Thessaloniki Office)