Our law firm
Studio Corno Avvocati was established in 1994 in order to provide its clients (companies, individuals and professionals) with a vast range of in and out of court legal services at local, national and transnational levels.
Debt collection services are provided at a judicial and extra-judicial level, on behalf of Italian and foreign entities.
Debt Collection in Italy
Italy does not have self-employed judicial officers but only Court Bailiffs (public officers employed by the Ministry of Justice, working for the various law courts and allowed to act in the course of forced execution). Debt collection services are provided in the following steps and with the following characteristics.
First step – out of court debt collection
Upon request of the client, our law firm forwards to the debtor a payment notice, either by registered letter or certified mail. Such notice usually grants the debtor with a certain delay to provide with the spontaneous payment of the debt. When appropriate, following the first notice, our law firm also contacts the debtor by phone or e-mail in order to try to reach an agreement and obtain a voluntary payment.
Second step – solvency researches
In case of negative outcome, our firm advices its clients to carry out inquiries and solvency researches utilizing reliable agencies.
Third step – court debt collection
If recovery is convenient for the client, our law firm advices to start a legal proceeding. The usual way to obtain an enforceable order is through a “ricorso per decreto ingiuntivo”, i.e. and application which allows the creditor to obtain a payment order, issued by Italian Courts on specific grounds. If the conditions set by the law to apply for a “ricorso per decreto ingiuntivo” do not exist, other proceedings are used.
Fourth step – enforcement
Following issuance of a payment order by the Court, should the debtor not raise any opposition by the deadline provided by Italian Civil Procedure Code, the creditor may start the following enforcement proceedings:
- third party attachment: it is normally the speediest (3/4 months) and allow the creditor to seize the debtor’s bank accounts or other debtor’s credits;
- enforcement on movable goods: it allows to seize movable goods owned by the debtor. The goods are subsequently sold in public auctions;
- enforcement on real assets of debtors (immovable): it allows to seize immovable goods owned by the debtor. The goods are subsequently in public auctions.
The said enforcement proceedings may, also, be started based on a payment order (“decreto ingiuntivo”) declared by the court immediately enforceable. Therefore, enforcement proceedings may be commenced, in this case, notwithstanding the opposition to the decreto ingiuntivo filed by the debtor.
Fifth step – filing of bankruptcy of the debtor
If the enforcement is unsuccessful and the debtor is subject to bankruptcy according to the Italian Insolvency Law rules, the creditor may file to the competent court an application for the opening of a compulsory winding up proceeding (“fallimento”).
If such proceeding is opened or has already been opened, the creditor may lodge its claim within the said proceedings.
Cross border Debt Collection
Debt collection activities against debtors domiciled within the European Union are usually carried on either through local correspondents - unless the jurisdiction of Italian courts exists - or using the most relevant European Regulations in civil and commercial issues (nn. 805/2004; 1896/2006; 861/2007; 1215/2012).
Debt collection activities against debtors domiciled outside the European Union are usually carried on either through local correspondents, unless the jurisdiction of Italian courts exists.