Debt recovery through the courts

If a creditor, service provider or individual is unable to enforce a contractual obligation and the debt collector fails to resolve the situation, the next step is to recover the debt through the courts. Most often, debt recovery specialists offer to arrange all the necessary paperwork and advise on court proceedings. Debt recovery through the courts is a legal way to get a debt repaid. When filing a lawsuit, you should take into account the fact that the legal process in Latvia can take several months to several years. For this reason, it is best if repayment can be achieved without involving the courts. However, in many cases, placing debt recovery in the hands of bailiffs can lead to more efficient results. Unfortunately, in most cases the debtor has the option of prolonging the proceedings. This happens when the debtor makes arguments, objections or fails to appear in court. Most often, the court rules in favour of the creditor and orders the debtor to pay the court costs. But such a result is not guaranteed. After the court decision, the debt is handed over to bailiffs who, acting in accordance with the law, will enforce the court decision.

Recovering debts from benefits

The activities of bailiffs are strictly regulated by a number of laws and regulations. They can apply a number of coercive measures to enforce the decision in order to ensure its swift and effective execution. Bailiffs most often enforce against the debtor's wages and equivalent payments, as a less restrictive means of enforcement in regard to the debtor’s rights. Remuneration is the compensation paid to an employee on a regular basis, including allowances, bonuses and other benefits. Payments equivalent to remuneration are money that is deducted from a person's wages or is otherwise related to income earned. For example, payments treated as wages are state social insurance benefits paid by the state social insurance agency, such as old-age pension, invalidity pension, maternity benefit, unemployment benefit, etc. Debts can only be recovered from benefits that are linked to the debtor's wages, but cannot be recovered from state and municipal social and other benefits. 

Regulatory enactments concerning the recovery of debts from benefits

Under Section 594 of the Civil Procedure Law, the bailiff may enforce the recovery of both wages and equivalent payments, with the debtor retaining funds in the amount of one minimum monthly wage or half thereof, depending on the type of debt. Section 596 of the Civil Procedure Law lists a number of sums of money on which recovery is not allowed, including various benefits. State social benefits, which are cash payments of state aid, received by people belonging to certain groups in situations where they need extra money or are unable to earn an income. An example of a state social benefit is the family state benefit or the Covid-19 crisis family benefit. To avoid unforeseen misunderstandings, it is important for debtors to remember their obligation to cooperate with the bailiff and to inform the bailiff of their income - salary, benefits they receive or will receive and other income. If there are several enforcement proceedings with different bailiffs, each bailiff must be informed separately.

Debt recovery after insolvency initiation

In cases where the debtor declares insolvency on the basis of a civil procedure law, the bailiff must suspend the enforcement proceedings. This means that from the day the court passes judgment declaring insolvency proceedings, bailiffs must revoke withholding orders given to employers and banks and stop any other recovery action against the debtor. The debtor is again able to use a bank account and a credit card. In this case, the debtor must inform the bailiff that insolvency proceedings have been initiated so that recovery actions do not continue. The exception is auctions that bailiffs have already announced to recover debts. So, if the bailiff has published an auction notice for the recovery of a debt, he has the right to complete the sale of property. ​Creditors may submit a creditor's claim to the administrator.

Even if debt collectors or bailiffs send warnings and reminders, once insolvency proceedings have been initiated, the debtor can no longer pay money to the creditors to clear debts.

Contact +371 20360838 will help you recover debts from both natural and legal persons. Please contact us if you should have any questions.