Debt Collection in Portugal

The debt collection procedure in Portugal has many similarities with respect to other jurisdictions such as the Italian one, but it clashes with other factors. There are certain things concerning the language and culture of this country that must be pointed out. First, of all, payment deadline within which to pay an invoice in Portugal is thirty days, but there are many cases in which this deadline is not always respected. For this reason, to recover credit in Portugal, the best advice is to contact native speaking lawyers who know the local culture. This is why it is advisable to contact the Porto office of the Giambrone International Law Firm, where you can rely on a team of lawyers who are experts in this matter.

Two ways to recover Credit

From a legal point of view, in Portugal there are two ways to recover a debt: out of court or judicial. The advice is to proceed, in the first instance, out of court. Our lawyers will try to go this way, because it is the fastest way to ensure the recovery of the client's credit. At this stage the judge does not need to intervene, and the lawyers directly ask the debtor to pay his debt.

It may happen, however, that the debtor refuses to pay out of court. At that point, it becomes necessary to take legal action. Giambrone's team of Portuguese lawyers, at this stage will carry out a credit check on the client,  that will allow you to settle the debtor's financial situation, in order to understand whether or not it is worth taking legal action. A decision that will be made only after a discussion with the customer.

In the event of a judicial action being initiated, a first aspect that should not be underestimated is the country where the trial will be held. When signing a contract, the competent court can be established in advance in the event of a dispute. In this case, in fact, we speak of "choice of forum". If, however, this clause has not been established in advance, it usually proceeds as follows: The legal action is held in the court of the country where the debtor is based. This means that the creditor, for example an Italian, will have to leave for Portugal to follow the procedure. But it does not end there, because if the trial is held in the country where the debtor is based, the law to be applied is that of the country where the creditor is based. In short, it would be a question of being in a paradoxical situation. For this reason, Giambrone's counsel of lawyers establish advance agreements and they are always available for further information.

The Portuguese laws

Another aspect to take into consideration is that in Portugal there are several laws regarding debt collection. Consequently, there are also several procedures and it will be Giambrone's team of lawyers to direct the client towards the most convenient option.

You can request an order for payment or carry out an ordinary civil proceeding, certainly much longer and more expensive than the first way. At the end of the civil proceedings, the judge issues a sentence. If the device is in favor of the creditor, the lawyers put in place a forced execution procedure. This can lead to the seizure of the debtor's assets in order to obtain payment.

Community laws

In the matter of debt recovery, the European Union provisions may also come into play. These are provisions that have come into force to encourage trade between EU member states. In particular, there are two alternative procedures in payment litigation cases: we are talking about the European payment order procedure and the European small claims procedure. The advantage of both ways is that these are fairly quick and inexpensive procedures. To initiate either of the two proceedings, you must complete the standard order form and send it to the competent court. The European procedure for small claims is valid for credits of a maximum value of 5 thousand euros. Instead, the European order for payment procedure is only applicable to uncontested cases.