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What do debt collection agencies exactly do?

Debt collection agencies recover undisputed overdue outstanding debts.

Why engage a debt collection agency?

Clients have only one point of contact, the debt collection agency is making the whole work regarding demand letters, phone calls to debtors, entrusting files to lawyers or to international debt collection agencies worldwide. Clients can concentrate on their main work and do not loose time in chasing the customers.

Vital legal sources relevant for Austrian debt collection practices:

The Austrian trading regulations (GewO), the collection practices decree - Federal Law Gazette (BGBl) 141/96, the civil code (ABGB),
the consumer protection act (KSchG), the data protection act, the jurisdiction norm (JN), the code of civil procedure (ZPO), the "Zinsenrechts-Änderungsgesetz" (ZinsRÄG) - Federal Law Gazette (BGBl) I 118/2002.

How high are expenses for the debtor?

The debtor is charged with the reimbursement of all expenditure necessary and effective to carry through recovery measures which
are legally regarded as being claims for damages caused by the debtor's delay (see article 1333 of the Austrian Civil Code).

Legal proceedings:

Other than in Germany or Switzerland, Austrian collection agencies have not been allowed to legally enforce indisputable bills for decades. On account of this they co-operate with lawyers of their choice when taking legal action to enforce claims.

Distraint:

Other than in Germany or Switzerland, Austrian collection agencies are not allowed to initiate legal enforcements. On account of this they co-operate with lawyers of their choice when legally enforcing claims.

Full Service:

It belongs to our practice to reach an agreement with our clientele on the particular collection procedure before, during and after legal enforcement in order to minimise expenditure for our clientele.

Documentation and scheduling:

It belongs to our practice to investigate and register vital details necessary for collection in compliance with the data protection act. Special computer programmes continually monitor payment dates as well as other deadlines.

Intervention:

We take any interventions coming from legal representatives of interests, voluntary interest groups, ombudsman offices as well as other authorised offices seriously and deal with them in an objective way.

Settlement offers:

Settlement offers can only be dealt with when a complete and correct
description and documentation of the relevant circumstances is given.
We are principally prepared to examine justified settlement offers
objectively and to take care of settlement hearings.

Economic misfortune through no fault of one's own:

In cases of documented financial crisis through no fault of one's own,
clients and creditors are expected to accomodate debtors to a great
extent on recommendation of collection agencies.

Insolvency proceedings:

In Austria against company debtors and private debtors as well insolvency proceedings can be requestet at the Austrian Courts, the debtors themselves are also entitled to applicate for an insolvency proceeding, many times there is no minimum quote, especially with private debtors, it depends if the majority of the registered creditors agree with a certain quote, within the deadline all creditors should register ther claims, otherwise they risk that they cannot be considered, an insolvency proceeding can take a couple of years and in the very beginning very often it is not clear what will be the real quote.

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