A temporary amendment to the Debt Collection Act will enter into force on 1 January 2021

According to the Government proposal, the objective of the amendment is to alleviate the situation of companies in financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 epidemic by limiting debt collection measures and the costs arising from them. The temporary Debt Collection Act is valid from 1 January to 30 June 2021, and the Act shall apply to collection measures taken during its period of validity.

The changes mentioned in this release do not require you to take any action. 

The temporary Debt Collection Act sets a maximum amount and total cost cap for business receivable collection measures. In addition, the range of available measures will be temporarily reduced.

The main changes with regard to measures used in business collection are as follows:

  • A maximum fee of EUR 10 has been set for a payment reminder
     
  • Collection costs have been scaled according to the size of the principal  
    – if the principal of the receivable is no more than EUR 500, a max of EUR 50 in collection costs may be charged for a payment demand
    – if the principal of the receivable exceeds EUR 500, a maximum of EUR 80 may be charged for a payment demand 
    – as regards collection costs for subsequent payment demands, a maximum of half the collection costs of the first payment demand may be charged.
     
  • Time limits have been set for collection measures
    – For a payment reminder and payment demand, a debtor may be charged collection costs only if at least 7 days have passed since the sending of the previous payment reminder or payment demand.
     
  • Collection by bill of exchange (tratta), which is often used in the collection of business receivables, will be restricted. 
    – The use of a bill of exchange as a means of collection will be temporarily prohibited if the debtor is a private entrepreneur, a general partnership or a limited partnership. Collection by bill of exchange may be used for a limited liability company which is a debtor, but the bill of exchange may not be published or reported for entry in the credit register if the limited liability company debtor, before the publication of the bill of exchange or its reporting for entry in the credit register, submits a statement according to which its turnover or corresponding revenue for the last completed financial year is lower than EUR 100,000 or the company is only in its first financial year. The maximum amount of costs is EUR 100.
     
  • For the preparation of a payment plan, the fee may be at most
    – EUR 30, if the principal of the receivable is no more than EUR 500 or the payment plan includes a maximum of four (4) payment instalments.
    – EUR 60, if the principal of the receivable exceeds EUR 500 and the payment plan includes more than four (4) payment instalments.
    – From the seventh (7) instalment of a payment plan, a fee of EUR 5/instalment may be charged, if it has been agreed that the payment plan includes more than six (6) instalments.
    – A maximum of EUR 10 may be charged for moving a due date, provided that the due date is moved by at least 14 days.
    – A maximum of EUR 100 + notification costs may be charged for a request for payment threatening bankruptcy.
     
  • The debtor’s total liability for costs has been limited and the total cost cap, depending on the amount of measures, has been set as follows:
    – The total cost cap is EUR 230, when the principal is no more than EUR 500
    – The total cost cap is EUR 410, when the principal exceeds EUR 500

We will update our price list and operations in accordance with the temporary Debt Collection Act, and the changes will enter into effect on 1 January 2021. Price changes will be valid while the temporary Debt Collection Act is in force, after which we will automatically apply the previous price list. Collection costs according to our price list are required to be paid by the debtor on your behalf as now.

Best wishes

OK PERINTÄ