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Debt Collection in Italy

Building a successful business is not easy, in particular when you have to deal with foreign companies. Creating a trustworthy relationship requires time and effort, but sometimes it can be very challenging, especially when you have to recover your money abroad.

At Advocate Abroad, we take this issue seriously. Timing, rapidity, and efficiency are fundamental in collecting monies owed in Italy: that is why our lawyers are particularly sensitive in this matter.

Avoid Debt-Related Issues before they arise

First of all, it is very important to consult a lawyer before an issue arises. Drafting or reviewing contract clauses can prevent costly and time-consuming litigation cases. Moreover, before doing any business with a particular foreign company it would be very useful to do a preliminary check on the reliability of the potential client. Whether you are dealing with a structured company or a small business, our lawyers, through the use of specialist databases, can carry-out an assessment on the solvency and creditworthiness of the company you are considering doing business with.

If you have reached the point where you are seeking to recover your money abroad, timing is fundamental. With an aggressive strategy our lawyers, are able to establish the most cost-effective strategy to recover your money.

Once reached the point where you are seeking to recover your money abroad, timing is fundamental -Debt Collection Italy- lawyers are vital.

Sometimes it is sufficient to send a reminder letter or a letter before action, but in most cases, it is necessary to institute legal action. Depending on the applicable law, as a creditor you can resort to Italian courts through an injunction of payment. In order to obtain an injunction of payment, it is sufficient to prove the existence of the credit (with invoices, transport documents, CMR, bill of lading). Once the injunction is served, the debtor has 40 days to make a claim against the decision and initiate ordinary civil proceedings.

European Order for Payment – Limitations

If the competent judge is based abroad where the creditor is based, then it is possible to request a European order for payment. This procedure, applicable in all EU countries (except Denmark) is very simple, but the debtor can object to the injunction by simply filing a form without any explanation. In order to obtain an EU order for payment, the creditor shall fill in a form and submit it to the competent court without attaching any document (it is just sufficient to indicate the proof of the credit). Then, the judge will issue the EU Order for payment and the creditor shall serve the two forms abroad to the debtor. If the debtor will make an objection, the creditor must start ordinary proceedings.

Before starting any legal action, our lawyers will make a preliminary assessment of the procedure to adopt in order to significantly reduce the time required to recover the credit and minimize the costs for the creditor.

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Client testimonials

"On occasions it took a little longer than we had hoped in obtaining a reply, however we do appreciate and understand that this was probably due to being away from the office, possibly in Court, or with other clients - not a criticism just an observation.

There are no improvements we can suggest,  save to say, we would use Marco in the future if required."

Chris Rye (Oct 29, 2019)

Debt Collection

Available in the following locations: Bergamo, Genoa, Milan, Turin.

* If your local town is not listed, a lawyer from our nearest office will be happy to assist you.


1Who is this Service for?

Anyone with experience running a business will have unfortunately been forced at some point to chase debtors for failing to pay for goods or services supplied.

Or perhaps a loan has been made and never repaid. Hopefully, a formal legal demand will be sufficient to ensure prompt repayment.

If not, other measures can be taken to enforce your rights, around the world.

2What does this service consist of?

  • Expedite and facilitate the collection of unpaid debts
  • Improve collection rates and where possible preserve existing business relationships
  • Collection is achieved either through extrajudicial or judicial procedures
  • Ensure a value-for-money service
  • All cases are undertaken with the strictest confidence and the clients are regularly kept up-to-date


The Intelligent Debt Recovery Service provided by the English-speaking lawyers on the Advocate Abroad network allows you to take control and to begin the process of recovering outstanding debts in Spain – regardless of where you are located in the world.

Furthermore, you can do so without having to make any advanced payment for the services of any kind when choosing the no-win-no-fee option*.

* Please note, this does not include costs involved with Court Proceedings.



Negotiation With Debtors

Should the need arise, the lawyers on the Advocate Abroad network are experts in carrying out negotiations with debtors and will negotiate on your behalf for the return of the debt and will manage a debt plan with the debtor where you have provided us with full prior authorisation.

Obtaining all of the monies that you are owed is of course the primary objective here though you may decide that obtaining a percentage or the full amount over a period of time are acceptable alternatives.

Financial Report Before Going to Court

  • Going to court is a last resort but one that can be necessary in order to obtain a successful outcome. We should only really consider going ahead when all of the information relating to the debtor tells us that this will be a worthwhile strategy.
  • It is possible to obtain valuable information about the financial position of Spanish individuals and companies from a number of important sources. This would include:
  • The commercial register which contains a host of information about companies such as fixed assets and annual returns;
  • The property register which holds information on any assets registered in the names of individuals including sole traders;

The RAI register which contains valuable reports of any previous failure by the company to pay creditors Advocate Abroad can arrange for a report to be drawn-up and a recommendation to be provided – by specialist lawyers – on whether to pursue the debtor in the Courts.

It is strongly recommended to obtain a financial report before proceeding to take court action.

Court Process

If the measures taken extra-judicially fail to recover the debt and the financial report (recommended) suggests that it would be worthwhile to continue pursuing the debtor, the next stage is to bring the matter before the courts.

This effectively means using the ‘Proceso Monitorio’ which is a special court process specifically set-up for the speedy resolution of outstanding debts which cannot exceed €250,000.

Upon presentation to the court of the petition together with supporting documentary evidence (contracts, invoices etc) the court will decide whether there is a sufficiently substantial case for the debt to be repaid.

The debtor is then informed by the court of the petition and at this stage there are three possible outcomes:

1. Debtor Agrees To Pay The Debt

In 45% of cases brought via the ‘proceso monitorio’ the matter is resolved at this point with the debtor agreeing to pay the creditor the amounts owed.

2. Debtor Does Not Respond or Appear in Court

If the debtor fails to respond to the court action or doesn’t turn-up at the hearing then the judge may place an embargo on any assets or income of the debtor to force repayment of the amount owed. 39% of cases are resolved in this fashion.

3. Debtor Opposes Payment of the Debt

If within a timeframe of twenty days the debtor opposes the action and does so in writing then it becomes necessary for the court to hear arguments from both sides. The debtor will require documentation to support their case. The debtor opposes the debt in this way in 16% of cases.


Support services

5Free Support Services Included

When combined with the free and innovative Advocate Abroad support services you can be sure that you are obtaining completely transparent legal services from registered and regulated English-speaking lawyers abroad.These support services include:

  • Verification of the regulatory status of your professional.
  • Fees as recommended by the Local Professional Body
  • Fees specified in advance and legally guaranteed.
  • Service levels agreed in advance and guaranteed.
  • All professionals must hold professional indemnity insurance.
  • Professionals' proficiency in English monitored.
  • Continuous quality controls and reviews.

Why choose Advocate Abroad? Message
Established more than
10 years ago
Present in 20
European Countries
Over 30,000 client enquiries
successfully managed